When a mysterious woman asks Carlotta Carlyle to help locate her missing immigration card, it looks to be a pretty straightforward assignment. That is, until the lady disappears, and the card turns up in the possession of another woman...who just happens to be dead. Suddenly the case is far too intriguing for Carlotta to drop-and when her investigation indicates that her client was somehow connected to her inner-city "little sister" Paolina, Carlotta's got an even bigger stake in seeing it through. Alongside a handsome immigration agent with some secrets of his own, she follows her leads into the treacherous underground world of illegal aliens and those who mercilessly prey upon them. It's a lawless, dangerous territory: a place where the only thing Carlotta can rely on is her own wits, and where nothing--from innocence to life itself--is sacred...
Although the title may suggest a Western setting, Coyote brings back to familiar Boston territory six-foot-tall, flame-haired sleuth Carlotta Carlyle. This time the ex-cop and sometime cab-driver prowls overcrowded apartments where illegal aliens rest--and sometimes find their final resting places--after their ill-paid labors. Carlotta's latest case is neatly tied in with her sensitively depicted relationship with Paolina, a child she has befriended through the Big Sister program who has led a troubled alien, Manuela Estafan, to Carlotta. But when Manuela disappears and her I.D. is found on the mutilated body of a murder victim, Carlotta's investigations--running parallel to work done by her cop-friend Mooney--reveal the work of a "coyote"--one who exploits illegal aliens. The case also teaches Carlotta a surprising lesson: much like male private eyes of yore, Carlotta looks at the opposite sex in sexually stereotyped terms. When her libido overcomes her better judgment she makes an error that could prove fatal. Carlotta is at her best when she focuses on the personal plight of the individuals who make up the nameless legion of potential deportees. While discovering the truth about them, she convincingly provides wisdom and comfort to the child she adores. Mystery Guild main selection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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February 28, 2005
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