Cover image for Coyote revenge
Coyote revenge
Harris, Fred R., 1930-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
vii, 197 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



After Being Booted Out of law school at the height of the Great Depression, young Okie Dunn returns to his hometown, Vernon, only to discover that the world he left behind is falling apart. And when his childhood friend, Sheriff Dub Ready, is killed, Okie takes over the job, swearing to bring the killer to justice.But Okie soon learns that the search for truth can be a difficult and dangerous business. And when he tries to connect Dub's murder to the brutal slaying of Dub's parents two years earlier, Okie finds himself pitted against his lifelong friends, business associates, and a cold-blooded killer.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Former U.S. Senator Harris has written a fine novel and a fair mystery set in his home state of Oklahoma in 1937, the last days of the Dust Bowl. Okie Dunn and his father, Hudge, are scraping out a living farming and trading cattle. When Okie's old friend, Cash County sheriff Dub Ready, is murdered, Okie is asked to take the job. Against his father's advice, he accepts and sets out to find the killer. The mystery here is not very engrossing, as Harris telegraphs the solution nearly from the beginning. There is much to savor, however, in the interplay between the various characters, especially Okie's relationship with his dying father. Harris has the dust-bowl dialect down cold, and he is equally precise in capturing the revealing details of daily life: the "ten pound" card to be placed in the window for the ice man, or the differing sounds of various car horns. A convincing picture of life during a most difficult era in American history. --George Needham

Publisher's Weekly Review

The small town of Vernon, Okla., proves an evocative setting for the debut mystery written by a former U.S. senator from Oklahoma. In 1937, 26-year-old Okie Dunn returns to Vernon after a stormy stint in law school with his dreams of making it big dashed. Okie trades cattle for a spell, until his boyhood pal, Sheriff Dub Ready, dies in a hunting accident. Dub never was exactly an honest guy, but Okie always retained an affection for him and for Dub's sister, Juanita, who's still around and still single. After he's hastily appointed Dub's successor, Okie is disturbed to find a match between the bullets that killed Dub and those that killed Dub's parents years earlier in an apparent double suicide. The deaths take on an even more suspicious cast when Okie learns that Dub had been trying to buy land from the local Indians, land rumored to be rich in oil. What the 26-year-old Okie lacks in worldliness he makes up for with his quick fists, which the former welterweight boxer has more than one occasion to use as he learns the less than idyllic truth about his small hometown. Although the novel's characters are slight and its period detailing occasionally too earnest, Harris displays a solid prose style. His dialect is particularly well wrought, and he delivers several effective scenes; Okie's dad, for example, succumbs to lung cancer in a suitably somber section. Such well-wrought moments suggest readers can look forward to even better mysteries from Harris in the future. Agent, David Stewart Hull. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Rural dialect, strict adherence to period detail, and unsophisticated characters mark this debut novel by a former U.S. senator from Oklahoma about murder in 1937 Vernon, OK. Narrator Okie Dunn is appointed sheriff after someone "accidentally" kills his friend Dub during a jackrabbit hunt. Though untrained as a law officer, Okie recognizes the death as murderÄjust like the supposed double suicide of Dub's parents two years earlier. Okie has plenty of suspects to choose from (Dub's banker father repossessed many farms) and wide latitude in conducting his business (he sleeps with Dub's sister). Slow-going at first, but once Okie becomes sheriff, watch out! For larger collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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