Karen Williams has once again created a novel that has left me in awe of her writing skills. Sometimes we reviewers choose certain books simply because we know the author is an excellent writer. That is the main reason I wanted to read Coyote Blues, I figured I would enjoy this book simply because Ms. Williams is the author. In this case, I underestimated my reaction to the story. I not only enjoyed the novel, I LOVED it!
Ms. Williams is turning me into a lover of paranormal tales, at least the ones that she writes. I think this is because she makes the paranormal aspects of the story seem normal. She did the same with the paranormal traits in her book, As the Crow Flies. This is probably the reason I love her paranormal stories so much.
Coyote Blues is not only a paranormal shapeshifter story. It is also a second chance love story with characters that are so believable, I feel I should be able to go visit them and their friends. The main character Riley, is a shapeshifter, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist as well as a part time professor teaching a course in personality disorders. Since the author herself is a psychotherapist in real life, the therapist aspect of the story definitely rings true. I would love to be a student in either Riley Dawson’s or Karen Williams’ class. This leads me to the bad guy in the novel. Ms. Williams has used her real life knowledge in social and psychological abnormalities to create a character you are going to despise. I know I did. Unfortunately this character also is very realistic since there are people in real life just like him.
This novel has several themes; family, loyalty and secrets. I think the major theme of this tale is family. It demonstrates how sometimes we have to make our own families when we are faced with destructive or non-existent family dynamics.
I do want to give a trigger warning. Part of the family theme involves the physical and psychological spousal abuse of a character. For those of you who might have a problem with that, just be aware it is discussed in the story.
I totally loved this story. Both the novel and the author are in my favorites list. This book has my highest recommendation.
I received an ARC from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.