BOOK OF THE DAY
Killer Nashville 2018 Silver Falchion Nominee
By Kathryn Lane
Pen-L Publishing | $16.95
September 27, 2017
Review by Sharon Marchisello
Kathryn Lane, winner of two 2017 Silver Falchion awards, has delivered another engaging thriller. Coyote Zone (Pen-L Publishing, 2017) is a follow-up to her debut novel, Waking Up in Medellin, which was named Best Book of the Year for 2017 and Best Adult Suspense Fiction.
Spunky Mexican-American heroine Nikki Garcia is back, as well as several other characters from Lane's debut novel. When the story opens, Nikki is vacationing in the Yucatan with her fiancé Eduardo, but their lovefest is interrupted by a call from her new boss, Floyd, to investigate a kidnapping in San Miguel de Allende. Nikki is uniquely qualified to handle the job because she is a woman, speaks Spanish fluently, and is already in the country.
Bibiana Lombardi, the 10-year-old daughter of Italian immigrant restaurant owner Sofia Lombardi, disappears in a crowded market when her mother turns her head for a moment. No one can provide any information except for a maligned bag lady, Juana la Marihuana, who claims to have seen the child nabbed by a coyote, i.e., human trafficker.
Sofia assumes her estranged husband, Paolo, and his domineering mother, Chiara, have taken the child, and she refuses to listen to the crazy street woman, but Nikki and Eduardo are determined to follow all leads. Nikki ends up going undercover and walking right into the coyote's den, putting her own life in jeopardy to save Bibiana and other children from a terrible fate.
Not only is this a page-turning thriller with twist after heart-wrenching twist, but it brings awareness to the very real issue of human trafficking. Lane's research is apparent and the reader feels a strong sense of place.
In addition to the two novels in the Nikki Garcia Thriller Series, Kathryn Lane has published a collection of short stories, Backyard Volcano. Originally from Mexico, she has a background in accounting and international finance, which allowed her to travel extensively. She and her husband reside in The Woodlands, Texas, where she serves on the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.
Sharon Marchisello (sharonmarchisello.com) is the author of Going Home, (Sunbury Press, 2014) a murder mystery inspired by her mother's battle with Alzheimer's. She earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Peachtree City, GA, with her husband and cat, does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society, and writes a blog about personal finance, Countdown to Financial Fitness https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/.