Written by Gabino Iglesias
Review by Roy Peak
Coyote Songs is that rare beast of a book. Powerful and moving, scary and horrific in the truest and most honest sense of the words. This "barrio noir" by Gabino Iglesias transcends the horror genre and makes all too real the pain of death, revenge, escape, self-recognition, and triumph. Iglesias gives voice to women and children, the marginalized and the lost, killers and ghosts alike in these linked tales from the Mexican-American border during the dark time of the Trump administration.
Iglesias writes with fury and poetry laced together much like a bloodier Harry Crews. He spares no punches, he goes the extra mile. This is a writer fearless to make an impact, and troubled by the injustices he sees in his world, spinning those injustices into well crafted stories of transformation. A dying woman becomes a ghost of vengeance, a son works for a murderer to avenge his father's death, an artist becomes a killer in order to become famous, a mother must overcome the monstrous thing that is slowly killing her in order to save her son. Blood is an important ingredient in this book. The blood that ties a mother to her son, a son to his father. The blood that pools on the ground after a body is riddled with bullets. The blood that boils inside one hell-bent on revenge.
Iglesias' characters stay with you. Don't crack open this book unless you enjoy sleepless nights. In these linked stories there are no easy answers, no happily ever afters, no easy endings. Just like real life, only scarier.
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville.