Nena Herrera-Casey is the coyota, the youngest in her large extended Mexican-American family. Her life in Albuquerque seems placid enough. She teaches Spanish part time at the University and sells handicrafts imported from south of the border at the flea market.
But Nena has nightmares—vivid, chilling, violent, and recurring. When she overhears two Drug Enforcement Agents’ whispered conversation, she becomes unwittingly entangled in a mysterious “accident”, a fiery plane crash that kills a former student. Was the conversation she overheard actually the plot to murder him?
Nena leaves for Mexico on a vacation with Cal, her new lover. She plans to introduce him to her relatives and the delights of a country dear to her. But Cal is disinterested, monocultural, and narrow minded. His misunderstandings of Mexican culture provide a comic view of a clueless Gringo.
As Nena’s vacation becomes an ordeal, rogue DEA agents conspire to set her up on bogus drug charges. The suspense tightens while her worst nightmares stalk her as she escapes into the Mexican desert.
Coyota won Independent Publishers Association’s Bronze IPPY Award, for West-Mountain Regional Fiction and was a finalist for Best Mystery/ Suspense fiction at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.
“Coyota is the consummate Southwestern novel, a story of the peaceful Mexicos, new and old, and the underbelly of corruption that lies beneath them. . . .Smart, feisty, vulnerable Nena Herrera-Casey, an innocent and principled bystander . . . is swept onto the vicious trading field where honest commerce with Mexico and drug trafficking collide. Egan tells her story with the sure hand of a writer who knows both sides of the peso.”
—Sara Voorhees, Author of The Lumière Affair: A Novel of Cannes
“Nena Herrera-Casey (Coyota) is a young Mexican-American woman living a peacefully normal existence in Albuquerque. When she inadvertently runs afoul of two crooked Drug Enforcement agents who want to kill her, peace and normalcy are the last adjectives to describe what becomes of her life. Martha Egan has written a bi-culturally smart, swift moving, page turner….”
—Page Stegner, author of The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner
“Egan knows her territory, She’s got the ambience, culture, and color of Mexico and New Mexico nailed. Stay tuned for what follows.”
—Gloria Fraser Giffords, author of Sanctuaries of Stone and Light: The Churches of Northern New Spain, 1530-1821.
“Egan tells a fast-paced story with plenty of suspense and a well-drawn sense of place…”
—Candelora Versace, Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican, May 23, 2008
“Egan’s descriptive writing is vivid and compelling.”
—David Steinberg, The Albuquerque Journal
“A gripping thriller all the way through.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Coyota richly illustrates Mexico’s charms, foibles, and idiosyncrasies, and the comedy that can result from cultural misunderstandings.”
—Atencíon, San Miguel de Allende, December 28, 2007
“…It is apparent that author Martha Egan, who is an importer herself, is very familiar with Mexico and its culture and the Hispanic culture of the Southwest, of which she writes without sentimentality or clichés.”
—Adrian Bustamante, La Herencia, Summer, 2008