Coyote Fork

Slant. Sept. 2020. 264p. ISBN 9781725253797. $34. F
Robert Lovelace, a washed-up travel journalist who lost his job owing to big media mergers, sits lurking in the audience at a press conference for the latest technology announcement from Global Village, a next-generation social media platform that is increasingly encroaching on individual privacy. Frustrated at becoming irrelevant, Lovelace follows someone who looks like his first love, Anne Grainger, and gets caught up in a protest of Global Village led by a group of Native Americans. When he finds out Grainger died by suicide at the very moment he thought he saw her, Lovelace begins to investigate the head of Global Village, Evan Bone, and his shady business practices. His journey takes him across the United States, where he uncovers more suicides, missing persons, and a free love cult whose remnants still reside near Coyote Fork. The investigation raises questions about corporate monopolies and privacy rights, as does James Patterson’s The Store, but Wilson (The Pieces) avoids pat solutions and clichéd characters.
VERDICT Wilson has a gift for crafting immersive settings, but a slow build with a nebulous resolution leaves this thriller just shy of thrilling.
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