Only when he meets a professional hunter does Micah LaVeck learn the most precious lessons about living. His town on Aquidneck Island is beset with a flourishing coyote population. Residents are divided on how to cope. The mayor of Middletown offers a compromise: a lone professional hunter acting humanely and discreetly in concert with the Conservation Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife. Micah isn't the only one surprised when the hunter turns out to be a Native American from a local tribe, and a woman. For Micah, there is more to Kodi Red Moon than meets the eye, and he is intrigued. A relationship, however, seems improbable. He's an older bachelor, retired federal civil servant, and semi-incapacitated with a nerve and muscle disease. She's younger, athletic, exotic, and an army-trained sniper. Her initial hunts are successful, but despite the mayor's attempt to curtail publicity, it's a small island. What isn't seen on town streets is observed over hedges and across ponds. Conflicting factions emerge on more than two sides. Local amateur hunters want their crack at the "fair game." Reporters scream freedom of the press and want details. As the entire operation starts to unravel, Kodi and Micah are bonding more and more each day and with each hunt. Nature is a force. So is love. They both have lessons to learn.
"James Conroy's The Coyote Hunter of Aquidneck Island is a charming tale, set within a small, idyllic New England enclave. Retired federal civil servant Micah LaVeck finds himself in the middle of a divisive overpopulation issue in his town on Aquidneck Island. A rampant coyote population threatens both the ecological stability and public safety of the community. A heated debate ensues, partially halted by the mayor's suggestion that a trained hunter be employed to humanely attempt to eradicate the problem. Kodi Red Moon, a skilled native hunter and army-trained sniper, surprises everyone in town with her arrival. Taken with her instantly, Micah doubts the possibility of a relationship; Kodi is young, beautiful, and talented, while his muscular disability and age threaten his self-confidence. The town simmers with discontent as eradication stalls, this time with potentially disastrous outcomes. Micah and Kodi find themselves drawn together by circumstance and forces larger than themselves. The novel is entertaining and then some. Complex characters and excellent dialogue make the novel both believable and fulfilling. Conroy's use of syntax is refreshing and keeps the text moving quickly. The unusual nature of Micah and Kodi's blossoming relationship is well handled, with Conroy shirking traditional romance mores for a more straightforward and character-driven approach. The lead pair's chemistry is palpable, and though it is a driving force of the narrative, it never overshadows the initial issue of the coyote problem. Conroy seamlessly weaves both story lines together, creating a dynamic world. Kodi stands out as one of the novel's great strengths. Capable, intelligent, and with a firm understanding of herself and her heightened ability, she is an invigorating reversal of the damsel-in-distress model so prevalent in similar novels. As a member of the Narragansett tribe, she also gives voice to a people working tirelessly to regain their land rights. The Coyote Hunter of Aquidneck Island is a fresh and exciting story of love and conservation." Foreword Reviews