Coyote Wind (Gabriel Du Pre #1)by Published 15 Jul 1995
|Coyote Wind (Gabriel Du Pre #1).pdf|
|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
When a thirty-year-old plane wreck is discovered, French-Indian cattle-brand inspector Gabriel Du Pre takes up his deputy duties to find out why one of the skeletal remains has a bullet hole in its head. Reprint. PW. NYT.
"Coyote Wind (Gabriel Du Pre #1)" Reviews
This is a book about character and place. The murder mystery moves the story forward, but is used mostly to tell us about the character of Gabriel DuPre. In fact, it doesn't really work well as a murder mystery because its solution comes mostly from a deus ex machina in the form of a local quasi-shaman / full time drunkard named Benetsee. DuPre solves the mystery, but only after getting not so subtle hints from Benetsee. Even then it wasn't clear (to me) how DuPre made the logical leap that led him to the solution.
No matter. What counts most in this story is the character of DuPre and "his women": his daughters and his woman friend, Madeleine. DuPre is basically an angry redneck living amongst angry ignorant rednecks. Not a promising start, but DuPre stands above the rest by being smarter and more self-aware and by having the kind of personal code and integrity that you might expect of a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood character. Much is made in the book blurbs and reviews of the novel that DuPre is mixed French-Indian, and it's certainly true that Bowen goes to lengths to make sure we don't forget that: DuPre thinks and talks with a kind of French-Creole rhythm and is constantly musing on the history of both the French voyageurs and the defeats and massacres inflicted on native Americans. Nonetheless, he's basically a shit-kicker like the rest of the people in Toussaint Montana and not a person you'd like to spend any time with; not, that is, if you are the sort of urban college-educated person most likely to have read this book. But his self awareness and intelligence make him an almost likable character.
His younger daughter, Maria, is a 14 year old faux-rebellious honor student who seems to be left home by herself a lot while DuPre spends his nights with Madeleine. Maria is one of the more interesting characters in the novel, but is not a very believable character. I think Bowen tried too hard (or maybe not hard enough) to have her be a smart and basically 'good' girl, but the result is that she's just a little too good to be true.
The story seemed pretty contrived, as though Bowen had made a plot outline, carefully highlighting the main points, and didn't have the time or the energy to fill in the details that would have made it seem like something other than a made-up tale. The elements are: rich decacent family with pseudo-ranch, old plane wreck with one skull too many, useless brain-dead sheriff, local drunkard with supernatural insights, cattle-brand inspector with a fiddle and a creole accent and an attitude. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Still, despite its flaws I liked this book a lot. The DuPre character is pretty interesting, as long as you don't have to be in the same room with him.
Very enjoyable little western. I like Peter Bowen's writing style.
Montana cattle brand inspector and part time lawman Gabriel Du Pre, a Metis(pronounced Meh-tee, French for mixed blood) is asked to accompany a cowboy who'd claimed to have found a crashed plane in the mountains while hunting. The FAA, not missing any planes, wants proof it's not just some drunken cowboy's fantasies.
It's not and it's not a recent crash either. Every piece of metal is rusted and bones are scattered all over. Du Pre finds a skull with a bullet still rattling around in the brain case. Eventually three skulls are found, the one with the bullet much less weathered than the other two.
The plane went down in 1959 and it had only a rancher and his wife aboard. Who was the third man and when had he ended up at the site?
The area belonged to a rich family, outsiders who'd arrived in the mid-sixties, a beaten down bunch with only two survivors, a brother and sister. Another sister had died and a brother had simply disappeared twenty-five years ago. His was the third skull.
The surviving brother, Gabe, who Du Pre had met and liked hires him to find out who killed his brother. The trail leads our part time lawman up into Canada and brings up old secrets from his own family.
An interesting character is Gabriel Du Pre, well different from any I have read. Liked this book.
I borrowed this audiobook from the library, only on the basis of the Coyote in the title. I have a unique understanding of Coyote, but that is another story.
I very much liked this story, as read by Christopher Lane. I love the characters. Gabriel Du Pré, Madelaine, Benetsee, Bart, Maria, Jaquelaine, all her kids.
Du Pré is a cattle inspector, fiddler, and now, thanks to Benetsee, a reluctant detective.
Oh heck. I suck at reviews. I just really fell in love with the characters and the Métis way, as portrayed by Bowen. This is the first book in a very delightful series. I recommend all of them.
This is the first book in a murder mystery series about Gabriel Du Pre , a mixed blood French Indian, cattle brand inspector, who sometimes moonlights as a detective in Montana. If you like Tony Hillerman , you will enjoy this unusual character who struggles with his traditional beliefs and living in the wide open spaces
of Montana. The setting gives you a feel of the local history and people who inhabit the wild west.