Book Review: Skinning the Coyote (Nick McAnulty)

Across all kinds of media, westerns and horror often go quite well together. The world of cowboys, lawmen, and outlaws in an untamed world blended with unexplainable terror, just seems to work. Be it in movie format, show format, comic format, or book format, and it is the latter that author Nick McAnulty presents.

A Toronto, Canada based writer/director behind the twisted found-footage film ‘Capture Kill Release’, his debut novel is called ‘Skinning the Coyote’ and it will be released on October 6th by Wicked House Publishing.

Doing an outstanding job of capturing the vast, wild aspects of the old West, you could be led to believe that Skinning the Coyote isn’t a horror tale if it wasn’t for the opening chapter. As, for most of its pages, it focuses on the story of disgraced former marshal Eli Cooke and his old partner, Shane. It’s the latter that comes to the former with a proposition – collect a bounty, but not just any bounty.

They’re after a train robber, one accused of mass murder, and one with several targets on his back. What should have been a simple job turns into something much deadlier as all sides converge in pursuit of their target.

This alone makes Skinning the Coyote a thrilling read, but there’s an even bigger threat out there. Something ancient, something monstrous, and something deadly. Enemies will have to put their issues aside if anyone is going to survive the nightmare that is this beast.

Brilliant. That’s the review of Skinning the Coyote in one word. A simply brilliant read that delivers on thrills and chills, it quickly becomes impossible to put the book down. Nick McAnulty’s work as a filmmaker helps him tremendously here as the book has a cinematic sheen that makes it easy to picture just what has been written. From the isolation and danger of the old west, to the varied characters and their emotions, to the horrifying beast, and of course, the blood and guts. Of which there is plenty.

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All of this leaps off the page and buries its way into the mind, and Nick McAnulty isn’t shy about going into graphic detail. Yet, the most compelling parts of the story are often the parts where characters just talk and reflect on the situations that they are in. It’s incredible how well written all these characters are, especially as there are quite a few. Many are likable, even when they’re not the best of people, so their plights become more powerful. The final section of the book is one of the tensest reads you’ll experience this year and that’s simply because of how important the characters are.

Make this into a movie. Give us a sequel. We just want more from this world and more from the mind of Nick McAnulty. Skinning the Coyote is a must-read.


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Skinning the Coyote (Nick McAnulty)
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