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Grave Consequences (Charlie Henry) by Aimée Thurlo and David Thurlo
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250029003
Date: 28 April 2015 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Authors' Website / Show Official Info /

A deadly shootout ensues when three armed men attempt to steal a turquoise squash blossom necklace from FOB Pawn, which is owned by war veterans Charlie Henry and Gordon Sweeney. It is soon learned that the necklace was stolen from the grave of a Navajo silversmith, Cordell Buck, who was shot to death in the parking lot of the casino he managed.

Meanwhile, Henry's brother Al, an undercover cop, has infiltrated a carjacking ring known as the Night Crew. They are controlled by the ruthless Clarence Fasthorse. He and his mom, Sheila Mae Ben, own the Piñon Mesa Steakhouse. Murder is on the menu for Charlie and Gordon when they plan to destroy the carjacking ring.

Nonstop action and ruthless killers make David and Aimée Thurlo's second Charlie Henry mystery, Grave Consequences, an exciting read. The best friends, who once served together in the Middle East and are now co-owners of FOB Pawn, know how to protect themselves on the mean streets of Albuquerque. The body count is a high one in Grave Consequences. This novel is a genuine shoot-'em-up thriller for gun and rifle connoisseurs. A car bomb and a grenade are thrown in free of charge. Fast cars, sleazy women, and weapons galore make this novel suitable to be made into a film directed by either Quinten Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez.

Grave Consequences focuses on Charlie Henry's Navajo ancestry more so than the series' superb debut, The Pawnbroker. The reader meets Charlie's jerk brother, Al, who is trying to get his life back on track. A demoted cop, he is risking his life going undercover in order to gain favor with the police force. Readers also meet Charlie's sister Jayne, a beauty who has a habit of taking in loser men and attempting to rehabilitate them. Rounding out the family reunion are Charlie's successful parents; his father is a retired lawyer and a tribal judge and his mother is a retired school teacher. One of my favorite scenes is when Charlie's mom threatens to stomp Sheila Mae Ben if Charlie doesn't tell her what is going on between them. She reminds me of my mom.

If not for the occasional gunfire, shattering of glass, and splintering of wood, FOB Pawn would be a great place to work. Charlie always praises his hired help, Jake Salazar, an ex-wrestler, and Ruth Adams, who is in the witness protection program. ("Ruth Adams" isn't her real name.) Charlie is friends with APS Sergeant Nancy Medina who is the life partner of Charlie's former high school sweetheart, Gina Sinclair, an attorney. Charlie and Gordon assist Detective DuPree during his investigation of the Night Crew, which was once a relatively harmless team of carjackers but now has become deadly in its pursuit of the stolen squash blossom necklace. Though Grave Consequences is mostly a shoot-'em-up crime novel, there are still the mysteries of who shot Cordell Buck and the location of Lola Tso, the woman who originally pawned the necklace to FOB Pawn and has since disappeared.

A fast-paced New Mexico crime drama, Grave Consequences has plenty of weapons, gun fire, high tech surveillance, cloak-and-dagger intrigue, likeable heroes, naughty girls, and nasty villains. Characters are carefully drawn and made to appear larger than life. The plot had some genuine surprises; the identity of Cordell Buck's assassin was kept a secret to almost the very end. I actually enjoyed Grave Consequences more than The Pawnbroker. I have a lot of high hopes for this series and look forward to the next installment.

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