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Kill the Heroes (Charlie Henry) by David Thurlo
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover / eBook  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250119667
Date: 29 August 2017 List Price $26.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Charlie Henry, a Navajo Indian and an Afghanistan war vet, is co-owner of FOB Pawn in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is invited to a dedication ceremony at Recognition Park. During the ceremony, one of his fellow patriots, Nathan Whitaker, is killed by a sniper's bullet. Is the sniper a terrorist who wants to kill all the war heroes, including Charlie? (Several attempts are made on his life.) Or is someone using the fear of terrorism and the hatred of Muslims as a smokescreen to prevent anyone from discovering the true reason behind Whitaker's murder?

David Thurlo's latest Charlie Henry novel, Kill the Heroes, is the most thrilling, most provocative mystery in this series. There is a lot of violent gun play, senseless brawling, and beautiful women--everything you'd find in a southwestern noir. Despite the violent action, the novel's mystery is superb. Who killed Nathan Whitaker? I didn't learn the killer's identity until nearly the novel's end. There are a ton of suspects, many of whom are eliminated by their violent deaths.

Kill the Heroes brings much attention to the sorrowful plight of our vets. Many of them suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are homeless. Whitaker owned a nonprofit organization, Back Up, which helps vets find jobs. It becomes the center of Charlie's investigation.

This novel also focuses on the harassment of innocent minorities. I've always said there are people with low self-esteem who aren't happy unless they are ridiculing someone else who is different from them. My heart bleeds for the family of Duwad Kaury. Duwad risked his life to help American soldiers in Afghanistan. Now his family has obtained asylum in the United States, the same county that now wants to ban immigration from countries with high Muslim populations. The Duwad family is Christian. Unfortunately, Christians at their church in Albuquerque are harassing them, forcing them to remain home on Sundays.

Ed Humphrey, a state senator, is capitalizing on this "terrorist shooting" at Recognition Park. He's using it to gain votes among the uneducated, racist rednecks. Have real-life politicians ever used fear to gain votes? Adolph Hitler exploited Germany's depressed economy and a fear and anger of Jews in order to gain power in a country that was desperate for change.

Charlie Henry is a likeable character. His partner at FOB Pawn is still his fellow serviceman, the short but tough-as-nails Gordon Sweeney. Charlie is dating an employee, Ruth, who was once in the witness protection program. Her ex-husband, Lawrence Westerfield, has escaped from prison. He has vowed to kill Ruth for testifying against him. Westerfield becomes one of many suspects in Whitaker's death. After all, it was Ruth and Charlie who were sitting on the stage next to Whitaker when he was fatally shot. Charlie and his friends will all remain in danger until the killer is caught.

David Thurlo's Kill the Heroes is a complex, explosive, shoot-'em-up action thriller with a good mystery. Fans of Thurlo and Charlie Henry will be very pleased. It is a provocative novel that makes readers think about what America truly is and who comprises it. It is a land of diverse people consisting of many races and religions. It is our differences that make this country strong. We all have special gifts that we can contribute to this beautiful tapestry of human life called America.

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