cover image Kill the Heroes: A Charlie Henry Mystery

Kill the Heroes: A Charlie Henry Mystery

David Thurlo. Minotaur, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-11966-7

At the start of Thurlo’s uneven fourth Charlie Henry mystery (after 2016’s Rob Thy Neighbor), the war veteran and pawnshop owner attends the dedication of a new public park in Albuquerque, N.Mex., honoring local heroes. When a gunman opens fire, an Army helicopter pilot sitting near Charlie is fatally shot in the chest. A message later found on the gate of an area middle school suggests that the shooting may have been an ISIS terrorist attack. Charlie worries for the safety of his friend Dawud Khoury, who was his translator in Afghanistan and is now a U.S. citizen. After Charlie and fellow vet Gordon Sweeney are shot at, the cops’ interest turns to Dawud’s 16-year-old son, Caleb. The arrival of a dangerous CIA agent raises the stakes. While the focus on Islamophobia and terrorism is timely and the action scenes are well done, the pervasive tough-guy talk and otherwise awkward dialogue get tiresome. Charlie’s burgeoning romance with single mother Ruth Brooks, who works at his pawn shop, doesn’t add much. [em]Agent: Peter Rubie, Fine Print Literary Management. (Aug.) [/em]