This book grabbed me by the throat. I devoured its 400 pages in four readings, which is a new indoor record for me. Killing Red has, shall I say, the bones of a great thriller: troubled hero, damsel in distress, black-hearted central villain and a cast of characters every bit as colorful as "The Usual Suspects."
Henry Perez adds to this mix great pacing and true suspense. I didn't see the last turn coming but it's a good one. This book surprised throughout with its humanism, humor and whodunit twists.
Beyond that, Perez's treatment of his protagonist is first-rate. I really care about this guy and his all-too-real human weaknesses. Reporter Alex Chapa may have been born in Cuba but his willingness to take on his own dark past in his search for redemption makes him as 100% American as Rick Blaine.
Somebody wants to kill Red but you just have the sense that ain't gonna happen on Alex Chapa's watch, even if he has no idea how he'll stop them. He's smart, resourceful and relentless, his brain and his heart his best weapons against the array of dark forces around him.
I am definitely looking forward to another round of drinks at Prather's while I read Alex's next adventure. Hope it's soon.