Rossrn Nunamaker's Reviews > Killing Che: A Novel

Killing Che by Chuck Pfarrer
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's review
Apr 05, 2008

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bookshelves: fiction, history, suspense
Read in June, 2007

I finished reading "Killing Che" by Chuck Pfarrer a fictional account based on Che Guevara's final revolutionary attempt in Bolivia. The book is Pfarrer's first fictional novel, but he did write a non-fiction book and was a screenwriter for several movies including The Jackal, Hard Target, and Navy SEALs.

The book is set in Bolivia in 1967 at a time when the US fears a country by country communist revolution in South America. When a Bolivian army unit is eliminated by guerrilla's the CIA sends in a contractor to investigate. The contractor is Paul Hoyle, an ex-agent now seeking work after a divorce and early exit from the agency.

Hoyle is teamed with a CIA agent and they form a small unit that attempts to track the insurgents. One brush with the guerrilla's provides evidence that the unit is being led by the legendary Cuban Che Guevara. Guevara was thought to be dead and his possible presence increases the stakes.

As the story unfolds corruption and diplomacy go hand-in-hand from the Bolivian army to its government, and operatives in Cuba, Moscow, and the US are all in league at times and against one another at others.

While any student of history knows the ultimate outcome of the book, it had plenty of twists and turns and great insight into both the perspective of the insurgent and counter-insurgent.

In the beginning of the book I found there were some awkward word choices that pulled me out of the story. Some of the scenes were not written "naturally" and the only negative I could give would be that they just didn't have the "absolutely right" word at the right place. Not that this is easy to do, but it was noticeable to me as I read. I did think the middle and end were well done so for a first fiction effort it was a good one.

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