“The Hunters” by Tom Young is a mystery novel for airplane enthusiasts. It takes readers back to the days when pilots had to use many of their own skills and instincts to fly. Because he served in the Air National Guard, he incorporates this knowledge into the stories.
“I have had a life long interest in the DC-3,” Young told blackfive.net. “I got the idea for this story when I was personally approached in the 1990s to fly a relief mission. It did not involve a DC-3, but rather my favorite plane, a C-130 Hercules. Unfortunately, this project never got off the ground. I wondered if this group had settled for a less expensive plane, the DC-3, maybe it could have been realized.”
This is more of a Colombo-type mystery where readers know almost from the very beginning the outcome of the struggle. What makes the pages turn is trying to figure out how the protagonists will escape.
The story begins with Col. Michael Parson being convinced by his good friend Sophia Gold into using his leave from the Air Force to fly relief supplies into Somalia in an antique DC-3 cargo plane. They come up against an al-Shabaab leader, The Sheikh, who recruits young boys to become Jihadists for food and violently kills anyone working with the aid group.
“Parsons has grown over the years,” Young noted to blackfive.net. “In rank he has been promoted from major to colonel and has become a commander. He sees himself as wanting to use his skills to make the world a better place.”
The theme of the book is something people have struggled with throughout history; Does one good deed overcome all the other horrific acts? Although Young attempted to draw sympathy for the teenage Jihadist Hussein, it fell short. His actions were not just violent but horrifying be-headings. How could someone become redeemable, and should they, after committing these acts?
“The Hunters” has a very violent plot, so anyone squeamish might have trouble with the storyline. Others will find it a fast-paced, action packed plot.