Che’s Last Stand by William E. Dempsey

★★★★  William Dempsey’s latest military historical fiction novel follows the adventures of CIA members Mike Stafford and Felix Molina as they work tirelessly to take down communist Cuba in the 1960s. Both veterans in the CIA, Mike and Felix rely on their insider knowledge of Cuba as well as the loyalty of each other and their fellow Americans to travel the world and defend American values against the threat of communism. This adventures revolves around the take out of Ernesto Guevara, a Cuban in charge of spreading communism into Bolivia and the Congo. Mike and Felix continually risk themselves and sacrifice their personal relationships in order to stop Che and his soldiers from gaining influence in regions vulnerable to communism. With action, adventure, romance, and international travel, Mike and Felix triumph over their communist enemies around the world.

William Dempsey combines both historical and fictional characters to create a vivid and intriguing world where the threat to America is very real. The cast of characters provides both humor and depth to Mike and Felix’s journey to bring down Che. The author’s extensive knowledge of the time period and the many military and CIA operations lend credibility and authenticity to the plot. While the main characters do seem invincible, the adventures are sill relatable. The story in general would benefit from stronger female characters. The female characters are one dimensional and only as relevant as their relationship to their father, brother, husband, or lover. They are often passive to the plot but if they had more varied, less traditional roles the plot would becomes more nuanced. History buffs and military adventure readers of all ages will enjoy this fast paced account of the turbulent 1960s through the eyes of two CIA members.

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