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Book Review - The Last Kill

Written by Don Neal








Reviewed by Kirsten @ Mobius


"Historical Alaskan mystery with non-stop suspense"

In Don Neal’s fourth installment of the Ben Hunnicutt series, The Last Kill, we find Ben having left “Operation Washtub” in Alaska to fight on the Korean battlefields in 1953. After a brief interlude in Japan, Ben sustains a battle wound that sends him back to the states near the end of the Korean war, where he serves the remainder of his military years never making it back to Alaska until his retirement in 1967 when he keeps his promise to himself and moves to Anchorage. In the midst of his retirement, and the middle of the Vietnam War, Ben is mysteriously contacted by an intelligence operative he met while in Japan. The South Vietnamese treasury has been sacked and the gold is allegedly being smuggled to mining operations in Alaska where it can be converted into cash. If Ben can find out who the rogue miners are, he can help to re-stabilize the South Vietnamese government. But nothing is as simple as it seems.


History, mystery, and thrills are at the heart of the latest addition to the intriguing Ben Hunnicutt series. The novel is broken into two parts: Korea and Alaska. Both parts to this book are extremely realistic and insightful, providing detail that can only come from an author who has first-hand experience in war and a knowledge of Alaska as both a territory and a newly inducted state. The author’s notes section at the end of the book is a helpful addition as well, providing background information for readers who may not be familiar with some of the military terminology, Japanese/Korean culture, and Alaskan geography throughout the book. In addition to the murder mystery and historical aspects of this novel, Neal incorporates adventure, stunning scenery, and a slight dusting of romance for a story that will keep any reader captivated to the surprise ending.


The Last Kill is a historically rich and realistic narrative that will leave readers ready to book a trip to Alaska.


About the author:

Don Neal, author of the Ben Hunnicutt novels, is a retired soldier. Reared in Suffolk and in Surry County in southern Virginia, he dropped out of the College of William and Mary and enlisted in the Army after the Chinese entered the Korean War in late 1950. His 28 years of service encompassed nearly the entire Cold War period, taking him to Japan, Germany, Korea, and Alaska. He has served in the Infantry, Field Artillery, Armor, and Air Defense Missile branches. His final ten years of service were in Alaska with the Nike Hercules Air Defense units protecting the Anchorage and Fairbanks population centers during the Cold War.


Neal and his family have resided in the Anchorage area for over 50 years. His hobbies include military history and the research and study of antique and historical firearms, with an occasional foray into drag racing.

Abstract terms: Vietnam War, Korean War, Cold War, Gold, Smuggling, Mining, Alaska, Mountain


Published by First Edition Design Publishing, in paperback and eBook formats. The book contains approximately 220 pages. Genre: Political Historical Fiction. ISBN PBK, 9781506907970, ISBN EBK, 9781506908250

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