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Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite
H: Infidels of Oil is the latest offering from Ray Palla. And if you enjoy thrillers where the murderous band of antagonists gets their comeuppance from a gaggle of good ‘ole boy roughnecks, then Mr. Palla has a rollicking novel just for you. In a story set predominately in the West Texas red-dirt wastelands, a band of oil company roughnecks heading toward their next job site stumble upon a small group of Islamist terrorists that are bound and determined to bring America to its knees by detonating a number of hydrogen bombs in oil wells across the region. Will the terrorists be foiled in time? Which nation is behind the attacks? Can the Federal government keep the entire operation under wraps? Will the socially-awkward “Pad” find love in the most unexpected of ways? And is the slow-roast brisket ready yet? Mr. Palla’s H: Infidels of Oil will leave you hungry for more.
Set amongst a backdrop of Texas barbecue, cold beer and enough swirling red dirt to keep you squinting for the foreseeable future, Mr. Palla weaves a fascinating tale that also manages to mix in many of the hot button political issues of our time as our protagonists traverse the highways and byways from Midland to Monahans to an explosive showdown in Orla, Texas. Mr. Palla blends a cast of characters that are easily likable and could have been plucked from any honky-tonk between Amarillo to Odessa, though he chooses to keep his terrorists opaque, leaving their origins and personal mindsets in much murkier waters. For how can a Westerner truly penetrate the mind of an individual willing to kill for their faith?