Monday 26 September 2022




The second novel in the hard-charging 1980s vigilante series Doctor Death. First the mob took Kyle Youngblood’s freedom. Then they took his family. Now he’s getting retribution… using the lethal skills he honed as a Green Beret in Vietnam.

The mob hitmen thought that killing Kyle Youngblood would be easy, that he was just another hick rancher. They were wrong. They arrived in designer suits… and they left in body bags. But their killings, done in self-defence were used against Youngblood in a crooked trial that sent him to prison. For years, he rotted in a cage, unable to save his wife and children from the mob executioners. Now he’s free…and on a relentless quest for vengeance that takes him Nevada to Cuba, from the beaches of South Florida to the heart of darkness within his own soul. Nothing will stop him until he tastes the blood of final retribution.

Retribution is the second in Herb Fisher’s Doctor Death series. Sad to say, I didn’t enjoy it as much as that first outing with Kyle Youngblood.

The aftermath from Doctor Death sees Kyle in prison, his family unprotected and Marty Fallon, the mob boss who continued the violence after the death of his son, taking vengeance on Kyle’s family before fleeing to a fortress down Mexico way. Kyle gets paroled and as the title of the book suggests wants some retribution.

So far, so good then. I enjoyed the set up and the prison scenes and I enjoyed the initial sortie on the mobster’s home. After that, the plot went in a direction I didn’t particularly vibe, with a tale of missing mob millions buried in Cuba and a plan to reassemble a unit of former Nam buddies, including an untrustworthy sort to plan a small scale invasion and recovery mission to extract the $30m and thus have the finances available to continue with the primary goal of retribution on Fallon.

Plenty of action and adventure follows with in no particular order … several reunions, the recruitment of an anti-Castro patriot, a boat trip to Cuba, an encounter with a stripper-cum-mob daughter, plus some dodgy Federal agents, a few Russians and several boat loads of Cubans and Kyle’s former Captain from Vietnam. Death by gun, death by explosion, death from hand-to-hand fighting, death on foreign soil, death at sea, death at home. Lots of death overall.

I did like the main character, Kyle Youngblood. I get his motivation and I’m rooting for him to succeed, not that it will bring his family back. He’s loyal and capable, as well as cunning and intelligent. I think the writing just fell a bit short in respect of feeling his sense of grief and loss. It didn’t really move me emotionally. 

I enjoyed the easy camaraderie Kyle had with his former unit members. There’s a tight bond of brotherhood between them. They’re anxious to support Kyle, but equally there’s some personal profit to be scored if the mission is successful and they come home in one piece.

I was never bored reading it. I didn’t dislike it and there were more positives than negatives. I just found the Cuban diversion a bit of a stretch for believability. Maybe it was a case of right time for reading, but the wrong book. On another day, maybe I’d have loved it. Sometimes my mood affects my enjoyment of a book. 

Still, I’m looking forward to the third in the series sometime soon. Roll on Slaughter Island.

3 stars from 5    

Read – August, 2022
Published – 1988
Page count – 313
Source – Kindle Unlimited
Format – Kindle


  1. Kyle does sound like an interesting character, Col. I can't say I'm all that much into revenge tales, even if the desire for revenge is completely understandable. Still, the settings sound good, and I could see how the character would appeal.

    1. Margot, I'm a sucker for a revenge tale personally. If the motivation is there, bring it on! Just not quite a total vibe here for me, but still I had fun reading.