The Unsung Hero is the first book in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series. Navy SEAL Tom Paoletti is forced to take medical leave after a near-fatal head injury. He decides to head home for the month off, but when he’s in his small hometown in Massachusettes he spots a terrorist. When he calls his superiors for help with the situation he is brushed off because the man he thinks he saw is on the presumed dead list. While Tom is home he struggles with the unknown. Is the man he saw really just a civilian, or is he a terrorist responsible for the deaths of over 900 people?
The plausibility of Tom’s small hometown being targeted by an international terrorist is not the only problem he has to face. Kelly Ashton, who’s father is best friends with Tom’s Uncle Joe, asks Tom to step in and help the two older gentleman settle a dispute they are having over finally speaking up about what happened to the two men during World War II. Kelly also happens to be the love that Tom ran away from all those years ago and he tries to distance himself from her,but Kelly wants no part of that. She’s got her mind set, and its time for Tom to stop viewing her as the “nice girl.” Tom’s sister, known by many as a screw-up in the town of Baldwin’s Bridge asks him to deal with Mallory, his neice.
There is a lot going on in The Unsung Hero, but it is not difficult to follow. Brockmann’s execution of the different story lines is flawless – at least it is in my opinion. Overall, I loved this book, it was very enjoyable. Brockmann had me laughing, crying, and sighing.
There are actually two developing romances in the story, that of Tom and Kelly, and also Tom’s neice Mallory with David Sullivan. The two relationships were different, which I really liked, and its not just because of the age difference between the two couples. Tom and Kelly were attracted to each other as teenagers, but because Kelly was younger than Tom, and too young by his standers, as well as innocent, he ran from her. Now that the two are older, and Kelly is divorced, Tom has no excuse to run this time. The relationship between Mallory and David is different, and awesome if I may say so myself. David approaches Mallory when he realizes she would be the perfect model for his new graphic novel character, Nightshade. Mallory wants nothing to do with the totally dorky David, but he is persistent, and eventually romance buds between the two.
Another component to the story is the argument between Joe and Charles. The two are in disagreement over their past in World War II and there are flashbacks to the war so that you can understand what it is the two men are fighting about. What happened during the was was actually one of the more emotional points of the story for me because of the fact that I have several family members who have served in wars. There is a lot of soul in that piece.
When everything comes together with the romances, the two old men, and the possible terrorist threat that the small town is facing, its a great read. The last chunk of the book is where all of the terrorist action is, so up until that point its more getting to know the characters, Tom dealing with his family and injury, and all the background that you need to know for the ending to make sense. All in all, an enjoyable read and I look forward to continuing the series.