“The Cuban Affair” by Nelson DeMille

  • Simon & Schuster. 448 pages. Hardcover $28.99

Razor-sharp storytelling from a seasoned pro.

Thriller master Nelson DeMille has struck again with a wise-cracking protagonist who joins forces committed to liberating Cuba from communist rule. Key West charter-fishing captain “Mac” MacCormick is ready to put his skills and his boat in the service of this cause, but he is not a partisan to the cause. 

Rather, he is in it for the payoff and for the body (if not the soul) of the beautiful, courageous woman who hires him. Sara Ortega and her associates seek the recovery of $60 million hidden years ago by her grandfather. Also to be taken out of Cuba are countless documents that establish ownership rights to property and other assets that had been confiscated by the Castro regime.

The Cuba that DeMille portrays is colorful and has some fascinating historical landmarks, but it is at bottom a corrupt police state. Mac is stepping into a situation of extreme danger. The plan sounds solid, but it is very far from a sure thing. A fishing tournament arranged by Sara’s accomplices is the cover event for the grand theft. The team hopes to take advantage of the so-called thaw between Havana and Washington, though assessments of the thaw’s value are mixed.

Nelson Demille

Mac is DeMille’s narrator, and his distinctive personality and voice dominate the razor-sharp storytelling. Mac’s military experiences during two tours in Afghanistan are his personal context for understanding the complex situation in which he has placed himself. He sees things from an infantry officer’s perspective — an outlook jaded by shaky alliances, the perils of nation-building, and the conflict between the idealism of ostensible goals and less noble underlying motives. . . .

To see the full review, as it appears in the Washington Independent Review of Books,  click here: The Cuban Affair

This blog entry was to have been posted in 2018, but was lost until recently.

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