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Tuesday 31 October 2017

‘The Cuban Affair’ by Nelson DeMille

Published by Sphere,
19 September 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-6588-1(HB)

Daniel 'Mac' MacCormick has a great life in Key West Florida, taking people out for day trips and fishing excursions on his forty-two-foot boat The Maine. The only trouble is he owes a quarter of a million dollars on it. Then a lawyer by the name of Carlos approaches him with an offer of two million dollars to charter his boat to Cuba. As a solution to his money problems this is too good a job to turn down. Carlos arranges for Mac to meet Eduardo Valaquez and Sara Ortega both members of a group of anti-communist Cubans.

They want him to smuggle out sixty million dollars along with other assets belonging to the people of Havana and which they had to leave behind when Castro and the communists took over. The idea is to distribute it back to the owners where possible and keep some to help fund their group.

Jack, the first mate of The Maine will take part in a fishing tournament in Cuba while Mac and Sara go to Havana with a party of ex-Yale students. They will bring the money and other assets to the boat and they will all come back to Key West on The Maine, what can go wrong? Well, plenty, and it does!

They have trouble knowing who they can trust. It seems everyone in Cuba is spying on everyone else and not all the population want the ensuing “Cuban Thaw”, many still hate the Americans. Then the dreaded Guarda Frontera show an interest in them.

Can they possibly get the money and assets and meet The Maine as arranged without being captured? The thought of that two-million-dollar payment drives Mac on to take risk after risk making for an exciting chase of cat and mouse right to the very end.

Nelson DeMille's books are always full of excitement and intrigue and this one is no exception. I always enjoy his way of writing, some amusement along with the tension.

The descriptions of Cuba bring the island vividly to life, a place where I have always wanted to visit. Now it is opening up more perhaps I shall have the chance. I just have to remember to avoid the Guarda Frontera! A greatly entertaining book, highly recommended.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track. DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
DeMille returned to the States and went back to Hofstra University where he received his degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and still lives on Long Island.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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