The versatile Nelson DeMille presents us with the next book coming from his fertile imagination. We have a new main character, an action-filled plot and the usual amount of tongue-in-cheek humor interspersed with that action.
Daniel Graham MacCormick, or as his friends call him Mac, is a U.S. Army veteran that served five years as an infantry officer in Afghanistan. He has the medals to show that he served with distinction while stationed there. We meet him living in Key West Florida, owning a 42-foot charter boat along with the bank as the principal owner and looking at a future he’s not too happy with.
Mac is waiting at the Green Parrot Bar; a Key West landmark, for Carlos a lawyer from Miami whose forte is representing anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire him for a 10-day cruise to Cuba, paying the standard rate.
Mac quickly turns it down but jumps when Carlos presents him with a new plan to go after a hidden fortune and a chance to make 2 million dollars for the same trip. Obviously, the new plan is fraught with danger in order to enable MacCormick to earn that kind of money. But – money talks – quite loudly as a matter of fact. And it doesn’t hurt when the very beautiful Sara Ortega is presented as the person that will accompany Mac on the trip. It will be her job to handle the details involved going after the hidden fortune. Sara is an American citizen of Cuban background and has already taken a trip to the island one year ago.
The period in which the action takes place is recent and coincides with the US entering a period of normalization of relations with Cuba. DeMille traveled to the island to do background research and is very open with his opinions. These are narrated by Mac and Sara and indicate that real normalization and the spread of economic opportunity must wait for the end of the Castro regime. The two landing on Cuba meet with a police state and complete control of the population by a dictatorial government in order to maintain the dictatorship that has existed for many years.
Mac and Sara go through the ordeal of going after the hidden fortune and not surprisingly find real love together. There should be further novels involving the two but their opening adventure in Cuba is a fascinating tour of a dictatorship existing 90 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. It sets a blistering pace and makes reading future novels with them mandatory.
9/17 Paul Lane
THE CUBAN AFFAIR by Nelson DeMille. Simon & Schuster (September 19, 2017). ISBN 978-1501101724. 448p.