STARRED REVIEW
September 29, 2017

A thrilling Havana heist

By Nelson DeMille

A new Nelson DeMille book typically means readers are in for nail-biting action, a high stakes plot, a romantic diversion, and wry, witty humor. The Cuban Affair satisfies all of those criteria, and ups the ante with a unique setting, the Communist island nation itself.

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A new Nelson DeMille book typically means readers are in for nail-biting action, a high stakes plot, a romantic diversion and wry, witty humor. The Cuban Affair satisfies all of those criteria, and ups the ante with a unique setting, the communist island nation itself.

At the root of the novel is a quest to recover 60 million dollars in funds hidden away during Castro’s revolution. Cuban-American Sara Ortega entices ex-Army officer Daniel Graham MacCormick—better known as Mac—away from his idyllic retirement as a charter fishing boat captain based in Key West to provide transport for the funds back to America. Mac initially balks at the venture, not wanting to end up in a Cuban jail—tortured, or worse—but when Sara ups his reward for services rendered to two million dollars, any doubts quickly fade away. Paying off his debts in one fell swoop, particularly the note on his 40-foot vessel The Maine, and living the rest of his life in luxury are more than enough to lure him in. 

Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems, or you wouldn’t have a DeMille book. Getting onto the island is easy: the pair are able to join a Yale educational tour group while Mac’s right-hand man, Jack, pilots the boat to the island as part of a fishing tournament. Mac and Sara’s mission is to retrieve the cash, get it to the boat and sail home with their riches. But their every move is being watched, the Cuban police are poised to close in and treachery awaits at every turn. The only thing competing with Mac’s obsession with the money is his desire to win Sara’s affection. DeMille’s stark details of life in Cuba under the Communist regime add a layer of dread and palpable tension to the story throughout, leading to a harrowing chase on the open seas, and another must-read book.

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The Cuban Affair

The Cuban Affair

By Nelson DeMille
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781501101724

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