Old bones and old grudges in contemporary Havana.
In this, his 20th, DeMille (Radiant Angel, 2015, etc.) deftly drops Daniel "Mac" MacCormick, captain of The Maine, a 42-foot sport fisherman out of Key West, into a storm of competing visions of Cuba’s future. When a trio of Cubans and Cuban-Americans, Carlos Macia, Eduardo Valazquez, and the lovely Sara Ortega, offer him a small fortune to participate in a scheme to recover documents and cash hidden in a cave during the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Mac is tempted and succumbs to both avarice and lust for Sara. The plan is to infiltrate Mac and Sara into Cuba as part of an educational tour under the auspices of Yale University (and some fun is had at the expense of the Elis). The two will break away from the tour, recover the money and documents, meet The Maine, which will be participating in a fishing tournament down the coast, and escape. Relations with Cuba are in flux; the exile community rejects the notion of a “Cuban Thaw,” and the security services in Cuba also resist the idea. But some in the U.S. promote a lessening of tensions, and some in Cuba itself understand that the nation cannot survive without a quick infusion of money and that the best hope is U.S. tourist dollars. The real poverty of Cuba is clearly described, as are the conditions of the infrastructure and the social climate. In spots the narrative seems to slog through discursive observations, but they are mostly informative and worthwhile, and then the plot picks up energy again. Though Mac and his mate Jack Colby seem to share a somewhat adolescent obsession with “getting laid,” they are stout fellows in a fight, and the thriller charts a satisfying course.
A good day’s work from an old pro.