Reviewed by: Sooz
Approximate word count: 105-110,000 words
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James Bruno served as a diplomat for the state department for more than 20 years with assignments in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, Vietnam, Cambodia and other places. Learn more about James Bruno at his website.
As Cuba is on the brink of collapse, FBI agent Nick Castillo finds himself in the middle of a spy game. He enters Cuba only to be captured by rising Cuban star Larisa Montilla. The two play a dangerous game of cat and mouse as government secrets are exposed and the body count rises.
I always find spy games interesting whether it is a book, a movie or a TV show. Secrets can be a dangerous thing and the more you know, the more power and leverage you can have. But often, the more dangerous your life can be.
Havana Queen is filled with people who have many secrets as spies from the United States and Cuba try to one up each other. Double agents. Backstabbing. Secret rendezvouses. Clandestine trysts.
Havana Queen has it all.
Knowing a bit of the author’s background on how he used to work for the government made Havana Queen even more intriguing. Here was someone who had first-hand knowledge of how this world worked and James Bruno left nothing to the imagination. His insight of spy operations, governmental protocols were realistic enough that I would believe this is how things operated.
However, his descriptions of sights, sounds, tastes and smells were also so deep and rich that it allowed me to feel transported to Cuba – for better or worse.
The biggest issue was the amount of jumping around that occurred without any breaks. Perhaps this was a formatting issue with the copy I received, but it was jarring at times to read about one character only to jump to another character without realizing it. Yet, it still didn’t take away from the full experience.
Havana Queen was a definite page turner.
Rating: ****Four Stars