The early days of Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution are the backdrop for Edgar-finalist Taylor’s superb sequel to 2015’s Night Life.
Det. Mike Cassidy may be the godson of big-time crime boss Frank Costello, but he’s been honest enough during his 12 unruly years with the NYPD to make plenty of enemies both on the force and off. In 1958, Cassidy escorts an extradited Cuban murderer back to Batista’s corrupt Havana, where he discovers that his lost love, Dylan McCue, a committed KGB agent, is condemned to death for smuggling guns to Cuban rebels. Cassidy engineers her escape, only to learn that she’s married to a Soviet operative. Dylan leaves Cassidy, who comes from a privileged background, to booze and one-night stands. Months later, after the revolution succeeds, Cassidy and his partner, Tony Orso, are assigned to protect Castro on his triumphal visit to New York City. Taylor’s masterly command of historical detail and his powerful delineations of characters both real and fictional should help put this second novel, like his first, into contention for an Edgar Award. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore and Company. (Apr.)