cover image Comrades in Miami

Comrades in Miami

Jose LaTour, . . Grove, $23 (344pp) ISBN 978-0-8021-1810-3

What was it like to be a top Cuban intelligence officer during the 1990s? Latour, a Cuban living in Toronto, creates a surprisingly active agenda for Col. Victoria Valiente, the star of the latest book (after 2004's Havana World Series ) in his well-received series about life and crime on Castro's island. The physically nondescript Victoria is a genius as well as a natural spymaster, and by the time she finishes impressing the men above her, she's taken charge of the Greater Miami area, recruiting new agents and uncovering double agents working against Cuba. But along with her success comes the knowledge that Castro's regime has become a disaster. Victoria's husband, a computer expert who's been allowed to travel abroad, convinces her they should leave Cuba—and sets up a scheme to electronically transfer $2.7 million in stolen funds to an account in Key West. Things take an ugly turn when a Cuban working for the FBI finds out what's going on, but Latour's fascinating book remains a thing of beauty. Agent, Tracy Howell at the Gernert Co. (Nov.)