cover image Killing Castro

Killing Castro

Lawrence Block, . . Hard Case Crime, $6.99 (204pp) ISBN 978-0-8439-6113-3

Shortly before the Cuban missile crisis, mystery Grand Master Block (Hit and Run ) donned a pen name to publish this absorbing yarn about five men vying for a $100,000 prize put on Fidel Castro’s head by a mysterious guy named Hiraldo. Bounty hunter Ray Garrison only works on his own; hardened murderer Michael Turner is paired with 19-year-old Jim Hines, avenging his brother’s execution; and Earl Fenton, longing to do some good before he dies of cancer, teams up with jack-of-all-trades Matt Garth, who just wants the money. As they make their way to the Cuban coast, sympathetic locals support the five would-be killers in their titular goal despite their penchant for rape and mayhem. Passages discussing Castro’s life and times add depth to this intense, taut thriller, just as good now as it was in 1961. (Jan.)