cover image The Cuban Affair

The Cuban Affair

Nelson DeMille, read by Scott Brick. S&S Audio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 14.5 hrs., $49.99 ISBN 978-1-5082-3824-9

DeMille’s new hard-bitten hero, Daniel “Mac” McCormick, narrates this breathless adventure set in 2015, when Mac was crippled by debt and working as the captain of a Key West deep-sea fishing charter boat. An ex-Army man with medals and scars from two tours in Afghanistan, Mac is tough, cynical, smart, and suffering from malaise, an attitude mix that reader Brick smoothly conveys from the start. Mac lets Miami lawyer Carlos Macia talk him into participating in a complicated plan to smuggle millions of dollars out of Cuba, with the promise of a hefty paycheck at the end. The caper is chancy, and adding to its potential perils is his smuggling companion, Sara Ortega, a mysterious beauty who may have a secret agenda. In presenting the plot’s set-up, reader Brick takes time to establish Mac’s hard-boiled outlook; his fondness for his cantankerous septuagenarian first mate, Jack Colby; and his increasing skepticism about the caper, especially Sara’s participation. Once their plane touches down in Havana and the plan immediately begins to unravel, Mac displays his Army-nurtured aptitude for improvisation and author and reader together establish the kind of feverish, nonstop action one expects from a world-class thriller. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Sept.)