|Cuba Libre (1998) [Novel]|
by Elmore Leonard
Rating: Weighted - 6.2 / Average - 6.0 of 10 (4 votes) (Rate!)
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Just three days after the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, Ben Tyler arrives with a string of horses to sell - cover for a boatload of guns he's running to Cuban insurgents, risking a firing squad if he's caught.
This cowboy's first day ashore sets the pace for a wild ride to come. He sells the horses to an American planter, Roland Boudreaux, who's making a killing in Cuba...meets the man's sparkly New Orleans-born mistress, Amelia Brown, and falls in love...makes an enemy of a terrorizing Guardia Civil officer named Tavalera, and a friend of a mysterious old Cuban, Victor Fuentes...is forced into a gunfight and thrown in prison, Tavalera determined to nail him as a spy.
Tyler has done time in the past for robbing banks, but never in a place like Morro Castle. America is about to declare war on Spain, and if Tyler doesn't manage to get out very soon, he's a dead man.
How his escape comes about, with surprising help, is the high point from which the plot takes off on a train ride across Cuba, with Tyler and Amelia looking for more than love, a lot more - a chance to snatch a bundle of Boudreaux's cash, if they can pull it off. But who can you trust?
Everyone's a schemer in this one.
Original title: Cuba Libre
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Crime/Caper