Putnam, May 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
Thirteen years ago, police officer John Deal learned that his father committed suicide. His face was so badly damaged that his son couldn't recognize him. The police find papers proving John was supplying his father with information that he used in his business dealings. Unable to demonstrate he was set up, the brass allowed him to retire. John took over Deal Co, the construction company his father ran into the ground.
In the present, Deal Co. is breaking even when Antonio Fuentes asks him to accompany him to Cuba. Fuentes represents a consortium who want to rebuild Cuba after Castro is gone and they want Deal to be their point man. Deal is about to turn him down when a government agent asks him to go along with Fuentes and in return they will give him proof that he was framed thirteen years ago. Deal goes to Cuba intending to play the spy but finds someone that has to be smuggled out of the country at any cost, making his deal with the government null & void.
Readers get an inside look at the Cuba of today in HAVANA RUN and although the country is in a holding pattern different forces are ready to take control once the present leader is gone. Les Standiford raises the bar of the suspense thriller in the latest installment of his John Deal series. Though one must wonder about a government that hides the truth that would exonerate someone, this fits right into the storyline and Justice, American style. Readers will take to the protagonist right away because of the vulnerability that shines above this tough guy persona.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner