Cover image for The Cuban Affair A Novel.
The Cuban Affair A Novel.
Publication Information:
Pocket Books 2018/12
General Note:
[Mass Market]

On Order

Bob Harkins Branch2On Order
Nechako Branch1On Order



From the legendary #1 New York Times bestselling author of Plum Island and Night Fall comes this "action-packed, relentlessly paced thriller" ( Publishers Weekly , starred review) featuring US Army combat veteran Daniel "Mac" MacCormick, now a charter boat captain, who is about to set sail on his most dangerous cruise.

Daniel "Mac" Graham MacCormick seems to have a pretty good life. At age thirty-five he's living in Key West, owner of a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat T he Maine . But after serving five years in the Army and purchasing a boat with a big bank loan, Mac's finances are more than a little shaky.

One day, Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar, contemplating his life, and waiting for Carlos, a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire Mac and The Maine for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba at the standard rate, but Mac suspects there is more to this and turns it down. The price then goes up to two million dollars, and Mac agrees to hear the deal, and meet Carlos's clients--a beautiful Cuban-American woman named Sara Ortega, and a mysterious older Cuban exile, Eduardo Valazquez.

What Mac learns is that there is sixty million American dollars hidden in Cuba by Sara's grandfather when he fled Castro's revolution. With the "Cuban Thaw" underway between Havana and Washington, Carlos, Eduardo, and Sara know it's only a matter of time before someone finds the stash--by accident or on purpose. And Mac knows if he accepts this job, he'll walk away rich...or not at all.

Author Notes

Nelson DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943. He attended Hofstra University for three years, then joined the Army and went to Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant and served in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader with the First Calvary Division. He received the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry while in the service. He eventually returned to Hofstra University and received a degree in political science and history.

His first writings were NYPD detective novels, but his first major novel, By the Rivers of Babylon, was published in 1978. His other works include Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Gold Coast, The General's Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion's Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, and The Quest. His New York Times bestsellers include Radient Angel and The Cuban Affair.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

New York Review of Books Review

"The Cuban Affair" is heavy on affair and light on almost everything else. DeMille, an old thriller pro, recreates the monotony of a guided educational tour of Havana at length. Hemingway's house! Hemingway's boat! Hemingway's picture on everything from the wall of a bar to a souvenir T-shirt! DeMille writes in the acknowledgments that he took a similar trip to Cuba for research. If the novel is any guide, he didn't enjoy it much. "There didn't seem to be any reason for this town's existence," his narrator remarks of one city. The effect is less Paul Theroux and more cranky grandpa, a footsore cruise-shipper's point of view. The affair in question takes place between this narrator, Daniel "Mac" MacCormick, an Afghan War veteran who now runs fishing charters out of Key West, and Sara Ortega, a Cuban-American who - spoiler alert! - may or may not have a boyfriend. Sara recruits Mac to help her steal $60 million in cash that's supposedly been stashed in a cave since Castro took power. Among the many questions that Mac should ask but doesn't before taking the job is whether that money could really have stayed hidden in such a place, even one supposedly "sealed by Sara's grandfather," for more than half a century. Sara and her backers promise him $3 million for his help, but the reader knows that his real motivation for agreeing to risk his life on this flaky plot is the chance to sleep with Sara. Because he's having a midlife crisis post-Wall Street and combat careers, and because she's hot. If you are expecting slow-building romance, think again. Our heroes rut early and often. Mac refers to his "pepino," a term that made me want to stop-loss him and send him back to Kabul. With barely 100 pages left, he and Sara roll out of bed long enough to escape Havana and meet the ship that will take them back to Key West. Complications ensue. "The Cuban Affair" wakes up. Better late than never.

Library Journal Review

Key West charter fishing boat skipper -Daniel (Mac) MacCormick is approached by three Cuban Americans who want his help extracting $60 million stashed in a Cuban cave since 1959. The trio have their Cuban and American contacts ready, dates picked out, and a harebrained proposition ready for Mac. It seems they need his brawn, his brains, and his boat to get the money to the United States. Mac's not a stranger to danger, having served in Afghanistan, but he's also not stupid and about to run screaming no when they offer him a cool $3 million for his assistance. VERDICT DeMille's (Radiant Angel) latest is a timely stay-up-all-night, nail-biting page-turner featuring his iconic tongue-in-cheek, articulate, rhythmic narrative. His affably irreverent protagonist, fantastic believable supporting characters, and tense, realistic Cuba-set scenes including some jaw-dropping revelations make this a must-read for his many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 4/24/17.]-Debbie Haupt, St. Charles City-Cty. Lib. Dist., St. Peters, MO © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Cuban Affair CHAPTER 1 I was standing at the bar in the Green Parrot, waiting for a guy named Carlos from Miami who'd called my cell a few days ago and said he might have a job for me. Carlos did not give me his last name, but he had ID'd himself as a Cuban American. I don't know why I needed to know that, but I told him I was Scots-Irish-English American, in case he was wondering. My name is Daniel Graham MacCormick--Mac for short--age thirty-five, and I've been described as tall, tan, and ruggedly handsome. This comes from the gay clientele in the Parrot, but I'll take it. I live here on the island of Key West, and I am the owner and skipper of a 42-foot deep-sea fishing charter boat called The Maine, named for my home state--not for the American battleship that blew up in Havana Harbor, though some people think that. I usually book my charters by phone, and most of my customers are repeats or referrals, or they checked out my website. The party just shows up fifteen minutes before sailing, and off we go for marlin, sailfish, tuna, sharks, or whatever. Or maybe the customer wants a sightseeing cruise. Now and then I get a fishing tournament or a romantic sunset cruise. Whatever the customer wants. As long as it's legal. But this guy, Carlos, wanted to meet first, coming all the way down from Miami, and he sounded a bit cryptic, making me think we weren't talking about fishing. The barmaid, Amber, inquired, "Ready for another?" "Hold the lime." Amber popped another Corona and stuck a lime wedge in the neck. "Lime's on me." Amber is pretty but getting a little hard behind the bar. Like nearly everyone here in what we call the Conch Republic, she's from someplace else, and she has a story. I, too, am from someplace else--Maine, as I said, specifically Portland, which is directly connected to Key West by U.S. Highway One, or by a cruise up the coast, but Portland is as far from here as Pluto is from the sun. FYI, I spent five years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and got blown up in Afghanistan. That's the short story of how I wound up here. The long story is a long story, and no one in Key West wants to hear long stories. It was about 5 P.M., give or take an hour. The citizens of the Conch Republic are not into clocks, which is why they're here. We're on sun time. Also, we have officially seceded from the United States, so we are all expats. I actually have a rainbow-hued Conch Republic passport, issued by the self-appointed Secretary General of the Republic, a guy named Larry who has a small office over on Angela Street. The passport was a gag gift from my first mate, Jack Colby, who like me is an Army vet. Jack got screwed up in 'Nam, and he's still screwed up but in an old-guy sort of way, so my customers think he's just grumpy, not crazy. His favorite T-shirt says: "Guns Don't Kill People. I Kill People." Maybe he is crazy. I wasn't sure of the time, but I was sure of the month--October. End of hurricane season, so business was picking up. Amber, who was wearing a tank top, was sipping a black coffee, surveying the crowd. The Green Parrot's regular clientele are eclectic and eccentric and mostly barefoot. The owner, Pat, is a bit crazy himself, and he tells the tourists that the parachute hanging on the ceiling is weighed down with termite turds. Amber asked, "How's business?" "Summer was okay. September sucked. Picking up." "You were going to take me for a sail in September." "I did a lot of maintenance on the boat." "I thought you were going to sail to Maine." "I thought so, too." "If you ever go, let me know." "You'll need a sweater." A customer called for another and Amber moved off. I've never actually slept with Amber, but we did go skinny-dipping once off Fort Zachary Taylor. She has a butterfly tattoo on her butt. The place was starting to fill up and I exchanged greetings with a few people. Freaks, geeks, loveable weirdos, and a few Hemingway look-alikes. He used to live here, and you can see his house for ten bucks. You can see mine for free. Bring a six-pack. Anyway, Key West's official motto is "One Human Family." Well, they haven't met my family. And they haven't been to Afghanistan to see the rest of the human family. Or, like Jack, to Vietnam. Or if they have, they're here, like me and Jack, to float in a sea of alcohol-induced amnesia. I've been here four years. Five is enough to forget why you came here. After that, you're not going home. But, hey, it could be worse. This is paradise. Better than two tours in Allfuckedupistan. Better than freezing my ass off in Maine. And definitely better than 23 Wall Street, where I worked for a year after graduating from Bowdoin College. If I'd stayed with Hamlin Equities I'd now be dead from boredom. Instead, I was captain of The Maine, and a former captain of infantry with a fifty percent combat disability and a quarter-million-dollar bank loan on my boat. The fifty percent disability is for pay purposes and I have no physical limitations except for housecleaning. The bank loan is a hundred percent pain in the ass. But when I'm out there on the sea, especially at night, I am free. I am captain of my own fate. Which was why I agreed to meet Carlos the Cuban, who was not interested in fishing. That much I understood from our short phone conversation. And I wouldn't be the first sea captain who got involved with these people. Well, I'd listen and see if I could make an intelligent decision--like I did when I left Wall Street and joined the Army for adventure. How'd that work out, Mac? Being captain of your own fate doesn't mean you always make good decisions. Excerpted from The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.