Robert Arellano

Havana Libre

“[An] exquisitely made thriller…A remarkably powerful narrative. The interrogation scene repulses while it grips…but readers are advised to stay with it for a rich reading experience.”
--Booklist, Starred Review
«Arellano's world of clinic doctors, hotel hustlers, secret police, and neighborhood spies is as rich and vibrant a place as I've come across in fiction in a long while. His style has something of Bolaño's cynical, madcap energy, but with Graham Greene's eye for the small absurdities in life, the same absurdities that, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, spin out into an international catastrophe.”
--Literary Hub
«This potent noir sheds light on Cuban life in the post-Soviet era…Building to an explosive ending, this atmospheric mix of proletarian literature and Graham Greene–style espionage informs as it entertains.”
--Publishers Weekly
“At the behest of Castro's government, a Cuban doctor is sent to Miami in 1997 to find out who has been sponsoring a series of terrorist bombings in Havana in this new novel by Arellano…This novel is rich in atmosphere and political critique.”
--Kirkus Reviews
“The book is a vehicle for Arellano to express his newfound understanding of and love for the Cuban people and their charm, curiosity and welcoming warmth for strangers--which is what Arellano found on his first trip there, starting in 1992.”
--Ashland Daily Tidings
“The intrinsically linked politics and culture of Cuba and Miami combine for an unusual spy novel in Robert Arellano's second novel about Havana pediatrician Mano Rodriguez…A bit of paean to the old-fashioned spy novel.”
--South Florida
“Bombs, terrorists, and spies populate the new book, which is set in the Cuba of 20 years ago.”
--The Jefferson Exchange, NPR
«Amidst the action, the quiet star of Havana Lunar and Havana Libre is Arellano's rich landscapes of daily life in Cuba during the special period, including blackouts, food shortages, the intricacies of conversation under an authoritarian government, and the craftiness of locals who offer guided tours to tourists for money--all details from over a decade of Arellano's journals from his trips in the '90s.”
--Miami New Times
“If you like political thrillers, then this is the novel for you. It's explosive, intriguing, a true page turner filled with many twists and turns. It is the story of a Cuban doctor sent to Miami with to uncover a series of terrorist bombing taking place in Havana. The time is 1997. Definitely one to put on your reading list. You won't be disappointed.”
--The Latino Author, One of the Top Ten Best Fiction Books for 2017
«Havana Libre takes us on a journey of political intrigue and espionage, with twists and turns until the very end…Havana Libre is an enticing novel that is a must-read for those who enjoy political history and intrigue mixed with diverse culture.”
--Underrated Reads
In this explosive follow-up to Havana Lunar, Dr. Mano Rodriguez takes an undercover assignment to the most dangerous city in Latin America: Miami.
During the summer of 1997, a series of bombings terrorize Havana hotels. The targets are tourists, and the terrorists are exiles seeking to cripple Cuban tourism and kill the Revolution. After Mano finds himself helpless to save one of the victims, his nemesis Colonel Emilio Pérez of the National Revolutionary Police recruits him into Havana's top-secret Wasp Network of spies for a job that only he can perform--but for reasons he never would have believed or expected.
239 printed pages
Original publication
Akashic Books



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