Friday, August 13, 2010

What Does A POD Peep Read - Chris Gerrib

Title: Havana Harvest
Author: Robert Landori
Genre: Thriller
Price: $15.95
Publisher: Emerald Book Company
ISBN: 978-1-934572-55-9
Point of Sale: Amazon
Read by: Chris Gerrib

Robert Landori, in his author’s biography at the back of his new book Havana Harvest, claims to have spent two months in solitary confinement in Castro’s Cuba. He is also very familiar with international funds transfers, both above and below the table, and has been to just about every place featured in the book. His attention to detail shows, and makes Havana Harvest a very exciting read.

The story is set in the waning days of the old Soviet Union, during the tail end of Cuba’s involvement in Angola, in the last 1980s and early 1990s. During this period, Cuba was also assisting Colombian drug smugglers in order to generate hard currency to support their faltering economy. What Landori has done is take these bare bones and flesh out an interesting if fictional take on what happened.

The lead character in Havana Harvest is Robert Lonsdale, a man born in Hungary but now a CIA employee, although with personal ties to Montreal, Canada. Lonsdale gets involved in a Cuban defector’s story of drugs and money, and spends the bulk of the book trying not to get killed while he unravels the story. This unraveling is complicated by blackmail, double-crosses and an ill-timed romantic encounter.

It sounds like your standard James Bond stuff, but Lonsdale doesn’t have any of Bond’s gadgets, and like true spies everywhere the last thing he wants is to be addressed by his real name when walking into a hotel. In short, this is a spy novel with some sense of reality, but with action and adventure. I did have a couple of nits – it seemed like people were a little to familiar with email and GPS for the era – but other than that the book seemed well-grounded. Highly recommended.

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