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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Set on the eve of the Spanish-American War, this electrifying novel takes off like a shot. A spellbinding journey into the heart and soul of the Cuban revolution of a hundred years ago, Cuba Libre is an explosive mix of high adventure, history brought to life, and a honey of a love story — all with the dead-on dialogue and unforgettable characters that mark Elmore Leonard as an American original.
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. The 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, falls in love with the man's sparkly New Orleans-born mistress, Amelia, makes an enemy of a terrorizing Guardia Civil officer named Tavalera, and makes a friend of a mysterious old Cuban. When Tyler is forced into a gunfight and thrown in prison, Tavalera is determined to nail him as a spy. 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: the 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.
Breaking new ground for Leonard, thisrip-roaringjaunt into history is packed with all the twists, turns, sly plot, and wicked wit his fans have come to expect of a writer who has redefined the art of the novel.