The Cuban Affair

The Cuban Affair

by Nelson DeMille

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501101748
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 09/19/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,374
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Nelson DeMille is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, six of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. His novels include The Deserter, (written with Alex DeMille), The Cuban Affair, Radiant Angel, Plum Island, The Charm SchoolThe Gold Coast, and The General’s Daughter, which was made into a major motion picture, starring John Travolta and Madeleine Stowe. He has written short stories, book reviews, and articles for magazines and newspapers. Nelson DeMille is a combat-decorated U.S. Army veteran, a member of Mensa, Poets & Writers, and the Authors Guild, and a member and past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, who honored him as 2015 ThrillerMaster of the Year. He lives on Long Island with his family.


Long Island, New York

Date of Birth:

August 22, 1943

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A. in political science, Hofstra University, 1974

Read an Excerpt

The Cuban Affair

  • 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.

  • Customer Reviews

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    The Cuban Affair: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book. The writing was superb, the plot suspenseful , and the humor was as good as in the John Corey novels. I hope this character returns in another of DeMlle's novels. My only complaint is we have to wait so long until the next book comes out. Nelson DeMille is a wonderful author and truly my favorite!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Witty & fast paced
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I know this is the same author of masterpieces like By the Rivers of Babylon, Plum Island and The Gold Coast, but it doesn’t feel the same. Kind of how Radiant Angel was much different. The depth of the novel just wasn’t there for me. Seemed more superficial. There was a lot of repetition as well. Don’t know if that was because of new publisher, but I long for the story telling and depth of dialogue like earlier novels. I read to escape television and dive into another world. Mr. Demille is still my favorite author and we enjoy the same Island to live... I just yearn for different worlds he creates with his printed words.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love the wit!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I enjoyed the plot line and story, but it dragged with too much blather on what was happening. DeMille uncharacteristically was rather verbose in repeating the internal dilemmas of his hero as he drifted through the story. Would’ve been great with 50 less pages I think.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another great novel from Nelson DeMille. This was so interesting because it gave us a glimpse into Cuba today. The story really had you hooked, and just when you thought you knew what was happening, there was an about turn. Loved it. It kept me me interested right to the end. Now that I've been introduced to Daniel 'Mac' MacCormick, I hope there might be another book about him. He's a lot like John Corey. Job well done Mr. DeMille!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love love ,love sense of humor interwoven into a fascinating story, jokes, sex , drama...all there in ALL of his books. Read them all, love this one as much. Mr. DeMille----never stop writing!!! 81m -
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love his sarcasm
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The book is essentially a travelogue wrapped around a thin adventure yarn.
    Anonymous 25 days ago
    International intrigue, lies and double crosses multiply. Is the Cold War really over? Treasures and liabilities bound in this tropical adventure. An excellent read!
    Anonymous 7 months ago
    Great work Nelson.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Worth the time. Thought provoking
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Souch action. I could not By P put this book down. Loved the characters and the one liners by MAC.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Mr. DeMille once again outdoes himself in this believable tale! It’s edge of the seat reading and “take it to the bank “ dialogue and setting.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    He's done it again! I enjoyed every word! Selfishly I would love a new book from Nelson DeMille every month. His humor and art of bringing characters to life can't be matched. Thank you!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love all his books but this one brought a new charter that I hope we hear from again in the future. I was disappointed when I found it wasn’t John Corey but didn’t miss him 5 pages into the book . I hope a new one comes out soon
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Always exciting; a page turner, with DeMille's hilarity! 5 Stars!
    thebugbug More than 1 year ago
    After two tours in Afghanistan, Daniel MacCormick ("Mac") is enjoying a quieter existence as captain of his charter boat, The Maine. He's mostly content taking tourists out for leisurely cruises, but a small part of him misses the excitement of life and death missions. While drinking a beer at his favorite bar one day, he's approached by a group of Cuban exiles who (eventually) ask him to take part in their efforts to secretly recover a few million dollars and some priceless artifacts hidden in Cuba. The job is risky and dangerous, but, if completed, Mac would be filthy rich. At first, he's unsure, but then he meets Sara Ortega, a beautiful Cuban-American woman who would be posing as his girlfriend during the assignment. Suddenly, Mac is all in---and only slightly unsure he'll make it home in one piece.  *   *   *   *   * This is a fun little book that zips right along. The characters don't have much depth, honestly, but the story is entertaining. The mysteries of the secret mission build nicely (albeit for a touch too long), and the last 130 pages of the novel are excellent. The relationship between Mac and Sara gets cheesy and unrealistic at times, but I didn't mind. The point of this book is to get lost in the adventure, and I definitely did. Overall, a really solid read. I will definitely check out DeMille's other (apparently very popular) books.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The Cuban Affair: A NovelThe Cuban Affair: A Novel by Nelson DeMille My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille September 2017 I received this soft cover ARC from GoodReads giveaway and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book by Nelson DeMille that I've had the pleasure to read. An extraordinary writer with witty, daring and interesting characters. Daniel Graham MacCormick, "Mac" for short is a 35 yr old, Army vet surviving two tour of Afghanistan. He settles in Key West to run a deep-sea fishing charter boat, The Maine, which he named for his home state. Life is calm and relaxing running his charter boat with the assistance of his friend, Jack, a retired Vietnam vet. Until one day, he receives an unexpected visit from Carlos, a Miami lawyer involved with anti-Castro groups. Soon, he is presented with an offer too good to be true. All he has to do is agree to help an older exiled Cuban, Eduardo retrieve some documents and $60 million dollars from a cave in Havana. Although an extremely dangerous proposition he is heavily persuaded by his $3 million payment and the seductive Sara Ortega who provides the cover story to get them into Cuba. The story is filled with adventure and suspense. The story is rich with authentic details which must have required extensive research. I can't wait to read more books by this author. View all my reviews
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Been a while since I read Demille. Glad to see that the intrigue, romance and glib humor is still tightly woven. A little subdued as compared with Charm School or Plum Island but very enjoyable, nonetheless. Keep it up, Nelson.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Like the different geographical venue - Cuba
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If you're like me, you've read a lot of news items about Cuba over the years without getting much understanding about Cuba and its people and the way they live. I would probably have never picked up a history of Cuba or even a travel guide. But, being a long time reader of DeMille, it was impossible for me to leave his latest book alone. Doing get me wrong, this is not a dry history of Cuba. It's full of action and surprise, plot twists and a thorny (notice the "t") romantic relationship that actually adds to the intensity of the plot. I'm ready to read it again to pick up on the details that I missed while speed reading through the book, shoved forward by the need to find out what happens next.