Cuba Libre by Elmore Leonard
Spun with the classic detail and grit of Leonard’s renowned style, Cuba Libre drops readers into a Cuban pressure cooker ready to blow.
In 1888 the beautiful island of Cuba erupts when the U.S.S. Maine explodes just off the coast of Havana, forcing the Cuban people, Spain and America to all take sides. The world descends into chaos, but all bank robber/cowboy Ben Tyler is concerned about is getting paid for his horses.
We follow Tyler’s journey of accepting the circumstances of the storms brewing around him, just like his new compatriot Virgil, a cocky marine who manages to survive the Maine’s explosion only to get locked away in a prison cell until the Cubans, the Spanish and the Americans can decide whether or not they’re at war.
Along the way Tyler meets Amelia, a young woman who uses her beauty to hide her true convictions, and turns out to be the spark that ignites the story’s explosion. With a kidnapping, train heist and so many enemies chasing after Tyler, Virgil, Amelia and their gang, all of the moving parts feel reminiscent of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Timeless and relevant themes permeate the excitement including the yellow journalism of fake news that draws the American public to support war in Cuba, and even Teddy Roosevelt and his rough riders make an appearance.
No punches are pulled in this brutal adventure in the Caribbean, but the humor and colorful characters keep this romp entertaining until the last shot.