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Cuba Strait: A Novel Hardcover – January 7, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nonstop action in the volatile waters between Cuba and south Florida makes this sixth novel from the author of Close Pursuit a white-knuckle thriller. Spanning about two weeks in 2002, the story begins on a Cuban airfield as an American named Charles Green, who has a mysterious and possibly nefarious connection to Castro, prepares to take off with unknown cargo and an enigmatic passenger. Green's plane goes down near the Florida Keys, where Rick Broca-a former police officer now working as a technical consultant in Hollywood-happens to be taking care of his boss's boat. The resourceful Broca engineers a harrowing underwater rescue of the pilot. All this happens in the first few chapters, and the narrative barely slows down from there. Broca sets out to take Green, who says he's a navy flier, to Miami, but some Cubans want Green-and his cargo-back, and they intercept the boat. Meanwhile, Broca gets even further involved when his boss, a film mogul, is inexplicably captured and held prisoner by Cuban authorities. The whole mess escalates into an international incident, with the U.S. and Cuba on the brink of war and the U.N. making desperate interventions. Stroud lards his narrative with technical and military minutiae … la Tom Clancy, but he's also an excellent storyteller with an ear for tough-guy, wisecracking dialogue. Implausibilities abound, and some may find the jingoism excessive, but Stroud's narrative is so gripping that even skeptical readers will be hard pressed to put the book down.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

While boating in the Florida Keys, ex-cop Rick Broca witnesses a small seaplane crash during a storm. He manages to rescue the pilot, Charles Green, who is grateful but distant when asked about what happened aboard the plane or his past. When a rescue boat finally arrives, the men onboard open fire with heavy weaponry. The story catapults forward as Rick tries to stay alive, discover who Green really is, and save a friend trapped in Cuba accused of espionage. Full of unpredictable twists (the straightforward prose fools the reader into believing the author's misleading plot devices), this latest winner from Stroud (Black Water Transit) will fly "strait" off the shelves. For all fiction collections.
--Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743243897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402561283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,734,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carsten Stroud's thriller begins with enough mystery, jeopardy, and excitement to hook the reader until the end. A man named Charles Green readies himself to pilot a small aircraft from Cuba by destroying all his belongings except for a picture of him with his family. In the midst of a storm, the plane, piloted by Green and carrying a close-mouthed passenger, goes down off the Florida Keys where Rick Broca, former State Trooper and now Hollywood consultant, spots them. In the absence of nearby Coast Guard boats, he is sent to rescue any survivors. What follows is a series of by-the-throat scenes as Broca finds himself enmeshed with a violent scheme that involves Cuban nationals, the FBI and NSA, a renegade American - with two of his friends used as pawns from a Cuban jail, all with repercussions pointing toward a war between the United States and Cuba

Much of this novel is preposterous, but you won't care because the fantasy of it is so tightly wound, scene after scene. Stroud's writing is not particularly good, but his descriptions of graphic violence will make you feel every knife twist. Rick Broca is a good no-nonsense, resourceful protagonist - the kind of man who can think on his feet even when his life is in danger. Girlfriend Zeffi is two-dimensional but somewhat fun; there's a bar scene near the end when she really comes alive. The real flaw of this thriller is the denouement, which involves several pages of explanations that make it seem as though the author planned a more complicated novel but ran out of time to develop it. Getting to those pages, however, is suspenseful fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Newt Gingrich THE on June 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
A young, New York State patrolman (retired early from a gunshot wound) is appreciating a slower pace of life fishing off the Florida Keys, when a tropical storm blackens the sky. He is unaware of the danger he's about to reel in from the turbulent seas.
The character, Rick Broca, is lured into a deadly scheme that reaches international proportions - all from risking his life to save another man whose identity is shrouded in complexities and unknowns. Broca becomes entwined in a net of unsavory intrigue with no apparent escape.
Stroud has an uncanny ability as a storyteller to combine personalities and action into a blend that keeps you turning the pages, wondering what will happen next. "Cuba Strait" is a complex story, which comes together in a convincing way that perfectly fits the age of mass terror.
This is the first novel I have read by Stroud, and it definitely will not be the last. If you enjoy action, adventure, and intense stories, Stroud is a writer worth remembering!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pangloss on October 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my third Carston Stroud novel and they seem to just get better. This is a long book but very quickly read. There is action on the sea, air and land. It is truly one of those books that you can't stop reading. The story moves along quickly and there is plent of action, violence, adventure and some really nasty bad guys. The ending is something of a surprise, even though you expect the unexpected in this type of story. The main characters are quite interesting, and I would like to see a sequel involving Rick and Zeffi. My only complaint, and it is a small one, is that some of the attempts at humor in the book fell flat and seemed incongruous. Otherwise, a fantastic read. I put Mr. Stroud in the top three of thriller writers today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If Carsten Stroud had hopes of catapulting his books into the ranks of the big guys, CUBA STRAIT will undoubtedly be the novel to take him there. With coast-to-coast action, a wisecracking ex-cop, a beautiful French girlfriend and even a dog-slapping kitty, all the ingredients are here. Add to that mixture a covert ops pilot, several FBI types and some Hollywood bigwigs --- and the plot thickens. Then toss in a story that twists and turns more than the Gulf Stream and the result is a riveting tale more engrossing than even his BLACK WATER TRANSIT and SNIPER'S MOON, currently in the process of development into blockbuster movies. It definitely has something for everybody: murder, mystery, politics, romance, chase scenes galore, technical gadgets and lots and lots of thrills.
The opening pages of CUBA STRAIT launch us into the action immediately, with charter pilot Charlie Green taking off in the advancing dusk of an impending storm, carrying a load he knows to be dangerously heavy.
The next chapter cuts to Rick Broca, retired from the New York State Police at the tender age of 33 due to a misunderstanding with superiors about how to handle a school shooting. He is facing the same storm as Green, along with his shipboard cat Cisco --- only he's battling the rollers, not the roiling clouds. Inevitably, the two paths cross. The plane goes down and Broca heroically comes to the rescue, setting in motion a series of events that lead to an international crisis between the United States and Cuba. Some very serious and unsavory thugs from Havana dog Broca while he attempts to figure out what they want and why. He suspects Green is hiding something from him, probably something deadly important.
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