In this milieu, we find Cuban-born Harry Cisneros, who resembles a young Leonardo DiCaprio and longs to return to America, where he lived for many years. Stuck in the seaside colonial city of Cienfuegos, Harry is using his good looks and fluent English to hustle work with tourists. But the pay is paltry, and Harry is ravenously hungry, for both food and for better opportunities. Harry seizes a chance to enter the clandestine money-changing business, and it leads him to Havana and even more opportunities and dangers.
As Harry slips deeper into this world, a "rabbit hole" of illegal activity, he must distinguish friend from foe, and identify a traitor in his outfit's midst.
Fast-paced and dripping with ambience, An Accidental Cuban is cinematic, perhaps no surprise given that author Joan Moran was a Hollywood screenwriter for 15 years. The scenes range from plazas surrounded by crumbling buildings, to restaurants and bars that Humphrey Bogart would have felt at home in, to the ruins of a Spanish-colonial fortress used by drug addicts.
Review by Andrew Selsky, Associated Press correspondent, former AP Caribbean Bureau Chief
Fast-paces, exciting, timely, Cuba intrigues as does Moran's book. An Accidental Cuban is an exciting voyage through the underworld you suspect exists behind the classic cars, lively music, and endemic poverty. Harry Cisneros, the protagonist of this thriller, is the perfect guide. Although a Cuban national, Harry desperately wants to leave a Cuba frozen in time on the surface, but teeming below with crime and corruption.
Review by Emily Chase Smith, Author, Editor, Screenwriter