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by Jose Latour
HarperCollins UK, September 2003
378 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 0007149034

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Marina and Sean are in Cuba on their honeymoon. Sean has an attack while running and they go to the nearest apartment in hopes of getting water. The nearest apartment belongs to Elena and Pablo, who are brother and sister but do not get along and live separate lives. Although Elena and Pablo merely provided a glass of water, Marina and Sean want to show their gratitude and take them out of dinner. They quickly realize that Pablo is not a pleasant man and that Elena would be better off without him. Actually Sean realizes that Pablo would stand in the way of their plan. Marina and Sean are not a married couple and luck did not bring them to this apartment. They are searching for treasure that was hidden in the bathroom years ago. Before they plot their next move, Pablo is murdered and things begin to spin out of control.

HAVANA BEST FRIENDS has a slower pace than most thrillers. Latour takes his time fleshing out the plot and characters. In fact, Latour devotes more time to non-central characters than many other authors. In addition, each hint of the deception is slow to be explored and explained. These elements do not necessarily imply that the book itself is flawed; it simply means that this is not a typical thriller. In fact, by challenging a genre authors’ works tend to stand out.

HAVANA BEST FRIENDS did spend a lot of time discussing Communism and the poverty of Havana. As a United States citizen, it was interesting to see politics and history from school presented in another manner. This book makes no attempt to valorize Cuban activities but it does attempt to show that Cuba is just as splintered as the United States in regards to politics, policies and money. Although none of the Cubans in this book are especially happy with their lot, they are not eager to attempt to go to the United States legally or illegally. The U.S. is not the paradise for which they are searching.

HAVANA BEST FRIENDS is the second book by Jose Latour.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, October 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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