Monday, May 14, 2007

OUTCAST by Jose Latour (2007)

In this hard-boiled, crime novel Havana is beautiful, rundown and home to Elliot Steil, an English teacher barely eking out a living in Cuba. As much as he loves his country, it frustrates and disappoints him. So, when a man claiming to be a friend of his estranged American father offers Elliot a way off the island, he reluctantly agrees.

Steill makes it to Miami, but not as he had planned. You would think the difficulties were well behind him by the time he washes ashore, but not so. He combs Miami's mean streets for the man who deceived him and the reason why he was so horribly betrayed. He finds that the new world is a dysfunctional free-market flipside of communist Cuba-- both brimming with greed, corruption and explosive violence, but also with the kindness of strangers so unexpected that it's wrenching.

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