Cuba Straits (book review)

As always, I started a book series completely out of sync. Book #22 out of 24.
As always, I started a book series completely out of sync. Book #22 out of 24.

This was a tedious read for me. Should have been an easy read, but I kept getting hung up on a couple of things. One, I'm Cuban-American, and his Cuban accents were not very Cuban AT ALL...so I had to keep reading back to see who was talking. In fact, all of the characters tended to blend into a singular composite--especially the main character and his friend (Doc Ford & Tomlinson). I wish the characters' voices could have been more independent, as I would have enjoyed the novel more.

Perhaps if I started reading the series with Book #1, I would have been able to differentiate the characters more easily, because I would have been introduced to their subtleties. 

There were parts of the novel that were engaging. The best character Mr. White wrote was that of a fiery little girl named Sabina, who basically carried the plot for me and kept me reading.

Overall, however, the plot was sloppy and meandering. The gist of the story was that a Cuban friend of Doc Ford (main character) was searching for some stolen personal documents from the Castro regime and hired Doc Ford to find the stolen artifacts. It was tangled up in an illegal trade of baseball players and the Russian KGB, and there ended up being a treasure even more valuable than some old love letters and miscellaneous documents.

I've never been to Cuba, so I did enjoy his descriptions of everyday life there. I was a little disappointed toward the end when the novel wasn't sure if it wanted to be urban fantasy or mystery (his use of Santeria in the story was inconsistent). I also learned some slang that was new to me, so kudos to Mr. White for that, at least.

I'd give this book 1.5 stars out of 5. It took me nearly three months to read because it just didn't hold my attention, despite the fact the majority of the story took place in Cuba. I will not be reading the rest of this series, and will be hesitant to read anything else by Randy Wayne White.


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