Summary and book reviews of Cuba by Stephen Coonts

Cuba
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  • First Published:
    Aug 1999, 390 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2000, 480 pages

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Book Summary

A succession struggle ignited by the impending death of Fidel Castro is the catalyst for Stephen Coonts' latest suspense thriller.

As Havana heats up, the CIA learns that one of the presidential contenders, secret police chief Alejo Vargas, has developed biological weapons and installed them on half-dozen intermediate-range ballistic missiles delivered by the Soviets during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Vargas' plan: foment a crisis with the U.S. and cow the Americans with biological weapons, thereby uniting the Cuban people behind his leadership.

Meanwhile, the hijacking of a freighter transporting chemical and biological warheads to the United States from the warehouses of Guantanamo Bay sets off alarms all over the hemisphere. While searching for the stolen warheads, Rear Admiral Jake Grafton is drawn into the growing Cuban crisis.

Jake Grafton, the hero of six other Stephen Coonts bestsellers, from Flight on the Intruder to The Red Horseman, is one of the stars of Cuba, but only one. Tommy Carmellini, burglar and reluctant CIA agent, makes a dazzling debut, one that may well lead to starring roles in future tales.

As always, Coonts' tale is full of memorable characters, such as Hector Sedano, the priest who believes Cuba is on the verge of greatness; his sister-in-law Mercedes Sedano, a patriot who risks everything for her country; younger brother El Ocho, the fiery youth who will build a Cuban future; and Carlos Corrado, a drunken fighter pilot who finally finds something worth fighting for.

Chapter One

Guantanamo Bay, on the southeast coast of the island of Cuba, is the prettiest spot on the planet, thought Rear Admiral Jake Grafton, USN.

He was leaning on the railing on top of the carrier United States's superstructure, her island, a place the sailors called Steel Beach. Here off-duty crew members gathered to soak up some rays and do a few calisthenics. Jake Grafton was not normally a sun worshiper; at sea he rarely visited Steel Beach, preferring to arrange his day so that he could spend at least a half hour running on the flight deck. Today he was dressed in gym shorts, T-shirt, and tennis shoes, but he had yet to make it to the flight deck.

Grafton was a trim, fit fifty-three years old, a trifle over six feet tall, with short hair turning gray, gray eyes, and a nose slightly too large for his face. On one temple was a scar, an old, faded white slash where a bullet had ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

USA Today - William F. Nicholson

Coonts manages to pull together the various subplots into a satisfying climax that includes enough Tomahawk missiles, stealth bombers and staccato action to satisfy his most demanding fans

USA Today - William F. Nicholson

Coonts manages to pull together the various subplots into a satisfying climax that includes enough Tomahawk missiles, stealth bombers and staccato action to satisfy his most demanding fans

Publisher's Weekly

This gripping and intelligent thriller is a standout for Coonts, taking the death of Castro as a starting point for an all-too-possible scenario of political turmoil and brinkmanship.

Kirkus Reviews

Coonts, military-combat thrillermeister, pits his series character, Jake Grafton, against a power-mad Cuban bureaucrat armed with Soviet ICBMs aimed at the U.S.... Coonts delivers some of his best suspense writing yet.

Publisher's Weekly

This gripping and intelligent thriller is a standout for Coonts, taking the death of Castro as a starting point for an all-too-possible scenario of political turmoil and brinkmanship.

Reader Reviews

Matt

This book points its veiw towards a contriversial war.

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