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Hostage in Havana

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The Advocate

Hostage in Havana by Noel Hynd

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"With a richness unmatched in similar action/adventure novels, Hynd presents the historical Cuba as well as descriptive passages of underlying subcultures within its borders."

Bestselling author Noel Hynd begins the new Cuban Trilogy with the intriguing, political backdrop of the Cuban capital Havana. At the center of this fast-paced, contemporary espionage thriller is U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra LaDuca. Multi-layered and complicated, Alex is a savvy blend of the stylish Agent 99 (Get Smart) and the mysterious Jason Bourne (Bourne Trilogy).

Alex is reluctantly thrown together with the dangerous Paul Guarneri, a Cuban-born exile who makes his living in the gray areas of the law. She finds herself on a less-than-legal mission to Cuba that could cost her everything. Often alone and trusting no one but herself, she must navigate Cuban police, pro-Castro security and a formidable network with strong ties to the American underworld of organized crime. As always, she must rely on her training, skills and faith to survive--let alone succeed.

Part 1 of Hostage In Havana contains all the events and background information leading up to the mission while part 2 is the actual mission on Cuban soil. The beginning is slow and deliberate, often pedestrian, with little to no action. The crisp dialogue between the characters is penned well: certainly engaging, entertaining and excellent.

With a richness unmatched in similar action/adventure novels, Hynd presents the historical Cuba as well as descriptive passages of underlying subcultures within its borders. This is one of his writing hallmarks. Hynd’s inside information and use of impeccable detail pushes the reader into the unpredictable world of espionage.

Even though it’s fiction, the interconnection (or lack thereof) between the covert governmental agencies is troubling to this reader/reviewer. I have not ventured outside the United States as of yet, but I do know I’d want Alex to be my partner if I ever took a trip overseas! The faith element is not as overt in this storyline. There is little acknowledgement of God’s providential care and protection which I found disappointing.

The reader of the Hostage In Havana will find themselves in the middle of the action while attempting to figure it out at the same time. You’ll ride the highs and lows of Alex’s adventurous activities within these pages and be exhausted afterward. The abrupt ending will leave you . . . wanting just a little more!

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.