A timely international thriller by the former deputy assistant secretary of state and bestselling author.
When four American sport fishermen stray into Cuban waters and are promptly arrested by Castro’s navy, State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker finds himself called in to negotiate their release. But the more Ryker digs in to the situation, the more things he discovers that just don’t seem to fit, especially now, with relations between the United States and Cuba supposedly thawing. Who are these men really, and what were they doing there? What is Ryker’s actual mission, and what is his own government hiding from him?
Some people want the new initiative to succeed. Others want to stop it at any cost. Still others see it as an opportunity for something much more radical. The common factor for every one of them: the time to act is right this minute.
The ghosts of Havana are walking, and Ryker is caught in the middle of them all.
Present-day Cuba provides the backdrop for Moss's timely if uneven third novel featuring State Department troubleshooter Judd Ryker (after 2015's Minute Zero). When four friends from the D.C. suburbs agree to go deep-sea fishing off Florida, two are unaware that one of them, a descendant of a Bay of Pigs invader, has a secret agenda; the fourth is in on the game. When their boat strays into Cuban waters and gets captured, Judd's boss sends him to Havana, to run a back-channel operation to free the "Soccer Dad Four" before they become tokens in a political badminton game between the U.S. and Cuba. Meanwhile, Judd's wife, Jessica, a former black-ops CIA agent, seeks out the guy who rented the fishing boat to the four Americans. Moss, a former deputy assistant secretary of state, does a good job depicting the tactics that our intelligence agencies might employ in negotiating with a foreign power, but most of the action centers on the highly capable Jessica, leaving Judd to perform relatively more mundane tasks, like drinking all night with Cuba's intelligence chief while discussing the terms of the men's return.