Night Work: the second book in David C. Taylor's transporting historical crime fiction series.
Michael Cassidy, a New York cop plagued by dreams that sometimes come true, escorts a prisoner accused of murder to Havana on the cusp of Fidel Castro's successful revolution against the Batista dictatorship. After delivering the man to La Cabaña prison and rescuing Dylan McCue, a Russian KGB agent and his now-married former lover, from her scheduled execution, Cassidy returns to New York and retreats into the comforts of alcohol and sex.
The arrival of Fidel Castro in New York three months later complicates the cop's life once more. Cassidy's investigation of a young man's murder in Central Park is interrupted when he is assigned to Castro's protective detail.
Castro has many enemies. American mobsters who have been run out of Havana, businessmen who worry about their investments in Cuba, and members of Batista's secret police all want him dead. Cassidy is already investigating one murder. Can he prevent another?
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The early days of Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution are the backdrop for Edgar-finalist Taylor's superb sequel to 2015's Night Life. Det. Mike Cassidy may be the godson of big-time crime boss Frank Costello, but he's been honest enough during his 12 unruly years with the NYPD to make plenty of enemies both on the force and off. In 1958, Cassidy escorts an extradited Cuban murderer back to Batista's corrupt Havana, where he discovers that his lost love, Dylan McCue, a committed KGB agent, is condemned to death for smuggling guns to Cuban rebels. Cassidy engineers her escape, only to learn that she's married to a Soviet operative. Dylan leaves Cassidy, who comes from a privileged background, to booze and one-night stands. Months later, after the revolution succeeds, Cassidy and his partner, Tony Orso, are assigned to protect Castro on his triumphal visit to New York City. Taylor's masterly command of historical detail and his powerful delineations of characters both real and fictional should help put this second novel, like his first, into contention for an Edgar Award.