“The Good Assassin opens up Hemingway’s Cuba. Possessing Alan Furst’s attention for period detail and the deft character touches of John Le Carré, Vidich has quickly carved out a place for himself among the very first rank of espionage writers. It’s a masterful effort and the author’s best work to date.” —Michael Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicago Way
“The Good Assassin is first-rate literary espionage…Author Paul Vidich has evoked not only the intrigue and brutality of Batista’s Cuba, but the island itself…a masterful work of noir fiction.” —Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author of A Hint of Strangeness
Paul Vidich follows up his acclaimed debut spy thriller An Honorable Man with “a keen historical adventure from the best noir tradition” (Elizabeth Kostova, #1 New York Times bestselling author) set in 1950s Cuba, as foreign powers compete to influence the outcome of a revolution.
Former CIA Agent George Mueller arrives in Havana in August 1958, during the last months of dictator Fulgencio Batista’s reign, to look into the activities of Toby Graham—an in-country CIA officer suspected of harboring sympathies for the rebels fighting the unpopular Batista regime. Specifically, Mueller’s old friend Graham may be putting weapons into the hands of Castro’s forces, in bold defiance of the United States arms embargo on the island.
But when Mueller uncovers a world of deceit as the FBI, CIA, and State Department compete to influence the outcome of the revolution in the face of the brutal dictatorship’s imminent collapse, he realizes that nothing and no one is what they seem.
This is a powerful story of ideals, passions, betrayals, and corrupting political rivalries in the months before Castro’s march into Havana on New Year’s Day, 1959. As New York Times bestselling author Michael Harvey raves, “It’s a masterful effort and the author’s best work to date.”
Cuba in the late 1950s provides the backdrop for Vidich's simmering, old-fashioned literary spy tale, the sequel to 2016's An Honorable Man. The CIA director persuades retired agent George Mueller to go to Cuba during the perilous last throes of the Batista regime to investigate Toby Graham, a CIA operative suspected of assisting Fidel Castro's rebel fighters with diverted CIA weaponry. Posing as a magazine travel writer, Mueller reconnects with Jack and Liz Malone, old friends who have relocated to Cuba and are unable to see the coming upheaval in their lives, both political and personal. Toby's betrayals aren't limited to his mission, and Mueller must make a choice between justice and duty, between loyalty to his profession and to his friends. A novel of prerevolutionary Cuba can scarcely escape nods to Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene, but Vidich most deliberately evokes F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, from the opening epigraph to the denouement. The high quality of the author's prose makes this a worthy homage.