Ex-con Gus Corral is at peace with his new life as a private investigator. He’s good at his job, even if he’s mostly a delivery man or a “go-for” guy trying to expose—or protect—someone else’s secrets.
An unexpected visit by Joaquín “Kino” Machaco, the Colorado Rockies’ all-star center fielder who defected from Cuba as a teen, disrupts his routine. The famous ballplayer needs help: His brother has a gambling problem and owes a lot of money to a Cuban criminal who’s threatening their family. He needs Gus to travel to the island with his brother to hand over half a million dollars in cash. Not only will Gus need to keep the money safe from the inveterate gambler, he’ll have to convince the “entrepreneur” to leave Machaco’s family alone after the payoff.
Gus’ visions of relaxing on warm, beautiful beaches accompanied by Latin jazz and rum concoctions are immediately dashed. A hail of bullets—violence virtually unheard of in the autocratic nation—leaves one dead and several wounded and leads to unforeseen ramifications that will come to a shocking, bloody conclusion in Denver. Narrated by Gus Corral in his sardonic voice, The Golden Havana Night reveals a complicated, secretive island where nothing is really secret.
“The Cuba sequences are gripping, and it’s hard to resist [this] hero ….”—Kirkus Reviews
“Ramos spins a dark tale of confused loyalties and shocking betrayals…”—Publishers Weekly
“The Golden Havana Night cries out for a sequel.”—The Denver Post
“Ramos’ metaphoric reflections on who and how we see one another, through language, through health communication, through aging, make interesting divagations from the crime and travel literature mission of the novel, but add immeasurably to the storytelling essential to the detective novel. The Golden Havana Night has everything a reader looks for.”—La Bloga
“This is Gus Corral’s world and it can get messy. The Golden Havana Night carries a deliciously organic flavor. The writing is rich. The pages fly. At the end, of course, we all want Gus Corral back as soon as possible to show us the city of Denver, or anywhere else in the world, through his jaded, homie eyes.”—Don’t Need a Diagram
“Gus finds himself running for his life, just hoping to get off the island in one piece in this fast-paced and electrifying noir adventure.”—Mysterious Book Report
“A deftly crafted and refreshingly original mystery by an author with a genuine flair for memorable characters and a riveting narrative storytelling, The Golden Havana Night is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections and the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs.”—Midwest Book Review
MANUEL RAMOS is the recipient of several literary awards and the author of numerous books, including My Bad: A Mile High Noir (Arte Público Press, 2016), Desperado: A Mile High Noir (Arte Público Press, 2013), The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories (Arte Público Press, 2015), Brown-on-Brown: A Luis Montez Mystery (University of New Mexico Press, 2003) and The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz (St. Martin’s Press, 1993; Northwestern University Press, 2004), an Edgar Award finalist. He lives and works in Denver, Colorado.