Fidel's Last Days (Hardcover)
Roland Merullo has consistently wowed critics with his brilliant storytelling and his refusal to be pigeonholed, hopscotching from the coming-of-age tale ("In Revere, In Those Days") to the novel-as-fable ("Golfing with God") to the road trip genre ("Breakfast with Buddha"). Now Merullo delivers a dazzling and finely nuanced political thriller about a clandestine plot to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Former CIA agent Carolina Perez has spent five years working deep undercover with a singular goal: to take down Castro and free Cuba from his troubled presence. Recruited by a powerful shadow organization known as the White Orchid, steely and sexy Carolina has passed test after test to prove herself ready for the ultimate assignment. Convinced of the rightness of her cause, she will do anything to complete her mission. That includes duping her uncle Roberto Anzar, a wealthy and influential player in Miami's Cuban American community. But when suspicious details raise questions about her mysterious employer, not even Carolina is prepared for the elaborate web of deceit that surrounds her.
Across the Straits of Florida, Carlos Gutierrez has been lured into playing a pivotal role in the plot to overthrow el Comandante. The minister of health and a member of Castro's inner circle, Carlos has grown disenchanted with a political system that pays lip service to the Revolution's egalitarian ideals while ruling the country with ruthlessness, corruption, and lies. As his involvement deepens at great risk to himself and those he loves, the doctor who has dedicated his career to saving lives must decide how much blood he is willing to have on his own hands in the name of freedom.
For both Carlos and Carolina, the threat of betrayal looms large. Who can be trusted in a byzantine network of spies, double agents, and informants? Is the plot real or is it an elaborate ruse to expose the underground dissidents in Cuba? From the sizzling opulence of Miami to the paranoid dreamscape of Havana, "Fidel's Last Days" is a dizzying ride by a novelist whose genre-crossing talents know no bounds.
About the Author
Roland Merullo is the author of the Revere Beach trilogy, A Little Love Story, Golfing with God, and Breakfast with Buddha. A graduate of Brown University, he lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
"For the anti-Castro conspirators in FIDEL'S LAST DAYS, Roland Merullo's darkly fascinating thriller, patriotic zeal is second nature; so is deception. As part of an intricate assassination plot, Cuban-American undercover agent Carolina Perez wears disguises as adeptly as she does her high-heeled shoes, aware that she is 'flying, as always, on faith, on a love of risk, on buried old feelings for Cuba.' A ruthless torturer nicknamed 'the Dentist' embodies the horrors of unchecked power in a land of seductive pleasures and eviscerated dreams.”
–O, The Oprah Magazine
"In his 11th book, FIDEL'S LAST DAYS, local author Roland Merullo has penned a fast-paced and highly satisfying spy thriller about a conspiracy to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro. Merullo seamlessly switches the action from Miami, where a secret organization of Cuban expatriates is plotting to kill Castro, to Havana, where we see Castro's dictatorship in action and watch an internal assassination plot develop among Castro's own advisers. These two plots (and the separate narrative strains) come together at book's end in a dramatic climax…In FIDEL'S LAST DAYS, Roland Merullo takes readers on a fictional thrill ride filled with so much danger and drama that they won't want it to end."
–The Boston Globe
“Throughout FIDEL'S LAST DAYS, Merullo portrays Cuba as a country stifled by fear and an oppressive secret police — a nation ripe, even desperate, for revolution.” Perhaps Americans will soon have the chance to find out for themselves if he’s right.”
–New York Times Book Review
“Merullo still knows how to construct a good thriller.”
“FIDEL'S LAST DAYS is not only a taunt, expertly crafted page-turner, it is also a tender yet unsentimental exploration of the universal yearning to be free, a yearning which sometimes means having to kill one of your own. This is a timely, important, and moving novel, and I urge you to read it!”
–Andre Dubus III
“FIDEL'S LAST DAYS is a wry, humane, thinking-man’s thriller, Roland Merullo has written a novel that is, in every way, worthy of comparisons to Graham Greene, and only Graham Greene. One of the best books of the year.”
“The suspense is as thick as an authentic café cubano, and the labyrinthine plot appears to point to a successful conclusion, until Merullo jams the knife in one last time and gives this timely thriller a final, chilling twist.”
“Merullo not only constructs a highly suspenseful, believable thriller; he also captures the mood of a country…taking the reader into the minds of ordinary Cubans and revealing an uneasy mix of fear and determination.”