A pulse-pounding thriller: Hostage in Havana by Noel Hynd

Publisher: Zondervan (June 2011)

U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra LaDuca, the star agent who headlines the Russian Trilogy, also by Noel Hynd, returns in book one of a new series entitled The Cuban Trilogy. Hostage in Havana opens with a threat on Alex's life, one that leads her to make the decision to partner on a questionable mission into Cuba with Paul Guarneri, a Cuban-born exile who has family ties to the Mob. When Alex and Paul's entry into Cuba almost results in their capture, they find themselves on the run from Cuban police and others with a loyalty in opposition to America, and Alex faces the greatest threat to her life yet.

Hostage in Havana is a smart thriller that largely lives up to Hynd's previous novels. I found that much of the book unfolded with superb pacing, capturing my attention with the creepy unknown killer, the exotic locations, the mounting suspense. The book did provide a lot of detail on the history of Cuba and America's interaction with that country , and while the information was interesting, I did find it bogged down the pace somewhat. All in all, however, I greatly enjoyed the return of Alex with her courage and determination to serve her country with loyalty, and I found the conclusion to be perfectly satisfying. Alex also goes deeper in her faith, a journey that has been naturally unfolding through the prior Trilogy and now continues in the next. Hynd is a talented author, one of the best in the Christian action-espionage-suspense genre, and I look forward to book 2 in the series, coming in May 2012.

I strongly recommend this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Book was provided courtesy of the publisher, Zondervan, for the purposes of this unbiased review.