Comrades in Miami

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November 09, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

The heroine of José Latour’s workmanlike thriller, Comrades in Miami is one of the quirkiest characters in spy lit: a frumpy, fortysomething Havana bureaucrat with an IQ of 176 and an equally jaw-dropping libido. Victoria Valiente and her nerdy husband decide they’re ready to defect, and between steamy rounds in the bedroom, they devise an ingenious plan to steal a few million dollars and begin new lives in Florida, using Elliot Steil — the amiable émigré Latour introduced in 1999’s Outcast — as a pawn. Latour’s plot is an impressive mind-bender, and he’s created a few first-class characters. But he never achieves the exquisite balance between page-turning intrigue, sexy atmosphere, and sharp characterization that would put him on a par with titans like Martin Cruz Smith and John le Carré.

Comrades in Miami

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Comrades in Miami

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