The Havana Room by Colin Harrison

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The disconnect between the opening chapter and the rest of the book suggests an author who lost his galvanizing sense of purpose and approached the remaining pages as a problem that needed to be solved. But for someone with Harrison's gifts, even struggles and mishaps can be riveting.
-AV Club

Synopsis

The Havana Room is the tale of a man from his fall from the heights of power and wealth in New York to the moment where he might well die.

Bill Wyeth is a successful real-estate attorney in his late thirties with a wife and son, who, by the merest chance, loses everything: family, job, status. Unmoored and alone, Wyeth drifts toward the city's darker corners. Restoration seems unlikely, redemption impossible, when Wyeth finds himself in an old-time Manhattan steakhouse. He is intrigued by the manager, Allison Sparks--sexy, complicated, and independent in all ways. She also controls access to the restaurant's private bar. This is the Havana Room, and what goes on in there, he's told, is secret.

Wyeth agrees to help Alison's friend, Jay Rainey, in concluding a last-minute midnight real-estate transaction. As soon as he sees the players and the paperwork, Wyeth knows something is wrong.

Within hours, Wyeth finds himself tangled in Rainey's peculiar obsessions, which involve a Chilean businessman who feels he's been swindled, an old farmer frozen dead to a bulldozer, an outrageous black owner of a downtown hiphop club, and a fourteen-year-old English girl. Only Rainey knows the connections among these people, which are revealed when Wyeth is finally admitted to the Havana Room--where the survival of its inhabitants is most uncertain.

 

About Colin Harrison

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Colin Harrison is the author of five novels, including The Havana Room and Afterburn. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, writer Kathryn Harrison, and their three children.
 
Published April 17, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 404 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Action & Adventure, Education & Reference. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Havana Room
All: 1 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 1

AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Scott Tobias on Feb 03 2004

The disconnect between the opening chapter and the rest of the book suggests an author who lost his galvanizing sense of purpose and approached the remaining pages as a problem that needed to be solved. But for someone with Harrison's gifts, even struggles and mishaps can be riveting.

Read Full Review of The Havana Room | See more reviews from AV Club

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70%

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