Dance of the Millions
1920-The first world war concluded a year ago, the world order has been realigned, the prospects for serenity and prosperity appear bright. In Cuba, wealth arrives with the growing production of sugar, an essential crop to the farmers and landowners. The wealth has also led to a carefree, almost reckless spending from those unaccustomed to such riches. Cuba, particularly Havana, has become a large tourist mecca for citizens of the nearby United States. The recent passing of Prohibition has left Americans parched for the sweet taste of alcohol, which Havana offers along with other prohibited vices. The laissez-faire spirit of the country and good feeling feel like they could last forever. However, pervading darkness lurks just around the corner.
Three good friends are experiencing life in Havana during 1920-21 in different ways. Eduardo Betancourt is from the rural part of Cuba where his father owns an expanding sugar plantation. Eduardo lives with a local family while he attends law school. Degas Falla Bonet is the son of the president’s advisor and his studies are not nearly as important as his next amorous conquest. Enrique Solar approaches the end of his law studies, yet is distracted by the plight of the working man. The three friends engage in conversation over the direction of Cuba, Enrique tends to lean towards a pensive and pessimistic view. Eduardo attempts to assuage Enrique’s negativity but sees the pall cast by the decadence and corruption of his country.
Good times are fleeting. While the bacchanalia is indulged in the city limits, events are going on that may tear Cuba apart. A killer is on the loose, a man who bore witness to a ritualistic sacrifice and became possessed. His appetites run toward the young and beautiful dancers, who entrance their audiences with intoxicating and exotic rhythmic dances. He offers various young women a smile and a flash of cash, and then turns on them and ends their life. The police are indifferent, as many of the women are indigent. Coupled with this is a possible economic downturn. The boom of the previous few years is soon to be met with a crash in sugar prices, which could ruin the once-prosperous landowners. Eduardo is at the center of both of these crises, as he attempts to identify the killer while fretting over his father’s possible ruin.
Dance of the Millions is a historical fiction/mystery narrative that proves gripping from the start. The characters that form the heart of the tale are assorted in their makeup, but prove individually interesting. Eduardo is the center/conscience of the story, attempting to make sense of an increasingly insane world. The human drama taking place for the audience from start to finish proves heartrending and thought-provoking. A fantastic read all around.
|Page Count||340 pages|
|Publisher||Level Best Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|