Historical fiction

Miami Days Havana Nights by Linda Bennett Pennell


I must begin by saying I was a little conflicted before starting to write this review, so much so that I postponed the publishing of the review. I normally post the review immediately after I finish a book, but decided to mull over this a little bit more. I requested a copy of this book via NetGalley because I found the premise interesting. It is not a topic I have had much experience with before and thought this would be a good opportunity to become familiar with something new.

I flew through the first half of the book and really enjoyed it, but the second half I felt got bogged down with the personal matters of the main protagonist in the current timeline. This is a dual timeline story, with the focus being Sam Ackerman being a young boy in New York who was working for the wrong man and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. With so many ‘wrongs’ stacked up against him, he is shipped off to Miami. This is where his story begins. Years later, a History of American Crime professor Liz Reams stumbles on a photo of a person she knows nothing about but feels could be the key to her next book. She has had writers block after her last book on Al Capone. She starts digging up on him and is led to a journey from Miami all the way to Cuba and back. She works out her personal life during this journey.

As I mentioned before, if there was more of Sam’s life and less of Liz I would have rated this book higher. As it stands, it is a 3.5 for me but Goodreads doesn’t allow that. The topics discussed show the power of money and a version of Jews in the USA that I knew nothing about. All the historical points would be good discussion points for book clubs. I would recommend this to everyone who is interested in the possible repercussions of being related to the mob and US crime history.

I am still on schedule with reviewing most books before their release dates and this counts towards dealing with those poor books that have been relegated to the ‘older than three months’ section in my NetGalley virtual shelf . I just listed out next month’s books in a calendar and feel excited about all this prep, I wonder if this ‘organizing’ will last the year or if I will just slide back to my usual habits.

Affiliated link if you are interested in purchasing the book: Book Depository

2 thoughts on “Miami Days Havana Nights by Linda Bennett Pennell”

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