Night Work (Michael Cassidy)
by David C. Taylor
Cover Artist: Cuba at night by Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo;
1940s noir gangster by Pali Rao / Getty Images
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Forge Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765374851
Date: 05 April 2016 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Twitter / Show Official Info /
Night Work begins as the main character, New York City Police Detective Michael Cassidy, is escorting a Cuban criminal from New York City to Havana, Cuba. The year is 1959, and it is Batista's Cuba. Wealthy Americans are there as tourists and the American mob runs the casino trade. Cassidy delivers the prisoner, who is promptly executed by the prison commander as Cassidy stands by.
While still at the prison, Cassidy sees a group of prisoners marching by and recognizes one as his former girlfriend, Dillon from New York, jailed for supporting the communist rebels. His connection with Dillon occurred several years prior and was part of David C. Taylor's previous novel featuring Cassidy (Night Shift), but there is plenty of background in Night Work to understand the story. Dillon is a Russian spy and, in Night Shift, she was used as a plant as Cassidy's neighbor to get info from Cassidy surrounding the plot of the last novel. Fortunately and unfortunately, Dillon and Cassidy fell in love.
Never shying away from danger, Cassidy is able to help Dillon escape from prison and they continue their affair in Cuba as Cassidy stays on vacation after delivering the prisoner. During the vacation, the Cuban revolution occurs and Castro and the revolutionaries assume power. Since Dillon was in Cuba supporting Castro and the rebels, she and Cassidy are able to use her connections and escape Cuba. They part ways again, and Cassidy returns to New York.
The plot continues in New York as Cassidy and his partner Tony Orso are put on the security detail when Fidel Castro visits New York City in 1959. Remember, this is before the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and the US and Cuba are friends. The plot is great, full of suspense and it is very informative to read the perspective of the US - Cuba relationship before it turned bad.
Another great part of the plot is the great characters. Cassidy is a very complicated man. He comes from a wealthy family and does not need to work, but he likes being a cop. The lines of legal and illegal are blurry for Cassidy. He dates a communist and he helps her escape from prison, but still enforces the law in his job.
Cassidy is a bit haunted by his World War II service. I like to think that both, Dillon and Cassidy, are a product of the time. In 2016, we are post Cold War, but the 1950s were the beginning of the Cold War. World War II was a big shaping force in our country and in other parts of the world too, and in the 1950s the war was still fresh in everyone's minds. Night Work is a great glimpse into a different time.
The press reviews of both Night Shift and Night Work make a big deal about Cassidy's dreams. Yes, he does have vague dreams and later finds himself in situations similar to the dreams. For instance, he had a vague dream that mimicked the events before he ran into Dillon in the prison. I do not even include his dreams in my plot synopsis, because the good part about David C. Taylor's books is the suspense and his great characters. Since the dreams are so much a part of the press reviews, I did not want to leave them out, but the book is much more than a "dream the future" story.
I love Night Work, and I am very glad that I found the series by David C. Taylor. I highly recommend it.