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Havana Requiem: A Legal Thriller
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Havana Requiem: A Legal Thriller (Michael Seeley Mystery #3)

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  55 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Fueled by alcohol and legal brilliance, Michael Seeley once oversaw his law firm's most successful litigation. Until it all fell apart. Recklessness and overreach cost him his wife, his job, and likely the life of his last client, a Chinese dissident journalist. Havana Requiem, the latest Seeley novel from the acclaimed author Paul Goldstein, opens after a year's sobriety ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published April 24th 2012)
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Sara Van Dyck
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fict-g
I chose this book because it had won the Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction. This does show a lawyer sacrificing a great deal, fighting political and financial forces, as he struggles to assist clients to get back rights to their authentic Cuban music. This is, a character says,”music that makes people dream.” You might enjoy the book for its colorful street scenes in a more-or-less contemporary Cuba, and a sense of the musicians’ love of “la cultura.” So I wanted to like the book, but I found t ...more
Read this for a book club. Skip it.

This book feels like a poorly made film version of a book. Neither the characters nor their relationships are developed or believable. It's rushed. Things don't really add up and are concluded in a matter of pages without much explanation. There are sections that really have nothing to do with the plot and are uninteresting in their own right; these are scenes that should have been cut. I was surprised to see unclear writing from a law professor (and practition
Based on the jacket praise from Alan Cheuse and Timothy Hallinan, I was hoping to like this more than I did. The backbiting and politicking in Seeley's law firm was believable and depressing. The portrait of present day Cuba did not seem quite as believable, but the light it shed on racial and racist elements Cuba from the revolution to the present was very interesting. The book really did make me want to hear and know more about the music that was at the heart of the case.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is supposed to be a legal thriller in the tradition of John Grisham. It got the law part correct but the thriller part fell flat. The book had no suspense, was hugely complex, and too wordy. Just a big bust. I am sorry since the author is a Stanford Law Professor and his acknowledgements read like a directory of my beloved law school. Too bad.
James Korsmo
I found this highly recommended legal thriller to be decent, but not much of a "thriller." And the legal components are also rather minor. Goldstein crafts nice prose, and I enjoyed his depiction of modern-day Cuba, which came alive nicely in the novel. But the plot dragged just a bit too much to make it a great read.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soulfully written, this love story of sorts explores the native music of Cuba and a lawyer's unbridled zeal in the representation of his clients. Chess match of competing schemes and interests ably portrayed. Highly recommend!
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting portrayal of Cuba as it is today. An interesting and convoluted legal thriller with a protagonist who is very very human while also very very flawed. Good read.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This may be what I deserve for reading the book an ABA poll chose as the best legal novel of the year. Pass.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boringly predictable.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lexi by: Regina
Shelves: fiction
Quick read that really makes you feel like you know Cuba, though the plot is otherwise a bit thin and the main character not terribly likeable.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not all that you see or hear is as it should be.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some legal thrillers grab me. This one didn't. Way too predictable despite the effort to separate itself from the herd.
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Paul Goldstein is a writer, lawyer, and the Lillick Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. His novel "Havana Requiem" received the 2013 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

* Michael Seeley Mystery
More about Paul Goldstein...

Other Books in the Series

Michael Seeley Mystery (3 books)
  • Errors and Omissions
  • A Patent Lie

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