Message From The Author

Barbara Parker

Genre: Suspense, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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Author's Message



"It's not a political book," insists veteran author Barbara
Parker about her new Gail Connor/Anthony Quintana thriller, this month's Suspicion of Rage (Dutton). "It's just about
a family." But the current chaotic political climate in Cuba played a role in its inception, as did books.

Parker literally walked into a story when she attended the Miami Book Fair a few years ago and met a couple who had founded the Independent Libraries of Cuba and started a
lending library from their home.

"In Cuba, all the official libraries are controlled by the state," Parker explains. "They were harassed and eventually sought political asylum in the U.S. I went down there to meet the
people to whom they turned the libraries over, and the
whole idea of putting a librarian in the story came to me."

But not just any librarian. This one, Yolanda, turns out to be a childhood friend of Miami attorney Anthony Quintana, and she arouses jealousy in Anthony's new bride, fellow lawyer Gail Conner, when the two take a honeymoon trip to the homeland Anthony left behind when he was 13.

Anthony, meanwhile, is torn between his dissident friends and his family—his sister is married to a general in Castro's army. And before he heads to Cuba, the CIA asks him to deliver a message to his brother-in-law: that his life is in danger and they will help him defect. Soon, things turn deadly and Gail and Anthony are in the middle
of it all.

Parker took two trips to Cuba to re-search the book, and two months after
she returned from one sojourn, the man who took over the library from the Cuban couple she met in Miami was arrested and given a 25-year sentence.

"I was most impressed with the level
of courage shown by the dissidents," she
says, emotion rising in her voice. "More courage than most of us in this country
are called upon to have. They really
are in danger of losing everything, yet
they persist."

And Parker adds that she doesn't think U.S. sanctions against Cuba are helping the situation: "It keeps them on emergency footing, and Castro can therefore justify being very repressive toward his own people, because they feel themselves
in a state of siege."

As for Anthony and Gail, well, needless to say, they work things out. Parker has a contract with
Dutton for two more books in the series. But after traipsing
off to Cuba and other parts of Florida, they'll finally be
home in Miami.

And Gail's mother, Irene, may even find herself a love interest. "She's 60 years old—it's time for her to go wild," Parker says with a laugh.

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