Audaces fortuna juvat
Fortune Favors the Bold
The first pages of this fast-paced novel draw the reader into the mystery of the artist Pilar Vasquez, an ultra-provocative figure from the Cuban Revolution, who painted heroic murals and an iconic portrait of Fidel Castro before vanishing from history inside Fidel’s most infamous political prison.
Taking the story ahead four decades, author D. S. Cooper introduces us to the beautiful aviatrix Alicia Vasquez, the adopted daughter of a reclusive couple in Maryland, who is completely unaware that she may be heir to one of Cuba’s grandest fortunes. Alicia’s awakening begins when she is the copilot of a flight to Puerto Rico alongside her gun-toting captain, Conor Laird, an ex-Navy fighter pilot, middling amateur boxer, and absentee family man, who intervenes when a stranger accosts his copilot for her resemblance to the missing artist. On another layover in Old San Juan, the pilots are courted by Jovi Molina, a shadowy character with ties to the anti-Castro group Alpha 66, who claims that Pilar Vasquez — a woman both loved and reviled by millions — did not die in the Presidio Modelo, as proclaimed by the Castro Regime.
Thus launched into a quest to learn the true fate of Cuba’s most enigmatic artist, and Ali’s destiny, the pilots are on their own against drug smugglers, rogue CIA operatives, and unknown assailants, until joined by Connor Laird’s wife, free-lance journalist Lorraine Calhoun Laird, and her father, career diplomat Bertram Calhoun.
Written in Cooper’s sparse and easy to read style, Whom Fortune Favors is a journey of intrigue and twists-of-fate, with memorable heroes and villains sparring at the intersection of high-crimes and political obfuscation, all leading to a clandestine landing-strip deep in the Florida Everglades, where lies the truth.