A Different Kind Of Key West Tale / Living Proof, by Kevin May

As some of you may know, I read a lot of books. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. (I have a lot of time on my hands). I really love to read books set in the Keys and Caribbean and am always on the look out for the next one.

This book was recommended to me by Key West Chris Rehm. I follow his blog and Facebook page and trust his opinion.


Living Proof isn’t your typical flying bullets action thriller. Here’s the synopsis:

CIA since the age of twenty-one, by no choice of his own, Agent Jake Lander had long dreamed of the day he would finally be free from the life they had provided him in their finely-tuned world of deception. After a twenty-five year career with the Agency, Jake knew far too much to simply walk away. Escape was his only option. Once that day arrived, he was designated a national security risk––his Protocol: Capture or Kill. Jake chose the quaint and quirky island of Key West to begin his new life of peaceful anonymity. However, his serenity would be short-lived as he discovered that his island paradise was too small to get away with anything. Faced with that reality, Jake knew his escape could easily end up costing him his life, yet it was the only way get it back.

My take:

The rogue CIA agent gets into no gun battles, no fights, and no real adventure until the end. What he does is figure himself out.
There is some deep introspection from inside the mind of a unique man. His long hidden feelings and life of deception come to a head on the sunny tropical isle of Key West. The author’s descriptions of local haunts are excellent. He walks you around Old Town in a very realistic manner. The tension may not be flying bullets, but it’s tense nonetheless.
You will not know how it ends, until you turn the last few pages.

The writing is simply very well done. It has style without being flowery. Rarely does a man write about his inner thoughts the way May does in Living Proof. The runaway agent spends a great deal of time grappling with his own thoughts. You want him to run away with the new girl, a seemingly free spirit with a bounty of ill gotten cash. You want him to remain true to his previous lover, whom he left without even a goodbye note. You are as conflicted as the hero. You’re not sure what he is going to do, or what you would do in his shoes.

May really does a great service to Key West not only in his descriptions of people and places, but by somehow capturing the spirit of the place in words. Highly recommended for all lovers of Key West.

Living Proof is available in paperback and Kindle editions at:


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