El Salvador: America's great Cold War success story and the model for Iraq's fledgling democracy--if one ignores the grinding poverty, the corruption, the spiraling crime, and a murder rate ranked near the top in the hemisphere. This is where Jude McManus works as an executive protection specialist, currently assigned to an American engineer working for a U.S. consortium.
Ten years before, at age seventeen, he saw his father and two Chicago cop colleagues arrested for robbing street dealers. The family fell apart in the scandal's wake, his disgraced dad died under suspicious circumstances, and Jude fled Chicago to join the army and forge a new life.
Now the past returns when one of his father's old pals appears. The man is changed--he's scarred, regretful, self-aware--and he helps Jude revisit the past with a forgiving eye. Then he asks a favor--not for himself, but for the third member of his dad's old crew.
Even though it's ill-considered, Jude agrees, thinking he can oblige the request and walk away, unlike his father. But he underestimates the players and the stakes and he stumbles into a web of Third World corruption and personal betrayal where everything he values--and everyone he loves--is threatened. And only the greatest of sacrifices will save them.
"This big, brawny novel runs on full throttle from first to last page. Brutal and heartrendering, eloquent and important, this is a fully engrossing read."
"A Quiet American for the new century. Angry and impassioned, Blood of Paradise is that rare beast: a work of popular fiction that is both serious and thrilling."
--John Connolly, New York Times bestselling author of Every Dead Thing
"David Corbett is a supremely gifted writer and Blood of Paradise reminds me of a Robert Stone novel. Its lyrical prose and exotic setting filled with damaged souls grasping for redemption any way they can combine in a tour de force that will haunt you long after you reach the end."
--Denise Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of Prisoner of Memory
"If you're looking for the best in contemporary crime fiction, this is it."
--The Washington Post, on Done for a Dime
THE MORTALIS DOSSIER- BONUS FEATURE FROM DAVID CORBETT
FROM TROY TO BAGHDAD (VIA EL SALVADOR)
The Story's Genesis
I conceived Blood of Paradise after reading Philoctetes, a spare and
relatively obscure drama by Sophocles. In the original, an oracle advises
the Greeks that victory over the Trojans is impossible without
the bow of Herakles. Unfortunately, it's in the hands of Philoctetes,
whom the Greeks abandoned on a barren island ten years earlier,
when he was bitten by a venomous snake while the Achaean fleet
harbored briefly on its way to Troy.
Odysseus, architect of the desertion scheme, must now return,
reclaim the bow, and bring both the weapon and its owner to Troy.
For a companion, he chooses Neoptolemus, the son of his slain
Neoptolemus, being young, still holds fast to the heroic virtues
embodied by his dead father, and believes they can appeal to
Philoctetes as a warrior. But Odysseus--knowing Philoctetes will
want revenge against all the Greeks, himself in particular--
convinces Neoptolemus that trickery and deceit will serve their
purposes far better. In essence, he corrupts Neoptolemus, who subsequently
deceives Philoctetes into relinquishing his bitterness to
reenlist in the cause against Troy.
The tale has an intriguing...
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