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Blood of Paradise (Mortalis.)

by

Blood of Paradise (Mortalis.) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.”

– Michael Connelly

“ A Quiet American for the new century. Angry and impassioned, Blood of Paradise is that rare beast: a work ofpopular 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 Genesisrelatively 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

archrival, Achilles.

Neoptolemus, being young, still holds fast to the heroic virtues

embodiedby 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 postscript: It turns out to be the corrupted

Neoptolemus who, by killing King Priam at his altar during

the sack of Troy, brings down a curse upon the Greeks even as they

are perfecting their victory.

This story suggested several themes, which I then molded to my

own purposes: the role of corruption in our concept of expedience,

the need of young men to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of

even morally suspect elders (or especially them), and the curse of a

hard-won ambition.

Why El Salvador?the close of the Cold War: finally achieving unrivaled leadership of

the globe, but at the same time being cursed with the hatred of millions.

Though we have showered the world with aid, too often we

have done so through conspicuously corrupt, repressive, even murderous

regimes, where the elites in charge predictably siphoned off

much of that aid into their own pockets. Why did we look the other

way during the violence and thievery? The regimes in question were

reliably anticommunist, crucial to our need for cheap oil, or otherwise

amenable to American strategic or commercial interests.

We live in adangerous world, we are told. Hard, often unpleasant

choices have to be made.

It’ s a difficult argument for those who have suffered under such

regimes to swallow. They would consider it madness to suggest that it

is envy of our preeminence, or contempt for our freedom, that causes

them to view America so resentfully. Rather, they would try to get us

to remember that while their hopes for self-determination, freedom,

and prosperity were being crushed, America looked on with a

strangely principled indifference, often accompanied by a fiercely patriotic

self-congratulation, not to mention blatant hypocrisy.

Not only have we failed to admit this to ourselves, but the New

Right has embraced a resurgent American exceptionalism as the antidote

to such moral visitations, which such conservatives consider

weak and defeatist. Instead, they see a revanchist America marching

boldly into the new century with unapologetic military power, uninhibited

free-market capitalism, and evangelical fervor– most immediately

to bring freedom to the Middle East.

The New Right’ s historical template for this proposed transformation

is Central America– specifically El Salvador, trumpeted as

“ the final battleground of the Cold War, ” and championed as one of

our greatest foreign policy successes: the crucible in which American

greatness was re-forged, banishing the ghosts of Vietnam forever.

There’ s a serious problem with the New Right’ s formulation,

however: It requires an almost hallucinatory misreading of history.

Misremembering the Past

In their ongoing public campaign to justify the Iraq war, many

supporters and members of the Bush Administration– including

both Vice President Dick Cheney and former defense secretary Donald

Rumsfeld– have singled out El Salvador as a shining example of

where the “ forward-leaning” policy they champion has succeeded.

Mr. Cheney did so during the vice presidential debates, contending

that Iraq could expect the same bright future enjoyed by El Salvador,

which, he claimed, is “ a whale of a lot better because we held

free elections.”

What Mr. Cheney neglected to mention:

• At the time the elections were held (1982), death squads

linked to the Salvadoran security forces were murdering

on average three to five hundred civilians a month.

• The death squads targeted not just guerrilla supporters

but priests, social workers, teachers, journalists, even

members of the centrist Christian Democrats– the party

that Congress forced the Reagan Administration to back,

since it was the only party capable of solidifying the

Salvadoran middle.

• The CIA funneled money to the Christian Democrats to

ensure they gained control of the constituent assembly.

• Roberto D’ Aubuisson, a known death squad leader,

opposed the Christian Democrats as “ Communists, ” and

launched his own bid to lead the constituent assembly,

forming ARENA as the political wing of his death squad

network. His bid was funded and supported by exiled

oligarchs and reactionary military leaders, and managed

by a prominent American public relations firm.

• “ Anti-fraud measures” proved intimidating. For example:

ballots were cast in glass jars. Many voters, who had to

provide identification, and who suspected the government

was monitoring their choices, feared violent reprisal if

they were observed voting “ improperly.”

• ARENA won thirty-six of sixty seats in the assembly, and

D’ Aubuisson was elected its leader.

• This was perceived by all concerned as a disastrous

failure for American policy. When D’ Aubuisson tried

to appoint one of his colleagues as assembly president,

U.S. officials went to the military and threatened to cut

off aid. D’ Aubuisson relented, but it was the only

concession he made to American demands.

In short, there was American influence, money, and manipulation

throughout the process, putting the lie to the whole notion the

elections were “ free” – though Mr. Cheney was arguably correct

when he stated that “ we” held them. Unfortunately, all that effort

came to naught, as what America wanted from the elections lay in

shambles. Even when, in the following year’ s election, a great deal

more money and arm-twisting resulted in Washington’ s candidate

being elected president, he remained powerless to reform the military,

curtail the death squads, or revive the economy, measures

Washington knew to be crucial to its counter-insurgency strategy.

By 1987, th

Review:

"Corbett's third novel, a moving if somewhat directionless thriller, is as much a political statement as it is crime fiction. Jude McManus, a young American bodyguard assigned to keep watch over a business executive working for an El Salvador bottling plant, is approached by Bill Malvasio, an old Chicago police partner of McManus's late father, who, along with another cop, was fired from the force for corruption. Malvasio, who fled the U.S. for El Salvador during the scandal, wants to hire McManus to return to Chicago and bring back the third member of the trio. McManus accepts the job because Malvasio's reason seems benevolent — there's a job waiting, and the old partner has fallen on hard times. It's a decision McManus soon regrets. Corbett (Done for a Dime) spends an inordinate amount of time explaining the wreck that El Salvador has become since the civil war of the 1980s. While interesting in small doses, the sociopolitics detracts from a meandering plot already lacking in suspense and punch." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Protection specialist Jude agrees to grant a favor to one of his dad's old pals, but he underestimates the players and the stakes. When he tumbles into a web of Third World corruption and personal betrayal, everything he values--and everyone he loves--is threatened. Only the greatest of sacrifices will save them.

Synopsis:

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.”

–Michael Connelly

“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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812977332
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Corbett, David
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
Police corruption
Subject:
El salvador
Subject:
Police corruption -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
William Monk
Publication Date:
20070306
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
MAP
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 2.25 in 0.7 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

Blood of Paradise (Mortalis.) Used Trade Paper
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$4.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780812977332 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Corbett's third novel, a moving if somewhat directionless thriller, is as much a political statement as it is crime fiction. Jude McManus, a young American bodyguard assigned to keep watch over a business executive working for an El Salvador bottling plant, is approached by Bill Malvasio, an old Chicago police partner of McManus's late father, who, along with another cop, was fired from the force for corruption. Malvasio, who fled the U.S. for El Salvador during the scandal, wants to hire McManus to return to Chicago and bring back the third member of the trio. McManus accepts the job because Malvasio's reason seems benevolent — there's a job waiting, and the old partner has fallen on hard times. It's a decision McManus soon regrets. Corbett (Done for a Dime) spends an inordinate amount of time explaining the wreck that El Salvador has become since the civil war of the 1980s. While interesting in small doses, the sociopolitics detracts from a meandering plot already lacking in suspense and punch." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Protection specialist Jude agrees to grant a favor to one of his dad's old pals, but he underestimates the players and the stakes. When he tumbles into a web of Third World corruption and personal betrayal, everything he values--and everyone he loves--is threatened. Only the greatest of sacrifices will save them.
"Synopsis" by ,

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.”

–Michael Connelly

“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

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