Blood of Paradise
Nominated for an Anthony for Best Paperback Original
Nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Novel
Nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original
Named a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book of 2007
Chosen One of the Top Ten Thrillers & Mysteries of 2007 by The Washington Post
L SALVADOR: America's great Cold War success story and the model for Iraq's fledgling democracyif 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.
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 stakes, and stumbles into a web of Third World corruption and personal betrayal, where everything he valuesand everyone he lovesis threatened. And only the greatest of sacrifices will save them.
Read an interview of David with his editor, Mark Tavani.
Read the Author's Note.
See more photographs by Jeff Becom, the photographer whose image appears on the cover of BLOOD OF PARADISE.
BLOOD OF PARADISE Goes to France! A hardcover French edition of BLOOD OF PARADISE (retitled Une Certain Vérité) was published in Fall 2013, through Sonatine, and received great praise in Le Monde, Le Parisien, and Le Point. A mass-market paperback edition will appear in 2014 through J'ai Lu. He was also interviewed for La Vie en Noir.
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BLOOD OF PARADISE
Ballantine Books Paperback, March 2007, ISBN-10: 0812977335, ISBN-13: 978-0812977332
PRAISE FOR BLOOD OF PARADISE
Dennis Riordan, San Francisco Chronicle
Patrick Anderson, Washington Post
"I need to state at the outset that I had a bit of a problem while reading Blood of Paradise by David Corbett. It's a simple one: Corbett and I happen to have different world views. But, politics aside, this is a haunting and compelling read from beginning to end. . . . Where Blood of Paradise truly shines is with the creation of the murky situational undertow that Corbett creates and slowly pulls [the protagonist, Jude] McManus toward, even as we see (or think we see) where things are heading. Corbett is an absolute master at creating a scenario leading unexpectedly to explosive violence, and the result is a work in which one is compelled to keep turning pages even as one dreads seeing what will happen next. . . . Corbett weaves an extremely complex tapestry throughout Blood of Paradise while, interestingly enough, making McManus a devil's advocatea skeptic who wonders, with some merit, whether the Salvadorans' lot in life would improve regardless of who governs them. . . . Corbett keeps the action moving slowly but steadily toward a series of horrifying denouements where it's difficult to sort out winners from losersif indeed such classifications ultimately matter."
Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com
"Corbett has outdone himself with Blood of Paradise."
"With an assured hand David Corbett has been quietly crafting some of the best novels of the last 5 years. . . . Corbett is better then anyone else at using a simple premise or crime as a platform to spin epic stories of the human experience writ large against a vast canvass. From personal interaction with one another; to interactions with ourselves; to interactions with our own ghosts and demons; to interactions with faith, god and fate; to interactions with the socio/politico machines of our own creation. The beating heart at the center of Blood of Paradise may be a dark one but it's a real one that we, at times, can recognize as our own. . . . You've heard of the term embedded journalist; well Corbett is an embedded novelist."
Brian Lindenmuth, FantasyBookSpot.com
"Poetic, romantic, hard-eyed and brutal...Corbett, like Robert Stone and Graham Greene before him, is crafting important, immensely thrilling books. Blood of Paradise is his best to date."
George Pelecanos, author of The Night Gardener
"This big, brawny novel runs on full throttle from first to last page. Brutal and heartrending, eloquent and important, this is a fully engrossing read."
Michael Connelly, author of Echo Park
"[N]othing is simple with Corbett and nothing is straightforward. He's a master at immersing you in a sea of contradictions while describing real life so that it,s not only interesting to read about, but manages to sound like real life. . . . Written from a multiplicity of perspectives, Corbett offers what readers desire most, intense tension and gritty authenticity. . . . The result is a book that is dense with detail and character, rich with plots and subplots, filled with the absurdity of Americans puttering about in foreign territories where they have no business being. . . . Corbett should be on your auto-buy list."
Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column
"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, author of The Book of Lost Things
"Inspired by the eloquent yet deeply disturbing Greek tragedies of long ago, Blood of Paradise is a dark novel, penned by one of today,s most passionate writers. . . . The characters are flawed, three dimensional and absolutely believable. Throughout the novel, recognizing good and evil becomes more difficult, as the reader begins to question his own moral assumptions and attitudes. The plot and subplots work well together and often propel each other forward. Intricately layered and complicated, Corbett's story revs up both the suspense and the stakes as the novel hurtles toward its conclusion. . . . With a practiced eye for detail, Corbett,s thoughts on the modern predicament are as insightful as they are chilling. Acknowledging the complexity of the politics and the difficult decisions being made by politicians lends a realism to the novel, making it almost impossible to discern the line between fact and fiction. He weaves a myriad of seemingly disparate situations in the world - gang activity, terrorism, US foreign policy, corruption, murder, - into a seamless story that ties everything together. The novel is exceptionally well written, with haunting depictions that capture both the beauty and the despair of a land and its people, which no longer seem so foreign or distant. . . . Powerful, shocking and thought provoking, Blood of Paradise is a challenging read that I would recommend to all who enjoy serious thrillers."
RJ McGill, 3Rs-Real Reader Reviews
"Blood of Paradise proves that David Corbett can do what so few others can: write a thought-provoking, intelligent thriller that never loses its edge for a minute. Gripping, powerful, and beautifully written, Blood of Paradise is a terrific read that will keep readers enthralled from start to finish."
Jan Burke, author of Kidnapped
"David Corbett is a supremely gifted writer and his latest, Blood of Paradise, is mesmerizing. Its lyrical prose, its exotic setting, its damaged souls grasping for redemption any way they can, all combine in a tour de force that will haunt you long after you reach the end."
Denise Hamilton, author of Prisoner of Memory
"David Corbett is the best, least appreciated writer in the thriller genre today."
"David Corbett is a very good writer who knows some very bad things. This compulsively readable moral thriller steps boldly into Robert Stone and Graham Greene territory. It is a meditation on love and honor in the face of pervasive evil and terror. Reader beware: behind this novel's intoxicating tropical greenery, there lurks a savage predator waiting to rip your heart out. Get it now, and make plans to stay up late tonight."
Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway
"An amazing novel set in El Salvador that illustrates the tangled and perverse alliances that the US government has established with corrupt leaders . . . The ending is deeply moving, and as timely and timeless as the Greek tragedy that inspired the story. I will be thinking about this book for a long time."
Barbara Fister's Place
"Fascinating, intricate plot set in interesting locale. . . . Jude McManus is a fascinating character who pulls you immediately into Blood of Paradise."
"Blood of Paradise is rich in insider detail and Latin American politics. It benefits from an extraordinary amount of research implicit throughout the novel. But the novel is, at its dark heart, a character study in which Jude's values, self-image and soul are put to a terrible test. As with Corbett's other two novels, his finely-drawn characters and a fledgling romance pull the reader through the grim, pungent, unsentimental and often raw backdrop of Blood of Paradise."
Edgar-nominated author Craig McDonald, ThisWeek
"The sense of place is so vivid, you can feel the heat and sand along the seemingly endless beaches. The atmosphere fairly reeks of the corruption that pervades this poor, embattled country. The writing is sharp and the characters appealing."
Time Out New York
"Set inside the lush tropical countryside and along the beaches of El Salvador, Blood of Paradise is a dynamic and adventurous thriller. Collusion and corruption are key words here in this no man's land of domination, ill-gotten money, and greed. . . . a gritty and complex story . . . a compelling read . . ."
Diana Risso, Romance Reviews Today
"Polished writing and deeply engaging characters carry the reader through the sometimes murky intricacies of third-world politics."
"David Corbett's passion for justice glows off every page, as brightly as his love of language. Only rarely do you find a novel that's equal parts heart and craft, but Blood of Paradise is that one."
SJ Rozan, author of In This Rain
"Blood of Paradise cuts sharply and deep, a machete sweep through mangrove on a steaming landscape of American mischief abroad. Peopled by the haunted and the heavily-armed, this is a bravura performance of brooding darkness."
Dan Fesperman, author of The Prisoner of Guantanamo
"Blood of Paradise is a fascinating thriller . . . a political exposé [with] action-packed suspense."
Harriet Klausner, Reader's Robot Instant List