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Blood of Paradise

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  89 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews

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.

Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2007)
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Oct 23, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it
The trajectory of writer David Corbett's novel writing career is pretty breathtaking. If he'd been content to write pulpish crime novels like his first effort, The Devil's Redhead, (which is very good) he would have carved a niche, probably not unlike James Ellroy's. Violent, edgy, contemporary, great dialogue, "Redhead" had it all. But his second novel, Done on a Dime, you saw the writer stretching himself. It's an uneven read, due to plotting more than anything else. But what stands out in Cor ...more
RJ McGill
Aug 08, 2007 RJ McGill rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who enjoy serious, complex novels
Shelves: reviewed

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. David Corbett’s third novel, shines an unflinching and unapologetic light into the backrooms and back-alleys, corporate boardrooms and finally, the lofty and corrupt offices of the politicians sworn to serve and protect.

Whether defined or haunted by, his late father’s choices, Jude McManus left Chicago and
May 18, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007-reads

There are times in everyone's life when events of the past take over life in the present. Jude McManus is an unfulfilled young man whose life is defined by his father's history. His father was a former Chicago cop, and he got involved in some shady doings that ended his career and his life. Jude escaped by joining the military, and now he's a bodyguard in El Salvador. You can only imagine how he feels when he meets up with one of the two men that went down with his father. Is it coinc
Dominique Jacques
Curieusement ennuyeux, pour un roman classé meilleur thriller de l'année par le Washington Post! Peut-être spécifiquement masculin. Et pourtant le thème est tentant, la recherche de la vérité du fils, meurtri de l'histoire du Père, la main mise des USA et le cynisme politique dans un pays aussi miséreux et corrompu que le Salvador. La magie n'opère pas. Détail (last but not least), le parti pris de laisser des mots espagnols non traduits et les pensées des personnages en italique est vraiment ag ...more
Nov 16, 2015 Ian rated it liked it
This novel was a neat follow-on from reading Joan Didion's work of reportage - Salvador - and is set in the mid 2000's after the civil war ended. Violence is still endemic and the story revolves around the corrupt, ultra violent, right wing political elite who still govern in a supposedly democratic El Salvador generally because it suits US interests to have a corrupt, right wing bulwark against the perceived threats to US interests from further south. That's the backdrop, but the thriller revol ...more
Jan 22, 2009 Billy rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Probably a big part of that was the setting and the politics of it. It takes place mostly in El Salvador in the post 9/11 world. The plot, in large part, revolves around the fallout of the Salvadoran civil war - death squads, gangs with US roots, corruption, ARENA and the FMLN, US political influence. The lead character is a young American army vet who is now a body guard. His love interest is a left leaning anthropologist. The guy is not as political, and the plot of the nove ...more
May 08, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it
The Blood of Tropics despite its obvious seeming title (from a Wallace Stevens poem) is a mostly successful mix of political disgust and horrifying reportage with a sometimes meandering thriller and Greek tragedy. Overall it works and its sense of tragic breaks your heart. This may suffer compared to, say Robert Stone’s Flag for Sunrise (what doesn’t?) there may be more recognizable humanity in Corbett’s characters. Jude, Strock , and Malvosio (I love the play on Shakespeare’s impotent, frustrat ...more
Nov 04, 2015 DJ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, fall-15-16
Desperately in need of an editor.
May 23, 2012 grundoon rated it really liked it
4.5 For my money, Corbett's walked among the elite of living crime writers since his debut. Sure, I lived in the non-fictionalized version of his Vallejo and knew him (in passing) at the time, but his work since has only reinforced the opinion. His portrayal of violent, gritty reality moves into El Salvador with this one, where meta-issues of US foreign policy are addressed on the ground and any lingering notions of good vs. evil in his characters are pretty much wholesale replaced with shades o ...more
Apr 23, 2013 Mr_mck rated it liked it
This one started off really well, but then just died in the middle. A little too much research on the author's part. Almost ruined the story. In fact, for much of the middle, there wasn't much of a story. It rebounded a bit in the end, which gets it 3 stars. For a while it was heading for 2.
Ana Manwaring
Mar 29, 2009 Ana Manwaring rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
I loved the Salvadoran slang and the descriptions. I really got the flavor
(not so sweet) of the murky political stew in El Salvador. David Corbett is a funny speaker and I'd have enjoyed some more of his edgy humor. Maybe in the next book?
Apr 29, 2010 Claudia rated it it was ok
I simply could not get into the flow of this story. Too many characters to keep track of, the story didn't flow well and no matter how much I tried to finish, I simply had to stop before ending.
Lynn Millar
Oct 20, 2013 Lynn Millar rated it liked it
This doesn't quite work as a novel for me, but is most informative about El Salvador, a country strangled by water rights among other things.
Eno Sarris
Nov 12, 2007 Eno Sarris rated it liked it
Doesn't quite hit the mark, but enjoyed reading about the unique challenges that El Salvador faces, in action-packed fiction form.
Elizabeth tedrow
Sep 07, 2007 Elizabeth tedrow rated it liked it
Shelves: summerreading
really good story, if you can follow all the complexities of Salvadoran underground politics
Jan 08, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book when I first read it back in 2010 - a 2012 re-read + review.
Susanne Pari
Mar 19, 2009 Susanne Pari rated it it was amazing
My favorite kind of book: lots of story, lots of political history
Oct 23, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
He's a friend, but that's not why I like it.
Page 39. I just can't seem to get into this book.
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David Corbett is the author of four novels: The Devil’s Redhead, Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar), and Do They Know I’m Running (Spinetingler Award, Best Novel—Rising Star Category 2011).

David’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, with two stories selected for Best Amer
More about David Corbett...

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