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Dead Man in Paradise: Unraveling a Murder from a Time of Revolution

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
At nightfall on June 22, 1965, amid the turmoil of the Dominican revolution and U.S. military occupation, a soldier emerged from the outskirts of a small town to report that he had just shot and killed two policemen and an outspoken Catholic priest. It’s the opening scene in a mystery that, forty years later, compels writer J.B. MacKinnon—the priest’s nephew, born five ...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by The New Press (first published October 17th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan
Dec 03, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This is yet another of the books I picked up at a library book sale--clean, new-appearing hard cover for $2: impossible to resist! As I began reading it, I also began to reconsider my recent habit of allowing my reading diet to be dictated by the pot-luck of library book sales and my greed for cheap hard cover books. This true story is told like a modern Latin American novel, circling slowly toward "the reveal," and by slowly I mean creepingly slowly. I kept reading, though, because the book is ...more
Glenn
Dec 18, 2007 Glenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: journalism
“Dead Man in Paradise,” is, amongst many other things, a beautiful and heart-breaking rendering of a place: clear-eyed, and without illusion, explaining and reckoning its complicated and violent history, where the meddling of our country exacerbated the struggles of everyday Dominicans; yet always maintaining a sense of openness and wonder. About what he calls the place of New World Firsts, J.B. writes in a way to give the reader not only a clear vision of the Dominican Republic, but a feeling ...more
Michael Schmidt
Sep 17, 2015 Michael Schmidt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Seldom does a work of historical investigation manage so delicate a balance between poetic nuance and forensic judgment, but it is even rarer for a journalistic probe into the mysterious death of a family member four decades ago in a foreign country to manage to illuminate the nature of an entire people and country, an illumination all the more powerful for its inability to penetrate, and yet at least to delineate, certain recalcitrant shadows.
The only book I know to do something similar is Mar
...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
Aug 27, 2013 P.D.R. Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-ficiton

This book is the winner of the 2006 Canadian award for the best non-fiction. It's a sad frustrating read if you care about Central and South America, showing clearly the damage done through constant interference by the United States.

MacKinnon is the nephew of Father James Arthur MacKinnon, a Catholic missionary priest murdered by government soldiers in the Dominican Republic. Father James was shot during the American occupation of the Republic in 1965, because he spoke out against the terror ta
...more
Kai Coates
Interesting narrative of a young man's search for the truth about his uncle's murder in the Dominican Republic. MacKinnon has done an admirable job of describing a very turbulent time surrounded by decades of corruption, lies, and foreign intervention. This is a place of many secrets and many reasons to keep those secrets. When you think of murder mysteries, you expect and ending that neatly wraps everything up with a bow: the murderer confessing and explaining his motives before being taken ...more
Dawn
Nov 01, 2015 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I do rather feel bad about rating this book so low. I only finished to the end of Chapter 10 and unfortunately the story just has not and did not capture my attention.
I'll call it an experiment that didn't pan out. I do not read non-fiction books about specific people (typically), I like overarching histories of large periods of time or involving many countries or about many generations of a famous family. This story was personal and intimate, a young man trying to find the truth about an uncle
...more
Ricardo
Jun 03, 2008 Ricardo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
El autor investiga el asesinato de su tío sacerdote ocurrido en la República Dominicana durante la fallida revolución de 1965. Muestra los horrores del pasado reciente en ese país y la impunidad todavía existente con respecto a los crímenes de aquella época. El autor describe sus experiencias presentes en la República Dominicana con sus cosa buenas y también las malas. Excelentes descripciones de la gente, la cultura local y los paisajes. Buenísimo.
Barbara
Jul 27, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
This is an excellant account of how the author investigated the murder of his uncle, a Catholic priest in the early 1960's in the Dominican Republic. The author's description of his journey is made vivid with descriptions of the Dominican way of life, landscape, and culture. The author also documents his own fear as he investigated this 40 year old murder. His courage in attempting to get to the bottom of the murder is admirable. It is a very compelling read.
Dave
Jan 21, 2015 Dave rated it liked it
I don't read much stuff like this but the author also has a book on localization and another one that sounds like it's probably about rewilding so I figured it wouldn't be too bad. And it's not. It's well written, mixes in a good amount of humor and history. I never really got too in to the murder mystery though. Just not my thing.
Allison
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Oct 28, 2013
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Sep 23, 2015
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Nov 29, 2013
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Oct 05, 2008
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Susan B
Jul 05, 2009 Susan B rated it really liked it
sometimes too many characters to follow but a good payoff in the end
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Feb 24, 2013
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Journalist and author J.B. MACKINNON coined the term "the 100 Mile Diet," and his book Plenty is widely considered a catalyst of the local foods movement. His essays on natural history have appeared in Orion, Reader's Digest, and other magazines. He is based in Vancouver, Canada.
More about J.B. MacKinnon...

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