An amazing novel set in El Salvador that illustrates the tangled and perverse alliances that the US government has established with corrupt leaders in order to spread soft drinks and free trade to the developing world. At the center of the book is Jude, a richly realized character who is young and naive and burdened with shame because his father, a corrupt Chicago cop, committed suicide after being caught out. He has gone into the business of “executive protection” after falling in love with an ill-starred, battle-scarred country. But as he tries to keep an idealistic hydrologist alive, he’s up against commercial interests that will ally themselves with killers before they lose access to a depleted aquifer for a soft drink factory. And in a confused move of atonement he lets himself be manipulated by one of his father’s corrupt associates. 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.
Blood of Paradise by David Corbett