Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers #BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway

Boise Montague’s life in Los Angeles has fallen apart. After his wife dies, he returns to the tiny island where he grew up. Unfortunately, coming home doesn’t bring him the peace he’s looking for.

Things have changed drastically since his last visit. The island has moved on and so have the people he once knew. When Boise tries to find the one friend he thinks he can count on to be there for him, he’s confronted with another death. A murder. A murder that the police did not think important enough to investigate thoroughly.

Boise wants answers. He enlists a local reporter named Dana, who has theories of her own, to help him dig deeper.

With not much left to lose, a bone to pick with the justice system, and a relentless partner, Boise sets out to do what the police would not: solve the murder of Roger Black.

The island of St. Thomas is a gleaming tropical paradise. Welcome to the Caribbean, where murder is as common as sunshine. 

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers today. Many thanks to the author, publishers and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my ecopy of the novel.

Mention Caribbean islands and most people will immediately think of long white sand beaches lapped by the turquoise sea - an idyllic paradise. Gene Desrochers' first novel is a long way from the glossy brochures and focuses on the areas of the island of St. Thomas that the tourists don't get to see.
It's immediately obvious that Boise Montague isn't a man who gives up easily and has incurred the wrath of the LA Police after refusing to back down on his belief that his wife, Evelyn was murdered. Forced to make an hasty exit or risk incarceration, he decides to return to the island where he grew up, hoping that seeing old friends will comfort him as he tries to recover from loss of his wife. It's not always a good idea to go back however, and Boise finds his old home has changed. His carefree childhood memories become sullied when he learns that his best friend, Roger became a drug dealer and was violently murdered. Feeling guilty about not having kept in touch with his friend, he decides to honour his death by looking into the events leading up to it. He joins forces with a local reporter, Dana and before long they are both in terrible danger. Boise may share a surname with Romeo but it soon becomes clear that St Thomas is more like another of Shakespeare's plays and there's something rotten in this former colony of Denmark.
Boise and Dana end up investigating two cases - he wants to discover more about Roger's death while she is determined to uncover the truth about the more contemporary investigation - and so they end up striking a deal to help each other out. I liked Boise, he's a mess and risks destroying himself with guilt but he's a determined and perceptive man. I don't yet feel I know Dana properly, she is only really seen through Boise's eyes so while it's obvious that she's an ambitious, dogmatic reporter, I would like to know more about what drives her. The setting of Dark Paradise is what really made the book for me. This is an honest, gritty portrayal of an island inhabited by different cultures and as with anywhere, racial tensions are never far away. This is an island where behind the tourist traps, drug dealers ply their trade, the police bribed by weed and the authorities prepared to turn a blind eye to crimes lest it affects their visitor numbers. The inclusion of Patois and Iyaric gives the book a real sense of its Caribbean identity; it may not be a novel which shows St Thomas in its best light but it does feel honest and I appreciated it more for that. Though the action picks up quite quickly, I felt the plot meandered a little with a lot of characters introduced only briefly. However, it becomes genuinely tense towards the end and the conclusion is really quite touching. I enjoyed Dark Paradise, it's an engaging and assured introduction to Boise Montague and I look forward to his next investigation.

Dark Paradise is published by Acorn Publishing and can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
Gene Desrochers hails from a dot in the Caribbean Sea called St. Thomas. He grew up with minimal supervision and free-roaming animals in a guesthouse that also served as a hospital during wartime. He has spent his life steadily migrating west, and now finds himself in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife, cats, and kids. After a lifetime of writing and telling short stories, he ventured into the deep end, publishing his first novel, Dark Paradise in 2018. If you ask, he will regale you with his Caribbean accent and tennis prowess.
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Giveaways courtesy of Rachel's Random Resources and not the responsibility of Hair Past A Freckle

Giveaway 1 - Win a $25 Amazon e-gift Card
Post your photo with your e-book or hard copy of Dark Paradise on social media and share on Gene’s Facebook  Instagram  or Twitter page and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card to be awarded on Monday, September 24th

Giveaway 2 - Win 2 x Paperbacks and 2 x E-copies of Dark Paradise (Open Internationally) *Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. The two paperbacks are only open to USA entries. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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