by J.B. MacKinnon
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A nephew’s search for the truth about his uncle’s murder in the Dominican Republic: a brilliant first book in equal parts classic mystery, compelling personal revelation, accomplished investigative journalism, unforgettable travelogue. At nightfall on June 22, 1965, a soldier walked in from the outskirts of a small town in the Dominican Republic and reported that he had just shot and killed two policemen and an outspoken Canadian Catholic priest. It was the opening scene in a mystery that, forty years later, compels J.B. MacKinnon, a nephew of the murdered missionary, to investigate what many believe was a carefully plotted assassination. MacKinnon’s search takes him to corners of the country that are far from the paradise seen by millions of tourist visitors. He meets with former revolutionaries, shadowy generals who live in hiding and the struggling Dominicans for whom the dead priest is a martyr, perhaps even a saint. Dead Man in Paradise is a true story with the suspense of a classic mystery novel, the immediacy of reportage and the insight of a travelogue. More than any of these, it is a personal examination of one of the gravest challenges of our times: finding a balance between our longing to hold the guilty to account for their crimes and the deep human need to forgive.
J.B. MacKinnon is a celebrated independent journalist and a contributing editor to the magazines Adbusters, Explore and Vancouver. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Foundation Gold Award for travel writing, he splits his time between Vancouver and a cabin in northern British Columbia.
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