WELCOME TO THE FALLEN PARADISE

Dayne Sherman, Author
Dayne Sherman, Author . MacAdam/Cage $24 (248p) ISBN 978-1-931561-73-0
Reviewed on: 09/20/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-1-59692-152-8
Hardcover - 244 pages - 978-1-84982-219-0
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Sherman's promising debut chronicles a young man's thorny return to his Louisiana hometown. Baxter Parish is a "dead-end place, a place filled with death and violence, a territory sunk in the mire of unemployment and poverty." After serving 12 years in the army, 30-year-old Jesse Taddock returns to Baxter Parish to bid his dying mother farewell, and then decides to stay. He secures a job as deputy sheriff, reunites with an old high school flame and buys a house with his $30,000 inheritance. Life looks to be just fine until the giant Balem "Cotton" Moxley shows up at Jesse's doorstep with a shotgun, vowing to reclaim the land he insists rightfully belongs to him. Jesse, forced to choose between capitulation (the sheriff's strong advice) and a good hard fight, opts for the latter. With the assistance of his uncle Red, Jesse prepares to go head to head with Moxley, erecting blockades and fashioning an arsenal of bullets, bombs and blades. Sherman brilliantly reunites a land with its own set of vicious rules with a native of that land who, as a changed man, simply wants peace. Weaving his way through a series of complex characters and a terrain fertilized with a proud but bloody history, Sherman tells a spirited and engaging tale. (Oct.)

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