Magnolias in Paradise – Leonard Seet

Ernst arrives at the Paradise train station with fifty-thousand dollars to ransom his sweetheart, and while looking among the crowd for the young man with a magnolia, a beggar seizes his bag of cash and escapes through the revolving door. Chasing after the rascal, he slams into his contact–his girlfriend’s lover in town. Now, he must beat his love-rival to the money and rescue her before the deadline.

MAGNOLIAS IN PARADISE is a 108,000-word crime novel and the first in a potential series. As in Larry Brown’s Father and Son, good confronts evil in a southern town. And as in Joe R. Lansdale’s Cold in July, an ordinary man gets sucked into a conspiracy, with psychopaths terrorizing a small town and FBI agents going after a corrupt sheriff. In the end, the man must take the law into his hands. But in this case, ending in tragedy. Here, the author combined Will Christopher Baer’s surreal settings and mentally unstable villains, with Brian Evenson’s literary minimalism and heroes cursing their knowledge.