Serpent in Paradise by Julian West

Serpent in Paradise

Julian West

Ghosts from her Sri Lankan past haunt photographer, Eva. Accepting an assignment to cover the civil unrest there gives her a chance to investigate the mysteries of her childhood and heal some old wounds. Her passionate love affair with an American journalist, conducted under the islanders disapproving eyes, holds this book together like a vice. I found the contrast between the lush tropical island and the casual, opportunistic brutality of the authorities painful to read but worth the effort.


Navahiru was trying to please him, to be a good son, to stay out of trouble. But some things about his brother's death still haunted him. He had been his hero. Quietly, secretly, a worm had begun eating away at him.
Eva knew no more of this than that she loved him. For caring for her parents, and for her. She wasn't in love, but she loved him: for his big heart and truthful spirit. Love is not a bad interpreter: of the little she knew of him, she was certain that, unlike so many islanders, he concealed no areas of darkness, no demons lurking in his soul. He was as clear as a pane of glass, a burst of early morning sunlight. A flash of white teeth in a dark jungle pool.

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