This is a good novel for readers who like a noir mystery set it an unusual location. Desrochers takes us to St. Thomas. I felt he did well immersing us in the Caribbean culture of the island. I appreciate his attention to dialect but I did find some of the conversations a bit hard to follow.
Boise has returned to his native island, still reeling from the death of his wife. On St. Thomas, he finds his good friend from childhood has been murdered, supposedly drugs oriented. Boise doesn't believe it and sets out to find the truth.
Boise is the kind of dark hero I love to hate. He drinks too much, has too many hangovers, and, oddly enough, suffers from colitis. Boise struggles to get out of bed and often lacks focus. He has a method, though, and he pursues his investigation. Dana, the sidekick he acquires, is a much more put together person, plunging into danger so she can write that exclusive news article.
This is a good debut effort. Desrochers' writing style is good. I liked the setting most of all. The murder plot is complex with lots of turns and side roads along the way. It looks like Boise is going to stay on the island and hang out his PI shingle so I'll be looking for the next in the series.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Gene Desrochers lives and works in Los Angeles County. He is originally from St. Thomas. After a lifetime of writing short stories, Dark Paradise is his first novel. He has a JD from Tulane Law School. You can find out more at https://genedesrochers.com/.
Acorn Publishing, 335 pages.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)