Jun 09

Red Jungle

By Kent Harrington
Published by Diversion Books

“Nobody writes about the heart of darkness like Kent Harrington. A deep growl echoes through Red
Jungle, daring you to turn back while all the time pulling you blindly ahead. It’s Harrington’s best by far, a story about the internal place where the currents of fear and desire lap against the shores of danger.” — Michael Connelly

* * *

Red Jungle is an archetypal noir thriller from Kent Harrington, author of the classic novel Dia de los Muertos. Set in Guatemala, Red Jungle steam-rolls over the tired formulae of good guys versus bad guys. Red Jungle springs full-blown from the author’s intimate knowledge of the miasmal reality that is modern-day Guatemala, with its dark, semi-feudal economic underpinnings — the legacy of a 100-year-and-counting political tyranny. Red Jungle pulls the cover off the Big Lies of neo-liberal economics and makes clear the real reasons for the decades of underdevelopment still plaguing large swathes of Latin America today.

Russell Cruz-Price is the child of an elite Guatemalan family with a hyphenated last name. The circumstances of his birth and upbringing have conspired to give him a hyphenated Life as well. Born of an American father and high-society, Guatemalan mother whose murder, supposedly at the hands of communist insurgents, cheated him out of a normal childhood, Russell has come to view the world as a very hostile place. Rejected by his father, Russell has been raised in U.S. military schools and has attended several U.S. colleges, where he was a brilliant student of economics.

Now working as financial reporter for a famous English newspaper, Russell has recently been sent to cover a politically chaotic and increasingly dangerous Guatemala, where coffee prices are crashing and the neo-liberal policies mandated by Washington and the IMF have failed to keep the country from
splitting apart at the seams.

Russell has become friends with a young German hot-shot archaeologist, Gustav Mahler, who believes that a priceless treasure from Mayan antiquity — the legendarily lost “Red Jaguar” — can be unearthed on a certain failing coffee plantation. The two men pool their resources and enter the jungle in pursuit of fame and fortune.

Russell falls in love with the one woman in Guatemala he should definitely stay away from. Beatrice is an English girl who’s been to Oxford, but she’s also the beautiful young wife of the notorious General Carlos Selva, candidate for the presidency and current head of the nation’s intelligence service. In a country where life is cheap, Russell’s own life just got discounted to zero.

The country, Russell, Beatrice, and her husband General Selva, all head towards disaster as Russell searches for the Red Jaguar. His love affair with Beatrice forces him into the country’s political vortex. Russell will gamble his all in a game where not only his future, but that of the entire country of Guatemala is at stake, as it attempts to throw off the colonial yoke of the past hundred years, and move into the 21st century.

You can purchase the book online from Smashwords in multiple eBook formats at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65624.

eBook formatting by Shelley Glasow Schadowsky.

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