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.
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Leonard Seet is the author of Magnolias in Paradise and Meditation On Space-Time. His short fiction have appeared in the Duende Literary Journal, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Pilcrow & Dagger. The story “Black-Naped Oriole in Hokkaido Snow” was a podcast winner at Pilcrow & Daggar and he received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future Competition for “Don’t Be Afraid of the Black Rain.”