A Corpse in the Paradise of the Blessed

Captain Manuel Gonzales, District Supervisor for the Highland Guatemalan District of La Paz, and his assistant, Seco Alvarez, were busily trying to fill out year-end reports when a middle-aged American couple walked in to their tiny office. The couple had been sent by authorities in Guatemala City to enlist the Captain's aid in finding a missing indigenous woman who had agreed to be the surrogate mother for their planned adoption. The enormity of trying to find this single woman among the tens-of-thousands of local Maya K'iche speakers within the district leads Captain Gonzales to enlist the aid of Lorenzo Batz and his family. Lorenzo's position as a leader in the indigenous community gives him enhanced abilities to explore the inner world of the Mayan community. However, when reports surface about the massacre of an entire village and the suspicious hanging of a young soldier, concern about the young K'iche woman dwindles. But what if all of these cases are somehow related? What if they dig deep into the fabric of government corruption? Captain Gonzales, Lorenzo Bates, his wife Micaela and nephew Rafael set out in seemingly different directions to answer these questions as they enter into the underbelly of international adoption services, the violent world of Guatemala's anti-government guerrilla movement, and the heart of human depravity.

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