Paradise Salvage

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In his tantalizing debut novel, Paradise Salvage, at once a taut thriller and a lyrical coming-of-age story, John Fusco marvelously traces the unforgettable trajectory of 12-year-old Nunzio Paradiso's last summer of innocence.

Each new wreck towed into Paradise Salvage is a desultory gift from Fortune, a random opportunity for discovery. Sometimes it's a handful of loose change under the upholstery or an old copy of Vue magazine with a Betty Page centerfold under the front seat. But on a hot summer day in 1979, in the trunk of an abandoned Pontiac Bonneville, Nunzio uncovers a secret that will change his life.

In the blink of an eye, all evidence is lost to the crusher, and only his older brother Danny Boy believes Nunzio's story. Enlisting the help of his father's renegade cousin, an ex-cop with a dark history of his own, they embark on a bizarre and dangerous journey that proves to be as much one of personal discovery as an unraveling of the mystery behind the corpse at Paradise Salvage.

A story of innocence lost and justice found, of ambition frustrated and dreams realized, and the difference between generations of a family struggling to reconcile the traditions of the past with the demands of the present, Paradise Salvage glows with heart and marks the debut of a gifted storyteller.

©2002 John Fusco; (P)Blackstone Audiobooks

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