Spotlight on Paraiso by Gordon Chaplin



Title: Paraiso
Author: Gordon Chaplin
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genres: Literary Noir, Mystery



Peter and Wendy—their mother chose the names—
felt as close as twins, despite their difference in age.
As teens, they fled their wealthy Philadelphia home in
the family station wagon and headed for Mexico, only to
be discovered sleeping in the car on the banks of the
Mississippi, in Huck Finn country. Now, many years
later, estranged by an apparent betrayal as profound as
their family’s dysfunction, the two live separate lives, Peter
as an editor in New York, Wendy as an edgy sports
photographer with a taste for risk. With a new book out
and an invitation to Los Cabos, she drives the Mercedes
inherited from their father to Baja California, finally
completing the trip begun twenty years earlier.

But when the engine fails near a small town named
Paraíso—Paradise—she lingers, exploring its underside
in an affair with a dangerous man and, all too suddenly,
becoming witness to a vicious crime. Meanwhile, in
New York, Peter can’t help but think of Wendy. When,
from his apartment in lower Manhattan, he watches
the Twin Towers fall on a beautiful September day, he
knows it’s time to leave his comfortable life, go find Wendy,
and make peace with his long-lost sister before it’s too late.



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 “Chaplin has written a genre-crossing novel based on
family dysfunction that becomes darker and more
compelling as Peter chases after Wendy and pages turn.” 
Booklist, *starred review
“Paraíso has a story so compelling, so sinuously told and
passing strange, you feel like you can’t take your eyes off
the road for a second.  Wonder and dread pull you forward.
You need to see what’s around the next curve.”
William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life


About the Author

Image Credit George Bouret

Image Credit George Bouret

Gordon Chaplin is the author of the novel Joyride and several works of nonfiction, including Dark Wind: A Survivor’s Tale of Love and Loss and Full Fathom Five: Ocean Warming and a Father’s Legacy. A former journalist for Newsweek, the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Post, he has worked on sea conservation with the group Niparaja and since 2003 has been a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Gordon’s latest, Paraisoa genre-bending novel about love, sibling relationships, and the dark side of paradise, is out this July from Arcade Publishing.  He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City and Hebron, New York.

To learn more, visit
Like Gordon on Facebook: /GordonChaplinAuthor
Follow Gordon on Twitter: @gordon_chaplin


“Gordon Chaplin is a brave explorer of the human
heart. With his wickedly observant new novel, he
leads us through a specifically patrician and rugged
USA from east coast to west and then south to Baja,
where this strange and mysterious tale pulses with life.
Paraíso probes the heart of what it is to be a sibling, what it
is to know regret, how to take risks and how to forgive.”
Joanna Hershon, author of The Outside of
August and A Dual Inheritance
“Some will say of Paraíso, ‘I couldn’t put it down.’
But Gordon Chaplin’s novel is so good I had to
put it down repeatedly—to think, to savor. It’s an
intricate story, rich in surprises, with passages that
are too well written to read just once. Entangling and
then disentangling intrigues past and present, it
accelerates to a dramatic conclusion on a misty
mountainside, closing with scenes that—I promise
you—no other writer has ever imagined.”
Jonathan Penner, author of the story collections
Private Parties and This Is My Voice
“A misunderstanding between brother and sister
evolves through twenty years of separate adventures,
from the fall of the Twin Towers to murderous surfing
off the coast of Baja California, from a past of American
secrets to a present of Mexican tumult and resolution
in the heights—delivering you to its hard won
Paradise. This is a ride you won’t want to miss.”
Bruce Berger, author of Almost an Island

2 thoughts on “Spotlight on Paraiso by Gordon Chaplin

  1. For many reasons, I would love to read this book and I am putting it on my list. The premise of sibling relationships as well as the setting seems perfect for a tale of the ‘dark side of paradise. I even adore the title.


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