Review: Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob by Paul Haddad


It is October 1957. A time of Eisenhower conformity, police and mob strongholds, and Red Scare paranoia. A relic of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the aging Paradise Palms Hotel is on the brink of change. David Shapiro-eldest son of recently widowed Max Shapiro-has assumed a leadership role. But the more he digs into the hotel’s business, the more he questions who his father is. It’s not just the tenuous ties to gangster Mickey Cohen, who is trying to commandeer «the Palms,» but also the sudden appearance of a mysterious African American guest named Rae Lynn, who improbably rises in stature. As long-buried secrets come to light, David’s battle to keep the family intact takes a tragic turn. His actions mirror an America lurching from the surface simplicity of the ’50s to the turmoil of the 1960s in this riveting neo-noir family saga.

My opinion:

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob by Paul Haddad is a noir crime fiction.

This story is a mix of family drama and crime novel. On one hand, there is the Shapiro family who after Marta’s (the matriarch’s) passing were left to run Paradise Palms hotel. Three out of the four sons wanted to modernize the business in order to have more guests and eventually more money. Their father wanted to trust his «friends» and keep it running with the easy illegal ways. The family keeps butting heads, especially with the gold digger step mommy. On the other hand, there is the crime part, the illegal friend aka Red who
wants to own the hotel and is willing to do anything to succeed it. Both parts are blended nicely together and create a very interesting plot that reminded me a lot of the old American tv series. The angst combined with the dramatic fleur had me hooked. The writing was very detailed and graphic which made it easy to picture everything, it was like watching a movie. What surprised me was that the author touched on some serious topics not only for that era but even for today as well. He not only showed how those were
handled back then but also how they should be treated in our time. Apart from that my favorite part was how the siblings stayed together and made certain changes in order to achieve their goals.

In conclusion, Paradise Palms is a great book that I highly recommend to those who like old-school crime fiction.

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