A campaign for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff is in full swing, yet 100,000 people take to Avenida Paulista in São Paulo in her support.

On the same day, a young man from a wealthy family is murdered.

Detective Mario Leme discovers the body. Two Military Policemen confront him. They strongarm him into the back of an SUV.

Set against the backdrop of the biggest political corruption scandal in Brazilian history, Playboy is the story of Leme’s attempt to clear his name, and find the young man’s killer. Leme’s investigation runs right through São Paulo society, from the bottom, to the very top – and has implications far beyond. And the fight to prove his innocence might just cost Leme his life.

A stylish, taut, and atmospheric novel in the hardboiled tradition of American noir, Playboy is a thrilling examination of the seething, violent street life of São Paulo – and the political convulsions of contemporary Brazil.

Praise for Joe Thomas:

‘Great crime fiction hinges on a sense of place, and after returning to London after ten years living in the world in which he has set his sophisticated debut, Thomas proves an adroit guide to a city that has developed at dizzying speed.' GQ Magazine

'Paradise City is a gripping read. This fast-paced and darkly atmospheric novel introduces Joe Thomas as a new and distinct voice in crime fiction of the city.' Susanna Jones, author of The Earthquake Bird

'Paradise City is an exciting, dark and trenchant thriller, exposing the dark underbelly of São Paulo where money, politics and murder meet. Fresh, gripping and incredibly assured, Joe Thomas will be a name to watch in crime fiction.' Stav Sherez, author of The Intrusions

‘With its feverish energy, opulent nightlife, culture and chaos, the Brazilian megalopolis is a perfect setting for Joe Thomas’s crime thrillers.’ The Guardian

‘A tough, uncompromising style.’ Jon Wise

‘As vibrant, colourful and complex as South America’s largest city.’ Irish Independent

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05 Sep 2019
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About the author

  • Joe Thomas

    Joe Thomas

    Joe Thomas is the author of Paradise City and Gringa. The third part in his São Paulo quartet, Playboy, will be published in September 2019, and the final part, Brazilian Psycho, in 2020.

    He teaches English and Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Prior to this, Joe lived and taught in São Paulo for ten years.

    Titles by Joe Thomas

    Gringa by Joe Thomas
    Paradise City