Set against the backdrop of the biggest political corruption scandal in Brazilian history – the lavajato, so called as the dirty money was laundered and through black market money dealers in car washes around the country – PLAYBOY is the story of Leme’s attempt to clear his name, and find a young man’s killer. The playboy was a bagman – a doleiro – who assisted with laundering funds from kickbacks and shakedowns connected to the Petrobras oil company. But how did a privileged young man, well-connected, well-educated, with bright prospects, get mixed up in this awful business? He didn’t even tell his girlfriend, or friends, what he was doing. The answer runs right through São Paulo society, from the bottom, to the very top.

And Leme’s investigation, and fight to prove his innocence, will end up costing him his lover, his apartment, and his job. And maybe his life.

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 Sao Paolo where money, politics and murder meet. Fresh, gripping and incredibly assured, Joe Thomas will be a name to watch in crime fiction.' Stav Sherez

Price £: 
09 May 2019
Available from:

About the author

  • Joe Thomas

    Joe Thomas

    Joe Thomas is a visiting lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Prior to this, he lived and taught in São Paulo for ten years. Gringa is the second book to feature detective Mario Leme. The first, Paradise City, was published by Arcadia in 2017.

    Titles by Joe Thomas

    Gringa by Joe Thomas
    Paradise City by Joe Thomas