5.0 out of 5 stars
The friend devises a complex plan to steal and abscond with millions of dollars from the protagonist, costing him not only the actual money, but his business, his homes, his property, his beloved boat, his wife and his confidence. While the principal character ventures off to the tropics in a state of shock, the reader also learns about the villain who perpetrated the crime, and his misadventures as he attempts to further his escape, and as he tries to assume what he thinks his victim's life used to be. The differences between their views of how great wealth effects ways of living are beautifully conveyed. This is a good read, intelligently thought out, and it makes the reader eager to read Nick Thomas' next adventures. I really enjoyed this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars
If success means being okay with losing everything you have and starting over, then “Flat Broke in Paradise,” by Patrick Livanos Lester, explores how well Nick Thomas, the protagonist, measures up to the standard. This engaging novel follows Nick as he encounters a series of betrayals and setbacks, and struggles to find his way anew in the world. The characters are compelling and the action and subplots are great fun to follow.
I love adventure and mystery and this book gives me a dose of both. Great story, easy to read, loved it!
First things first, I’d like to make clear that I am not an avid book reader by any means. I have to really be into a book to finish it. I own more books that I have read a few chapters of than those that I have finished.
Now let me tell you, this book is a must read. From chapter one to the final words this book kept me interested. I could not put it down without continuously wondering what was to come. Not only that, but the further I got into the book the more interesting it became. Trust me on this, buy it, read it. You will not be disappointed.
I am purchasing book two immediately after this review and I cannot wait to read it. Such a great writer!
Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2018
Feel in love with the characters especially Nick. A book is special when it brings out emotions. This book has it all and draws you in from the beginning to end and you want more.
Patrick Levano Lester wrote a very engaging read with Flat Broke in Paradise. I sat next to Patrick on a flight where we discussed many of his talents, including writing books. He told me about this book. I just finished it tonight and I must say it was a terrific read and we need more!
Having just read Patrick Lester’s, “Flat Broke in Paradise,” I would like to recommend it to your readers! It is a real page turner, and definitely promises sequel adventures to follow. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.
Such a fun read. It took me around the world to places I’ve been and places now on my bucket list. Loved every character.
The author makes his characters come to life. The protagonist is likeable. The plot engages your interest. I expect this author will do well as a writer.
There is so much to like in this complex, intelligently scripted story that one can forgive some of the hyperbole and the convenient plot devices that advance the action. Nick Thomas is an unusually charismatic hero. Despite his family’s great wealth and privileged social status, he has worked hard and has acquired an astonishing range of accomplishments. Nick is clever, honest, level-headed, but his most prominent characteristic is his uncanny ability to make friends quickly with just about anyone he meets. Often these chance encounters lead to very advantageous outcomes but, as I said, I was happy to be swept along in this mad gallop of escapism. It is a tale of greed, envy, and betrayal, and the morale seems to be that happiness should not depend on material possessions, but rather it can be found in friendship, kindness and trust in fellow humans. The ending does reach a certain closure, but leaves the story wide open for the many sequels that, happily, seem to be in the works.
On the plus side are the inventiveness of the deception and the detailed plotting of the criminal act which swiftly renders Nick “flat broke” as in the title. Also the authenticity. I always enjoy learning about specialist subjects, and this book includes a fascinating glimpse into sailboats, planes, diamonds, pearls, and playing jazz music. It is evident that the author is well versed in all these matters, and also that he has actually travelled to the places he speaks of with great authority. The main characters are sufficiently fleshed out, and I found myself feeling a measure of empathy even for the villain, Lance, which is strange. It just demonstrates that people are not all black-and-white good or bad, although there are plenty of clichéd supporting actors – all the women are amazingly beautiful, all the men (who are not crooks) are capable and reliable.
On the critical side, the pacing is uneven, and the author lets some of the many threads get too cold, so that coming back to a situation and the associated characters had me scrambling back a few chapters to remind myself of who was who and what was happening. Also the frequent flashbacks, some telescopic in nature, break the flow of the narrative. The writing style is plain, journalistic and unadorned to the point of laziness. Adjectives and adverbs are rare luxuries, dialogue is reduced to single sentences and abrupt statements, and descriptions are of the bare-bone variety. For some readers, that might be okay. Personally, I prefer it when a writer makes a bit more effort to draw me into the scene.
It was interesting to read about the hero’s handling of a catastrophic life crisis, even though the outcome was both far-fetched and predictable. I suppose it is wish fulfillment of the highest order and, therefore, satisfying and enjoyable. I would be happy to read a sequel.
Damn fine story!
In his novel “Strange Weather in Chinatown,” Patrick Lester weaves a fine, well-paced tale about his protagonist, Nick Thomas.
The story draws the reader in from the start, and as it progresses, offers intriguing insights into sailing, Hawaii, Greek culture and even gemology. Well before the book’s end, I had determined to read another Nick Thomas adventure.
I highly recommend “Strange Weather in Chinatown.”
Granted, the above headline is a bite into this book's title, Strange Weather in Chinatown; however, this sequel to Flat Broke in Paradise continues the story -- and the action -- at a dramatically breathtaking and intriguing pace. Nick Thomas's odyssey is skillfully narrated by moving him from calm, peaceful voyages at sea through sudden, unexpected turbulence involving the FBI and gangsters. The relatively routine position Nick accepts at a new start-up company turns into a whirlwind and Nick must utilize both his wits and his ingenuity to try to survive. I enjoyed this book and look forward to Nick's further adventures.
Amateur sleuth Nick Thomas scuttles between Hawaii and San Francisco as he finds himself unwittingly embroiled in an unsavory financial scheme with chilling operators who play for keeps. Along the way, as Nick consumes more taro duck than a man should have to, he introduces the reader to the fine points of sailboat races and the intricacies of gemstones.
Sailing once again with Nick Thomas and enjoying a mystery with an author who knows about boats and sailing. Patrick Livanos Lester tosses a net into strange waters and catches the stories of characters set in the background of Hawaiian culture. he paints with words the life style of those who have chosen the sea as their venue grasping come what may that accompanies the trials and tribulations that surround all those that have seeked the adventures that are hidden within the depths of turbulent waters. i am looking forward to the next book and the adventures of Nick Thomas.
I loved this book. Nick is such a relaxed character in the mist of chaos. I loved sailing in Hawaii with him and the lessons I learned about sailing! Great history lessons too! Thank you Patrick, I’m looking forward to the next adventure!
Loved the next chapter of Nick’s adventure - mystery, humor, a varied cast of “characters” - great Saturday afternoon read!