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By Richard Woodman

Brought up amid the twin certainties of church and state in Edwardian Britain, young James Dunbar goes to sea in search of romantic adventure. 

Even when he falls in love with a waterfront prostitute named Conchita, he continues to believe that the purity of his emotion can rescue her from the Hotel Paradiso, the notorious brothel of Puerto San Martin.

But Puerto San Martin is a place of commercial trafficking, and commerce, of one sort or another – it’s what makes it tick – no place for the innocent or the romantic. What Dunbar learns about his shipmates and the local inhabitants has a profound effect upon him. His meeting with the mysteriously veiled owner of the Hotel Paradiso reveals an event of terrifying brutality and makes him the agent of retribution; his encounter with the brothel’s Madame confronts him with the demands of his own lust and these events not only alter his perception of life, but lead him to discover in himself a powerful artistic talent.

Born in London in 1944, Richard Woodman crewed in a Tall Ships race before becoming an indentured midshipman in cargo-liners at the age of sixteen. He has sailed in a variety of ships, including weather ships, lighthouse tenders and trawlers, serving from apprentice to captain.
In 1978, with a work of original maritime history, he won The Marine Society’s Barbara Harmer Award. He is a member of the Society for Nautical Research and the Navy Records Society.

also by Richard Woodman

Under Sail

Richard Woodman
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