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In a Town Called Paradox by Miriam Murcutt and Richard Starks

“I WASN’T looking for Marilyn Monroe when I bumped into her, even though I knew she was in town filming River of No Return…”

I love first lines of books, and this is a good one. Set in Utah in the 1950’s, In a Town Called Paradox follows three people who are thrown together in this small town turned movie set.

Corin Dunbar tells most of the story. She hates Paradox at first but is won over by the everyday brush with Hollywood glamour. Ark Stevenson was raised in the Amazon. He loves movies set in Paradox and comes there to live. Yiska Begay is a local Navajo convicted of murder who’s on the run and encounters Corin.

This book is a delight. The setting, a small town in the middle of nowhere that becomes a movie mecca, is perfectly described. The characters lead two lives: their normal daily lives and their lives as movie extras in the westerns filmed in the area. The main character, Corin Dunbar, comes to town to live with her aunt. From then on, a rollicking roller coaster of events swirl around Corin, some that began before her birth. Corin learns about love and betrayal in several surprising ways. The book is virtually impossible to put down after it sucks you into Paradox.

Miriam Murcutt is a former journalist and editor turned marketing executive with wide experience in the publishing industry. She has an M.A. in English Literature and now works full-time as a writer. Miriam has co-authored four narrative non-fiction books which have been published in seven countries. Her latest book, In a Town Called Paradox, is women’s commercial fiction that asks the question: If each of us has a life story, then who decides how it unfolds and how it should end? Born in England, Miriam now lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she is a student of Spanish and a volunteer interviewer for a Carnegie Library oral history archive.

Richard Starks is an award-winning journalist, editor and publisher, and now a full-time author. He has written ten books, fiction and non-fiction, in genres that include crime, horror, travel, true-life adventure, economics and most recently commercial adult fiction (In a Town Called Paradox). His books have been published in five languages in seven countries. He has also written for business and consumer magazines as well as for television.

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