IIf you need someone to challenge your well-established ideas, I'll be happy to oblige. A surgeon by training, traveler and rebel by temperament, I practiced medicine in multiple countries of Europe, Africa and North America until I traded my scalpel for a pen in 2006. The exotic experiences and unorthodox worldview I gathered during my travels serve me now as the raw material for thrillers, adventure books and short stories.
Return to Paradise (2011) and Woman on the Moon (2009) are parts of the novel series codenamed "Spun in Hawaii," soon to be complemented by Golden Dust. Although they share some characters, and all are staged in or around Hawaii, their plots stand on their own--each one can be read independently.
Demon of Darien (2010) breaks out of the "Spun in Hawaii" setting, taking the action to Panama and introducing a new set of protagonists, but my taste for adventure and predilection for political heresy remain.
I believe that many time-honored sentiments--might they concern maternal love and patriotism or drug dealing and prostitution— are nothing but superstitions without rigorous stress-testing. In my books, I try to see how much they can take and test results are sometimes surprising.
But more than anything, I try to have fun with exciting plot because
I live in Hawaii now, writing, paddling the ocean and arguing my unorthodox ideas.
Where to find Alex Modzelewski online
Where to buy in print
Shark of Waikiki
A friendship in Hawaii has very special meaning, as a Chicago-born emergency doc Chris Gorny finds out. Shark, a quintessential beachboy, drags the young doctor into situations so extreme that even a dedicated F.B.I. agent cannot keep up with the adventurous duo. They try their best to avoid arrest and never forget that mating rights are of the utmost importance for any mammal male.
Return to Paradise
When Jerry, an authoritarian professor vacationing in Hawaii, falls in love with a fiercely independent paraplegic woman named Cat, a tumultuous relationship can be expected. They split in a fiery argument but their skirmish fades into triviality when a powerful earthquake destroys Hawaii. Jerry scrambles back across the storm-whipped Pacific while Cat employs outrageous schemes to survive.
Demon of Darien
Dr. Morrison has been fired as a husband, father and doctor. What now: quiet philosophy reading, alcoholism and suicide? A fountain of youth, exotic woman and compassion draw the doctor deep into the Darien jungle, where his morals break one after another. A drug-trade, sex and love for a child mix confusingly as the doctor learns his philosophy gasping for air in the sweltering tropical forest.
Woman on the Moon
A “we owe you nothing” sign welcomes Doctor Paul Bronski as he sails into Moon City, an anarchistic community floating in the Pacific. Targeted by a misguided counterintelligence operation, Paul and a lovely harbormaster, Grace, must outsmart and evade the pursuers. The brute power is met with courage and unorthodox thinking—is that enough to keep the couple alive and “off the leash”?
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Smashwords book reviews by Alex Modzelewski
- The Devil to Pay
on June 19, 2011
“The Devil to Pay” is a good book to fill one’s need of excitement for anyone, but it shines, delights and exhilarates aficionados of sailing. An armchair sailor, weekend water-warrior or old-salt mariner—anyone who dreams of a tropical sea—will find a lot of authentic images, sounds and smells in this book to make him or her get lost for a few hours in the pages. Gene Parola is obviously a man who lived through a lot of moments he describes, as his descriptions are rich in detail and carry a hint of authority coming from the first-hand familiarity.
The plot is fast and plausible and characters are easy to identify with. The book is very much worth the time and (ridiculously low for a Smashword edition) price, both as a entertaining thriller and a seductive invitation to the romance of blue water sailing.
Author (Return to Paradise, Woman on the Moon, Demon of Darien)
- The Little American Blonde
on July 20, 2011
The small collection of short stories “The little American blond” should be on a must-read list for anyone interested in the world politics and particularly the aficionados of many American wars in the Middle East. Anyone who playfully throws around terms like “oil wars” or “clash of civilizations” should make an effort to understand the other side a little bit better and “The little American blond” would be a good start.
Professor Parola worked for many years in Muslim countries and his brief dramas make one’s scalp tingle with the realistic detail of bloody events and the cool realization that the atrocities committed, in fact, logically follow from the religion strayed into the wastelands of fanaticism.
I am sure there are many ways to interpret his multilayered stories; for me the most striking take away was the realization how deep is the contempt of religious, military and other leaders for their own people.
I highly recommend this dark bouquet.
- Old Sins, New Sinners
on Sep. 14, 2011
What is the reason for “hot spots” bearing overabundance of beautiful women? Old Sins, New Sinners gives a perfectly logical answer, at least concerning Izmir, Turkey.
The novel is satisfying at the level of a police drama, following two attractive and romantically adventures detectives, who pursue murderers of an elderly carpet salesman. But there is so much more. Short anecdotes light up along the convoluted track that the romantically inclined lieutenant Parrish follows, delightfully illuminating subjects ranging from the above mentioned “clumpy” distribution of beautiful women to the ancient story of Argonauts.
A reader follows the lieutenant into secreted corners of the Ottoman Empire, still the world’s superpower a hundred years ago, now hardly registering in consciousness of the Western public. The whole exotic world opens up in the Middle East, thoroughly ignored by the mainstream press in favor of gnomes overcrowding the pages of newspapers.
Old Sins, New Sinners is a well-written cop novel guaranteed to shorten a flight or entertain at a beach, but I enjoyed it even more for its ability to surprise me with the things I didn’t know about, delivered in a graceful entertaining way.
A male reader cannot miss the author’s appreciation of female anatomy; Izmir or New Orleans, Gene Parola has a good eye for sex appeal and I salute him for that.
Ah, just buy a book and enjoy!