What Goes Around


a novel by Ruth Clarke

Print: 978-1-77133-657-4 – $22.95
ePUB: 978-1-77133-658-1 – $11.99
PDF: 978-1-77133-660-4 – $11.99

248 Pages
September 20, 2019

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What do a corpse, a painter, two smugglers, a clever ghost, a green parrot, a fashion show and a bank robbery have in common? Set in present-day Central America, a talkative parrot witnesses a crime; friendly spirits chaperone, shape, and direct their fellow characters in criminal pursuits, in romantic liaisons and in business endeavours, allowing them to make amends, and to right some of the wrongs of history through actions reminiscent of legendary Robin Hood. Simon Patrick, an artist, re-locates in Costa Rica. He inherits a parrot, Don Verde, once a drug mule for Marco Alvarez who has left behind the body of his wife, Isabella, in the well. But this is not a run-of-the-mill smuggler, nor is Isabella a passive ghost. What follows is a terrific tale of friendship, thievery, haunting, and finally redemption.

“Ruth Clarke’s years living in Latin America show in What Goes Around, a genre busting crime/romance/paranormal novel brimming with history and vivid local colour. A roster of complex, sympathetic characters including battered wives, drug runners, and helpful ghosts doesn’t hurt!” —Ursula Pflug, author of Motion Sickness and Mountain

“Escaping to Costa Rica to regain his life that got lost in a bustling career in the New York art world, recovering divorce Simon Patrick finds himself caught up in a murder mystery. A parrot provides clues, is a regular visitor to Simon” beachfront property and becomes a focus for Simon’s paintings. In What Goes Around, Ruth Clarke weaves a tale of magical realism with characters who may run but can never hide from the unseen forces that determine their destiny.” —Mary Martin Mason, author of The Miracle Seekers, Designing Rituals in Adoption, and Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers’ Stories

“Given that the literary movement of magical realism was captained by Latin American authors, it is fitting that What Goes Around takes place in the vibrant, chaotic and colorful setting of Central America. Ruth Clarke’s gift of painting with words transports you mind, body and spirit through her vivid descriptions into a world of dreams, romance, and the moral dramas of the soul, all in the pursuit of whodunnit.” —Shannon Farley, international journalist, contributing writer to EnchantingCostaRica.com

What Goes Around

Ruth Clarke is the author of five non-fiction books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and she has had articles published in daily and weekly newspapers and magazines. A veteran of the Canadian writing and publishing industry, she has worked for the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Canada Council, co-founded Cannon Book Distribution Ltd., and founded a writers’ colony. Then she started to write for a living. What Goes Around is her debut novel.


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