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The Prince of Paradise: The True Story of a Hotel Heir, His Seductive Wife, and a Ruthless Murder Hardcover – April 16, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“From the provocative opening sentence ("When retired police chief James Scarberry heard in July 2009 that Ben Novack Jr. had been brutally murdered, with his eyes gouged out, he was not surprised."), true-crime veteran Glatt grabs the reader's attention. With a perfect amount of detail, he traces the sad life of Novack--whose father, Ben Sr., founded Miami Beach's legendary Fountainebleau Hotel--from an unhappy childhood to his death in 2009 at the age of 53. . . . This gripping account is proof that truth can be stranger--and far more disturbing--than fiction.” ―Publishers Weekly

“One of the finest true crime craftsmen writing today.” ―Harold Goldberg, VH1.com

“How do you say ‘juicy' in French.” ―People Magazine on The Royal House of Monaco

“A real guilty Pleasure.” ―Entertainment Weekly on The Royal House of Monaco

From the Inside Flap

Praise for author John Glatt:
"John Glatt is one of the finest true crime craftsmen writing today." ―Howard Goldberg, VH1.com

"[Glatt] certainly comes through with the goods."―Library Journal

"[A] true crime page turner. ―East Bay Express on The Doctor's Wife

"Author John Glatt goes behind the headlines and into the heart of this fascinating case." ―Bookcrossing.com on Cradle of Death

"This is a great true crime book." ―Bookreporter.com on Deadly American Beauty

"Definitive tales of a dozen sets of twins gone bad." ―Twinstuff.com

"A blockbuster." ―The Globe on Depraved

"An exhaustive account … A creepy but mesmerizing read." ―Woman's Own on Depraved

"A shocking expose of clergymen who kill." ―National Examiner on For I Have Sinned

"Fascinating reading." ―Arizona Republic on Evil Twins

"Glatt…create[s] a mood of relentless darkness." ―Crime Magazine

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250035724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250035721
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeri VINE VOICE on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Let me just say quickly what I always am looking for when I read reviews of a true crime book: yes, the author tells the story of the victims and the their killer. No, it isn't just the story of the police investigation. (As any reader of true crime books will tell you, most police investigations make for books about as interesting as ditch water.)

Instead, this true crime book is a long, lovely, shocking, utterly unbelievable account of two murders, one of which was at first classified as an accident. And it's the true story - which you simply won't be able to put down - of the 'prince' of Miami beach, and his son, and his divorced wife.

Ben Novack created the Fontainebleau, the swankiest hotel and resort in Miami, which headlined famous stars such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis. He chose as his first wife the superstar model at the time, a redhead beauty who'd grown up in foster care.

They had a son, Ben Jr., but paid little attention to him when he was young. So Ben Jr. grew up as the prince of the Fontainebleau, shuffled between maids and limos, movie stars and the most expensive school in Miami. By the way, that school was where he became lifelong friends with Kelsey Grammer.

The Fontainebleau eventually went bankrupt, but Ben Jr. has inherited his father's impressive skills as a manager. He became a multimillionaire organizer of conventions.

He also had a loose interpretation of morality and marriage vows. I don't want to give away more details than this, but his lifestyle was jaw-dropping and his second marriage was to a woman with a lifestyle as outrageous as his own.

What fascinates me about true crime books is what drives anyone to commit murder.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to deduct one point though for no pictures in the kindle version. I assume there were none in the hardback also. With the high profile players, incredibly interesting backstory of the hotel during it's heyday, the mob and the celebrities' involved, there really should have been numerous pictures included.

That said, the story was very well written and very interesting. Particularly the history of Miami's early beginnings.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Basically, this was a very interesting book and I'm glad I bought it. After reading this book, I went to the internet and looked up the characters to see what they looked like and also to look at the hotel itself.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a page turner. It is the type of book that makes you think after reading it. You wonder what makes people tick and what price they are willing to pay to be in control. A must read for True Crime enthusiasts.
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Well written, exciting and unusual background. A book about history, glamour, multi-millions, infidelity, murder and justice. A page-turner that was so hard to put down!
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I could not put this down. There is every element of crime imaginable, making this true story read like an exciting novel. You are taken through the glamour days of Florida becoming a hot spot for the rich and famous all the way through to the seedy underworld of drugs, prostitution and more. You won't regret purchasing this book. The author does a wonderful job of telling all if the details without once letting the story get bogged down or boring.
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I almost didn't get this kindle book because I had seen this story on 48 hours and figured I already knee everything, Boy was I wrong. This author goes into the background of the historic hotel and the very interesting lives and events of era. It was hard to put down. I enjoyed reading this true crime a lot because it was about so much more. Loved it!!!!!
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This story of the life and brutal death of Ben Novack Jr. had me glued to the pages. He was born into a life of wealth and privilege where his family mingled with movie stars, mobsters, and presidents at the famed Fontainebleau hotel in Miami. His outrageous and unconventional lifestyle are more bizarre than any fiction novel. This book takes a look back at the history of his life at the Fontainebleau while he was growing up. Then, it moves into his adult life and the events that led up to his gruesome murder, and the trial that followed. Fascinating, filled with characters whose greed knew no bounds.
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