Pleasing the Dead

Deborah Turrell Atkinson, Author
Deborah Turrell Atkinson, Author . Poisoned Pen $24.95 (284p) ISBN 978-1-59058-597-9
Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009

Rich with Hawaiian folklore, Atkinson's convoluted fourth mystery to feature attorney Storm Kayama (after 2007's Fire Prayer ) explores the dark side of paradise. Soon after Storm arrives in Kahului, Maui, where she's handling the legalities of setting up a new dive shop for a client, Lara Farrell, she hears of a deadly explosion at a town restaurant. At Lara's dive shop, which is still under construction, Storm witnesses a Japanese workman, Hiroki, being reprimanded for drunkenness and, later, another employee sobbing. When Hiroki kills himself and one of his two daughters, Storm reaches out to the second daughter, who survived the attack. Drawing on her knowledge of local customs and the “coconut wireless,” Hawaii's gossip chain, Storm finds links between the recent tragedies and the yakuza, a Japanese crime organization active in the islands. Readers will root for the strong, likable Storm as she uncovers secrets on an island that's only idyllic on the surface. (Feb.)

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