Mahu—a generally negative Hawaiian term for homosexuals—introduces a unique character to detective fiction. Kimo Kanapa’aka is a handsome, mixed-race surfer living in Honolulu, a police detective confronting his homosexuality in an atmosphere of macho bravado within the police force.
A man of intelligence, strength, honesty, resourcefulness, and intense dedication to the people of Hawaii, Kimo is a hard-boiled hero you will never forget. Fast-paced, intricately plotted, thoroughly enjoyable, this is a sexy, surprisingly moving mystery about discovering oneself as much as catching a killer.
I had not read this story before listening to it so it allowed me to experience an unfolding of Kimo through his thoughts and actions. We see Kimo as a detective, the youngest son of 3 brothers, surfer, and closeted gay man. All of these traits give us a strong but confused man. When his desire places him at the back of a gay bar and he witnesses a body dropped, he panics, calls it in anonymously and runs home. Of course the murder is assigned to Kimo and his partner. We follow the story as they work to solve it , Kimo admits to himself that he is gay and starts admitting it to the people around him.
We get to see detective work, the different areas of Hawaii and the different blending of the many ethnic groups that make up the islands. We get to watch as Kimo learns to accept his homosexuality, as well as his friends and family. I absolutely loved how some of his family wasn’t comfortable with it, yet worked to accept this new aspect of Kimo.
A well told story that will keep you reading as it works it way through.
Story-3.5 stars of 5
Joel Has taken a group of subtle accents and made them each unique to the character. On top of that his timing and inflection give the story the feeling of being immersed in the thoughts and action as they happen. Joel truly made the story more personal and at the same time riveting!
Overall 4 of 5 stars