Author Toby Neal pulls very few punches, if any, using her own expertise in psychology and Hawaiian life to not only put you in Hilo, where the story takes place, but inside the head of Lei. You hope all the way through that Lei will not succumb to either the outside forces that would see her dead, or the demons within propelling her toward a life of loneliness at best, self-destruction at worst.
I found myself suspecting everyone, trusting no one, including characters where little suspicion could be placed. I did manage to guess who one villain was, but that in and of itself was not the sole purpose for this thriller. It might be the vehicle, the means for turning the pages, but Blood Orchids is as much a personal journey for one who has been labeled "Damaged Goods" as it is a story about the police vs. a serial rapist/killer.
I liked the idea that the story didn't just end when most would, but continued, answering a few more questions. When it did end, it was satisfying, while leaving room for more in any subsequent books." G.A., top reviewer, Goodreads