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Blood Orchids (Lei Crime, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The late Ian MacMillan could strike the right balance, and Toby Neal can, too. The main character in Blood Orchids--Lei Texeira--grew up partly in Hawaii, partly in California. Having Lei for a main character is like having a cultural interpreter to show you what it's really like to live in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. The authenticity is there, the local flavor and texture are there, too. But the contemporary social issues are in the background. This story is about a very human and likeable cop with more than a couple of things to prove. Her friends, family, enemies, and the things that happen to her and around her make this a compelling read.
The character of Lei is slowly revealed throughout the story and I felt such empathy for her and the horrific struggles she went thru as a child. She is a feisty, complicated and tortured woman who wrestles with her demons and does her job with determination.
Detective Michael Stevens is a straightforward detective who has lived through some childhood trauma of his own. His relationship with Lei takes a personal turn and he becomes very protective of her.
Toby Neal's colorful descriptions of the lush landscape of Hawaii made me feel as if I was there. The attention to detail of the diverse vegetation and volcanoes painted a beautiful backdrop to this story. I appreciated that the characters used a Hawaiian dialect defined as pidgin which made for interesting dialogue.
The character of Lei was extremely multi-layered and complex and brought to life with compassion and fervor. The mystery is packed with tension, fast paced and held me enthralled while driving me forward.
I definitely recommend this book to all readers, you will not be disappointed!
Marilou George - The Kindle Book Review
Lei is a police officer in Hilo, Hawaii, working to make detective and in the meantime keeping the lid on gangs, solving murders, and by the way also fending off her own personal stalker. The layers of this woman's history build slowly and naturally in this lush, tropical mystery. When the book opens, in classic murder mystery style, Lei has discovered two female victims floating in a creek, drowned and clearly murdered.
Lei herself was raped at age nine, and her mother died soon after of an overdose while her father was hauled off to prison. The girl grew up in a world that we call dysfunctional, but that makes it sound way too clean and nice. More like a world of pain and hurting, of bruises and scars and daytime nightmares and nighttime terror. As a result, flowers in Lei's world now that she's an adult feel almost like something venomous while her favorite gun, the Glock 40, earns her kisses and caresses. Lei has serious issues, as she is the first to admit.
I like it that the author is not afraid to make the characters talk in Hawaiian dialect. "'Someone been making trouble for me. I like you make it stop,' Lei said in pidgin." She handles this expertly, and you feel not only like you are in Hawaii, but like you are navigating between different social classes on the streets of second-city Hilo, Hawaii. I guess it's like Oakland compared to downtown San Francisco.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Three stars because the plot surrounding the mystery really kept me guessing almost to the reveal. Unfortunately that was the best thing going for the book as everything in... Read morePublished 11 hours ago by Kathi Jones
Very good first book. Looking forward to reading more of this author.Published 19 hours ago by Nanabanana
An enjoyable book that the author could ave ended a couple of times but kept going and pulled all of the loose ends together.Published 21 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Full of suspense with surprise endings. Lei, a policewoman in Hawaii, had many problems stemming from a childhood of abuse, and was trying to work through them, and move ahead in... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Faye P.
Lei may be a cop, but she wants to be a detective. When she and her partner Pono find two dead girls at a beach, it triggers a series of events that surface monstrous memories from... Read morePublished 2 days ago by PingPaul
I don't normally give a 5 star rating but this book had me hooked when I picked it up. I read it in 2 days! Great writing! Never a dull moment. Glad I know about this author now.Published 3 days ago by Jo
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