Two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist Neil Plakcy returns to the Hawaiian Islands with a new mystery about blood ties in a state torn by ethnic tension. Openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka must investigate a series of murders that threaten his own family as well as the citizens he struggles to protect.
Billions of dollars are at stake in a fight over who the land of the Aloha State really belongs to. Is it the United States—or the indigenous people of the islands, many of whom feel their sovereign kingdom was overthrown by American businessmen?
At the same time, Kimo and his fire investigator partner, Mike Riccardi, deal with the stress of moving in together to create their own ohana—a Hawaiian term which means family, as well as community.
Review: As everyone who knows me is aware, I absolutely love this series about Kimo Kanapa’aka, the publicly outed gay cop in Honolulu. Kimo appeals to me on several levels – his masculinity (yes, he’s gay but that doesn’t mean he’s a fairy), his surfing abilities, his love for family and friends, his ability to foster gay teens in an outreach program and give them honest answers to their darkest and most personal questions, and his ability to kick ass as a detective.
In the latest installment, Kimo and his partner, Ray, must find the killer of an elderly woman shot during a Kingdom of Hawai’i rally and of a slow yet talkative lolo (crazy) man living in a group home who was set on fire. At the same time he is dealing with a number of other issues – difficulties at home after moving in with fireman-boyfriend Mike, worries over a young and ignorant mother connected to the case, agonizing over the fact that his own mother could have been the victim at the rally, and concerned with his brother’s addictions. Plus he has to constantly remind everyone that Stuey, the man from the group home, was not homeless, no matter what he looked like. All in all, Kimo does what Kimo does best – he cares for his ohana.
Plakcy has come up with another winner, not only in Kimo Kanapa’aka but in the overall detective genre as well. The characters are well written and, living in Hawai’i as I do, I can see the qualities of people I have met here on the island in the characters of Mahu Blood. The language used is choice (that’s pidgin for excellent), the places are fo’ real (except for the one’s that aren’t), and the events, unfortunately, could actually happen. I also love the new covers for all the Mahu books!
Now I’m just waiting for a book titled “Mahu Kapu” (translated – gay men forbidden).
Favorite Quote: After Mike and I had licked and sucked and rubbed each other to orgasm, he went right to sleep, but I lay there in bed next to him for a few minutes, relishing the feeling, once again, of bringing down the bad guys and making things right with the world, even if only for a little while.