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Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy

SURF’S UP—AND SO IS MURDERTHE SINISTER SIDE OF WAIKIKI Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka has a great job, protecting and serving the people of O’ahu from a community policing outpost right on the beach at Waikiki. He can surf at first light, and then be at his desk within minutes. But when he finds a dead body in the alley behind a gay bar, and then does not identify himself as a police officer when he calls it in, his whole world blows up. This decision, made in a fateful moment fueled by adrenaline, turns his life upside down, threatens to rip his family apart, and forever alters his entire department. By the action-packed ending, every single character has been changed in ways they’d never have imagined, long-held beliefs about loyalties, family, and who the good guys are replaced by new experience. Watching the characters unwrap each new package of life is half the fun (although the Honolulu setting’s right up there). Author Plakcy, creator of The Golden Retriever Mysteries, weaves a very different kind of tale here—realistic and hard-boiled, yet also empathetic and warm. MAHU is a taut, ingenious, many-threaded mystery, each unexpected plot twist leading believably to the next, yet nothing telegraphed—in other words, an extremely satisfying read. Readers will love the vivid portrayal of Honolulu— from dawn surfing to tong haunts and sinister alleys, family friends who turn out to be gangsters, Hawaii traditions with Asian flair, and the family picnics and gatherings at the center of it all. And they’ll fall instantly in love with Kimo, from his scrupulous approach to his job to his easy way with his nieces, nephews, brothers, and friends, even when some turn against him on his new path. What’s happening to him is the late-breaking realization that he’s gay. If he’s going to accept that and live as he’s meant to, he has to upend everything and learn a whole new culture. It’s a rocky path, and that’s what makes a good story. Fans of HAWAII FIVE-0 will love this! Also police procedural fans, devotees of Don Winslow’s THE DAWN PATROL, Kem Nunn, and all mysteries set in Hawaii, whether cozy or surf noir.