Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mahu Blood by Neil S Plakcy

Mahu Blood by Neil S Plakcy $35.99

Plakcy’s previous Mahu books have been great reads.  The series is set in Hawaii with a local gay couple as the central story line.  Kimo is a police detective and his life partner Mike works for the fire service.  Their everyday lives at work and at home have made for refreshingly familiar thrillers with an underlying gay familiarity.  In this new book, Mahu Blood, Plakcy confronts us and his protagonists with the reality of land rights issues that have been bubbling under the surface in the Aloha state for over a century.

While doing a shift in uniform during a march for Native rights, Kimo hears rifle shots.  An old Hawaiian lady has been killed with 3 bullets.  This doesn’t look like a random killing.  The ensuing investigation takes us into the history of the kingdom of Hawaii.  Money, coffee, the sex industry, land rights and family all collide in this story.  We read the day by day slow development of this difficult case as well as the ups and downs of Kimo’s home life.  He has moved in with Mike but after years as an independent man this newfound domesticity isn’t all sex and happiness.  He also misses the opportunities for spur of the moment surfing his old beach apartment provided.  His work partnership with mainland trained Ray also adds some interesting work life detail.

This is a thriller with tension, context and warm relationships.  The “real” feelings associated with Kimo and Mike building a life together ring very true.

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