Pleasing the Dead
Review: Deborah Turrell Atkinson continues following the life of Honolulu lawyer Storm Kayama who is on Maui doing the legal work required to set up a new business but drawn into the dangerous world of the yakuza in Pleasing the Dead, the fourth mystery in this series.
Setting up the dive shop for her friend Lara Farrell seems routine until two seemingly unrelated tragedies occur, a restaurant bombing and a destitute Japanese laborer killing himself and his daughter, wounding another. Storm begins to ask questions and is quickly caught up in a world unfamiliar to her, the Japanese crime organization known as the yakuza. Knowing the long arm of the yakuza may extend into legitimate business, and even the police department, Storm must tread carefully. But soon her own life is in danger, and she doesn't know who she can trust.
As she has with the previous mysteries in this series, Atkinson paints a gorgeous Hawaii, lush and beautiful, rich in its community and history. Her characters come alive with distinctive personalities, relatable to the reader, both good and evil. Storm's personal background also plays an important role in the story, allowing her to connect with the people she's trying to help, and ultimately rescue. The only drawback here is the somewhat confusing, at times hard to follow, plot. Though an exciting read, the appeal of this mystery is ultimately in its characters and setting. Pleasing the Dead is an agreeable addition to the series, just not a strong one.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Pleasing the Dead.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Pleasing the Dead for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), August 2007
ISBN-13: 9781590584026; ISBN-10: 1590584023
Location(s) referenced in Pleasing the Dead: Maui, Hawaii
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Pleasing the Dead by Deborah Turrrell Atkinson — A Storm Kayama Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $24.95