Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
New fathers investigate the death of a young family.
When a sailboat carrying four bodies washes up on the Leeward Coast of O’ahu, openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, on loan to the FBI, must discover what sent this young family and their deadly cargo on a dangerous trans-Pacific voyage. Leaving behind his partner and their infant twins, Kimo must work with his police cohort Ray Donne to unravel the forces that led this family to their deaths.
From Hawaii’s sunny beaches to a chilly island in Japan to the Pacific Northwest, Kimo and Ray step far out of their comfort zones to confront an evil much greater than any they’ve investigated before.
I have been such a fan of this series and author and that continues with Ghost Ship. Over the series of nine novels, readers have watched Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka be outed to his family and the HPD, come to terms with that, meet and date, lose and reunite with Mike, his now life partner. They’ve fathered twins with their friends a lesbian couple they’re co parenting with, and have a foster son now attending college. Its been a long and tumultuous ride that eventually saw Kimo and Ray leaving the Honolulu PD for temporary assignment with the FBI. That’s where we find them now on a life changing case for both Kimo, his family and Ray, his work partner and friend.
This is one of the worst cases in all the series, a sailboat washes ashore with a dead family on board, father, mother and twin babies. It immediately hits home for Kimo and Mike with their twins but the emotional impact carries over to the reader through the descriptions and later in the captains diary the father kept. Its heartbreaking and you quickly understand the drive to solve this case and the web of intrigue behind the cargo and deaths.
Plakcy has woven one of the most involved and layered cases of the series here. Its threads go from Hawaii to Japan to mainland US and back again and those travels will stretch thin the ties that bind Kimo to Mike and his family just when they need him the most and Kimo is aware of it. The same will go for Ray. Its the job versus family again and never has it been made more painful or obvious that a choice will have to be made, then here in this story. Parts of Kimo’s carefully crafted life are falling to pieces and yet he still must pursue this case with Ray because of the deadly consequences if he doesn’t. Ray also is having similar issues within his own family. Two men torn by job obligations and family love and loyalty on the most important case of their lives.
This is a thrilling read, and a heartbreaking one. Plakcy doesn’t deliver all the answers to all the issues and problems he raised here. And I think that’s about right. For somethings there aren’t any. For some personal ones, there are only more questions and things to work out. That’s what book 11 is for. Kimo and Mike and family are still on a journey. I hope Kimo does decide to return to the Honolulu PD, even with all the problems that entails. Its where the series and Kimo started. And if its winding down, that where he should end up.
If you haven’t found this series yet, please don’t start here. You’ve such a treat in store for you. Run, don’t walk to the beginning Mahu (Mahu #1) and meet Kimo and see how it all starts. Plakcy is a master of the vernacular, you’ll get a feel for the island culture and people. Trust me you’ll be addicted in no time. Then you’ll have so many wonderful books ahead of you.
If you are already a fan like me, then settle in for a wonderful read. I highly recommend it.
Cover art is amazing and works perfectly for the novel and series.
Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Published September 30th 2016 by MLR Press