Humor columnist Memminger’s first novel follows a prematurely retired newsman through the paradise of the Hawaiian Islands as he unearths some old and very dirty secrets.
Since corrupt Sgt. Jake Stane ended both Stryker McBride’s career at the Honolulu Journal and Officer Jeannie Kai’s life when he shot them two years ago, Stryker hasn’t been looking for trouble. Mourning Jeannie Kai and more or less satisfied that Stane’s rotting in prison, the former crime reporter has been living aboard the Travis McGee, dry-docked at a yacht club for which he’s volunteered to serve as night watchman. But if trouble’s going to find him, it might as well be in the person of Amber Kalanianaole Kam, the high school crush who wants Stryker to find out why her ancient grandfather Wai Lo Fat, a co-founder of Four Gates Enterprises, drowned in five inches of water in a taro field. Amber’s worried that he’s been the victim of foul play; medical examiner Dr. Melba McCall assures Stryker that he hasn’t. So Stryker, whose every move is shadowed by obvious bad guys like Dragon Boy Danny Chung and organized crime enforcer Tiny Maunakea, starts digging, and in no time at all, he’s dug up enough to ruffle the feathers of both Auntie Kealoha, the Godmother of Hawaiian crime, and Amber, who fires him and throws him out. By this time, though, Stryker, who’s obviously read a fair number of books about freelance investigators, has his teeth in the case and refuses to let go. He won’t be satisfied until he’s traced Wai Lo Fat’s death to a coverup of a shameful crime committed before he was born.
Colorful characters, shaggy plotting, a seemly modicum of wisecracks, and enough expository and scenic asides for a guidebook.