An Eternal Lei: A Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mystery
As the pandemic continues into its nineteenth month, it’s no surprise to see books like Naomi Hirahara’s An Eternal Lei reflect life lived underneath a mask and the constant fear of exposure. Hirahara gives us a break from the mundanity of our own lives and whisks us away to a place we actually want to be: Hawaii. Though not a native Hawaiian, she seems to have done her homework and plops us into a world with characters who think, talk, and act genuine to the area.
The hook is simple but effective—a young woman washes up onshore, unconscious but alive. We know nothing except that she has a lei around her neck with berries poisonous to the touch sitting directly on her skin. As the mystery unfolds and ties in all the people in the main character’s family, the reader is drawn in as well. The red herrings all turn out to be involved in the attempted murder, but the twist at the end is unexpected. The book could maybe have done with some more work, including a review of run-on sentences, too many characters being introduced too quickly, and plot development as it unfolds in tandem with exposition.
|Prospect Park Books
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller