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Pleasing the Dead [Hardcover]

Deborah Turrell Atkinson

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2009 Storm Kayama Series
Some nasty predators dwell in paradise, and they arenat all hiding in the azure waters. The day attorney Storm Kayama arrives in Kahului to help Lara Farrell set up her new dive shop, someone bombs a restaurant. When one of Laraas employees, a recent Japanese immigrant, kills himself and one of his young daughters, Storm begins to ask questions.
The tentacles of the Yakuza, the dangerous, Japanese organized crime group, grip local businesses, real estate, and politics. Cunning and deadly, the clan leaders exploit underage women and eliminate anyone who dares face up to them.
Storm finds herself up against a lethal and faceless enemy, in a place where disposing of a victim is easy as dumping her in shark-infested waters.
But who is hunting whom? In a struggle to the death, Storm begins to realize that surviving doesnat always mean living. For some, the ghosts of the past may be more painful than the anguish of the present.
Hawaii lawyer Storm Kayama must battle against the yakuza's presence and an ancient adherence to tradition to save more young girls from a terrible fate.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (Feb. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590585976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590585979
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,003,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“In this fourth in the series, Atkinson continues to mix realistic stories of contemporary Hawaii with facts about the islands’ past. The combination goes far beyond the tunnel-vision tourist’s view.” –Booklist of Pleasing the Dead
“Rich with Hawaiian folklore, Atkinson's convoluted fourth mystery to feature attorney Storm Kayama (after 2007's Fire Prayer) explores the dark side of paradise…Readers will root for the strong, likable Storm as she uncovers secrets on an island that's only idyllic on the surface.”  
Publishers Weekly of Pleasing the Dead

About the Author

Deborah Turrell Atkinson lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, with her husband and two children. A zest for traveling off the beaten path, friends, and her deep interest in the native myths and lore that abound among Hawaii’s rich and varied cultures contribute to her books.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful and Deadly Mystery Feb. 13 2009
By Cindy Chow - Published on
Once again Deborah Turrell Atkinson displays her talent for writing mysteries that brilliantly convey both the beauty and dangers of Hawaii. In her fourth outing, attorney Storm Kayama travels to Maui to meet with her new client, former champion windsurfer Lara Farrell. To her surprise, Lara seems reluctant to reveal the details about her business partnership with her fiancé Ryan Tagama. Or more accurately, as Storm soon discovers, the ties with Ryan and his Japanese financier father whose tendrils connect him with shady Japanese businessmen who all display a distinct lack of pinky fingers.

Storm's first sights on Maui are the burned remains of a local restaurant, and that harbinger foreshadows a tragic domestic shooting and additional murder as her own room is repeatedly invaded and she is followed by an ominous SUV. In her own life Storm is dealing with the tentative relationship with her boyfriend Ian Hamlin, who left her for a "break" after Storm's previous investigations left them both scarred and wounded.

Atkinson's mysteries always excel at detailing the sights and flavors of Hawaii that only a local could convey. From the diverse and delicious foods such as poi pancakes and saimin with fish cake to the Hawaiian tradition the "coconut wireless" that makes a small island a small neighborhood, all of these descriptions display traits that are uniquely Hawaiian. More than just a regional mystery, Pleasing the Dead explores the complex relationships between fathers and their children and the long-lasting, tragic, legacies left when those relationships are broken. This latest Storm Kayama mystery is the most harrowing yet, with an exciting battle at sea that the reader won't soon forget. A beautiful, scenic, and fascinating thriller that shouldn't be missed.
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting Hawaii Paradise adventure Feb. 14 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Attorney Storm Kayama travels to Kahului, Maui to discuss with her client Lara Farrell the legal aspects of opening up a dive shop. Soon after she arrives in Kahului, she hears a loud explosion that occurred in a nearby restaurant.

Visiting the under construction dive shop, Storm observes a foreman council a drunken Japanese laborer for breaking the rule of not working under the influence as one can be a danger to one's self and others. Soon after receiving the verbal reprimand, the worker Hiroki commits an apparent murder-suicide killing one of his two daughters. Unable to resist Storm investigates what drove the man to kill himself and his child starting with the still powerful ancient "coconut wireless" communication system, in which the gossip ties Hiroki to the Yakuza Japanese mob.

The keys to the exciting Kayama tales (see THE GREEN ROOM, PRIMITIVE SECRETS, and FIRE PRAYER) are the deep look into Native Hawaiian mythology and the hidden from tourists underside of paradise. The story line is fast-paced, starting off as a legal thriller, but as with the previous Stormy stories quickly turns into a dangerous investigative tale. Fans will enjoy tour guide Deborah Turrell Atkinson's exciting Hawaii Paradise adventures.

Harriet Klausner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading! March 12 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got hooked on the first book and kept getting the one after Great to read and keep you guessing
3.0 out of 5 stars Good series from Hawaii! Dec 14 2013
By Susan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like the a little predictable at times. Love all the aloha! Makes me miss living there! Old home week with some places mentioned.
4.0 out of 5 stars An inexpensive Hawaiian vacation Feb. 9 2011
By Mary Beth Magee - Published on
Paradise isn't always perfect for attorney Storm Kayama. She has a habit of attracting murder and mayhem, no matter which island she visits. In "Pleasing the Dead," she runs afoul of powerful Japanese mobsters, a temper tantrum-prone client and mysterious relationships that threaten lives all up and down the social strata.

Author Deborah Turrell Atkinson brings the Hawaiian Islands to vibrant life in this latest entry in the Kayama chronicles. Set on Maui, the book takes us behind the tourist scenes and into the small towns and neighborhoods of the island. We meet grocers and contractors as well as the police officers. A number of Hawaiian foods appear throughout the story as well, whetting the reader's appetite. (I'm definitely ready to try the shave ice with hidden ice cream and azuki bean she describes on page 222.)

Kayama is a strong protagonist. Atkinson gives her a distinct personality that is fresh yet familiar at the same time. She could be your chum from high school or your next door neighbor. Her heart is for people, as evidenced by her mission to bring the little girl, Carmen, a favorite stuffed cat that was left behind when the paramedics brought her to the hospital. At the same time, she fiercely stands up to people who mean harm to those who are important to her.

The large cast of fascinating supporting characters requires attention from the reader. Many of the names are of Japanese origin. The typical reader will be able to keep them straight with a minimum of effort. You'll hate some and love others, but you will be intrigued by the interplay between them in this tense story.

The threads of Atkinson's plot weave through the story like tendrils of some exotic vine. Relationships and past histories converge and digress, but the end result is an entrancing story rich with Hawaiian lore and language. There is some rough language (the reason I gave it 4 rather than 5), but a great read.

If the weather has you wishing for a warm vacation, get "Pleasing the Dead." It's a great escape to Hawaii, a lot less expensive than air fare and no security checkpoints to face.

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