- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1559.0 KB
- Print Length: 312 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Toby Neal (27 Nov. 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006FBDHG2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 95 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #593 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Blood Orchids (Lei Crime, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Lei Texeira is one such protagonist. Far from being just a pretty face (and a pretty name!), Leilani Texeira is a plucky, intrepid policewoman haunted by her past. Driven and ambitious, Lei aspires to ditch her uniform to become a detective, but her impulsive initiative and stubbornness can sometimes land her in more trouble than she can handle. A strong and kick-butt heroine in a genre populated by male detectives, Lei nevertheless has a vulnerable side, as she struggles to let go of her past as a victim of child abuse. Ms. Neal's background as a mental health therapist definitely helped in portraying a determined but troubled character, adding realism and depth to a complex and compelling heroine.
Now to the story: Blood Orchids centres around the double murder of two high school girls. As officer Lei Texeira pursues the case, she herself is pursued by a stalker. The story is gripping, with heaps of action, and Ms. Neal did a fantastic job pacing the story, revealing nuggets of information one layer at a time. Whilst I mentally patted myself on the back when I correctly identified the killer, I certainly did not foresee that the story didn't end there! No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that what I initially thought was a predictable read, became far from it in the end, and that Lei's troubles were far from over!
Sure, at some points in the story, I did wonder, "Wow, what are the odds of all this misery befalling one single person?" But Ms. Neal's fast-paced writing left me little time to stop and think as it sweeps me along, and her very vivid portrayal of Lei's damaged psyche makes everything seem all the more believable.
With a riveting plot, intense action and drama, and vivid writing, what really made Blood Orchids for me, are the characters. Set in sunny and exotic Hawaii, Ms. Neal brings Big Island living to the masses with her rich portrayal of the island state's diverse peoples and cultures: Native Hawaiians, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos... the occasional inclusion of pidgin English adds flavour to the story, bringing the setting to life. My favourite characters include Pono, Lei's partner, and Keiki, Lei's faithful Rottweiler. Lei's budding romance with Detective Stevens made for some tender moments, and I am looking forward to seeing where their relationship will take them in the coming books -- yes, there are other books in the making! Lei Texeira will be back, and I for one am looking forward to it!
If you enjoy a taut murder mystery with some Big Island flavour, if you like your heroines to be strong yet vulnerable, and if you enjoy your stories dark, but laced with hope, then Blood Orchids is definitely for you!
Lei Texeira is a survivor of the worst kind of abuse - betrayed by those who should have protected her as a young girl.
Now a 24-year old trainee Detective in her home town of Hilo, Hawaii, she bravely tries to get her life back on track until two schoolgirls and later a female officer [known to Lei], are all murdered in a similar way.
Detective Michael Stevens is assigned to lead the investigation - and reluctantly allows Lei, her partner Officer Pono [and Lei's Rottweiler, Keiki], to join the hunt.
Next, someone who seems all too familiar with Lei's past begins stalking her, throwing her into nightmare flashbacks of abuse and helplessness.
Who is the mysterious stalker and what is his link to Lei's past? Are the stalker and the murderer the same - or is Lei (and local girls) in double danger from two predators?
Are Lei's father's criminal 'sins' being visited on his daughter? And can she protect herself [having rebuffed Michael's protection], until the whole truth is revealed, or will she once again become a predator's victim - this time a dead one?
Toby Neal's first book in the Lei Crime Series is seriously brilliant...at times I nearly fell off the edge of my seat because I was holding my breath so tightly without realising it, so rivetingly are the action scenes paced! You definitely need to read it or you'll die of curiosity as to how everything will pan out!
SORT OF SPOILER ALERT
Lei is so stereotyped -poor girl with jailed father, druggie mother (who commits suicide) and is raped by stepfather. She is so screwed up I am amazed she ever got into the police force -though Hilo is hardly the centre of crime. She, of course, falls for the main detective, and nature takes its course in spite of her hang-ups. She is always pinching herself or fiddling with things in her pocket -a stone, a business card etc - to calm herself and it sounds as if she also has mild epilepsy (petit mal)!!
The only character I liked in this book was her dog -Keiko (Keeko, Cakeo, Keyeko ?) - a lovey rotty. I will not be reading any more of this author or the Lei series. Poor story-line, poorly drawn characters on the whole and just so, well, boring!!
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