Mahu Surfer: A Hawaiian Mystery

Overview

"An eminently likeable hero—the kind of man’s man you just want to hug." —Daniel M. Jaffe, author of The Limits of Pleasure

Mahu is a generally negative Hawaiian term for homosexual, and for police detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, being gay doesn’t make for an easy life. Especially when you’re publicly outed. Now, semi-retired, Kimo must go undercover and stop a brutal killer. Already three surfers have been shot dead, and Kimo must infiltrate the close-knit surfing community, knowing...

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More About This Book

Overview

"An eminently likeable hero—the kind of man’s man you just want to hug." —Daniel M. Jaffe, author of The Limits of Pleasure

Mahu is a generally negative Hawaiian term for homosexual, and for police detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, being gay doesn’t make for an easy life. Especially when you’re publicly outed. Now, semi-retired, Kimo must go undercover and stop a brutal killer. Already three surfers have been shot dead, and Kimo must infiltrate the close-knit surfing community, knowing his only way back to active duty is to catch a killer he may know all too well.

Neil S. Plakcy is the author of Mahu and co-edited Paws & Reflect: Exploring the Bond Between Gay Men and Their Dogs. He lives in Florida.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593500078
  • Publisher: Alyson Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Series: An Alyson Mystery Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2008

    Middle-aged straight woman enjoyed this gay mystery

    I read this book, not because of the gay theme, but because I am reading a mystery set in every state in the Union, by an author whose work I haven¿t read before. I got to Hawaii and, because I¿d read some of his posts on an online mystery discussion group, decided to try one of Neil Plakcy¿s MAHU series. (Mahu is a, not necessarily complimentary, Hawaiian term for homosexual).<BR/><BR/>When the book opens, the protagonist, Detective Kimo Kanapa'aka, is reporting for duty at his new assignment within the Honolulu PD. In the previous book (MAHU, which I haven't read yet), he underwent a series of traumatic events, which included his self-acknowledgment that he was gay, being outed on local television, and suspension from duty. He soon learns that his new boss wants him to go undercover immediately, pretending that he has not been reinstated to the force, in order to investigate three surfer shootings on the North Shore of Oahu. Kimo has some trouble with this request as it involves lying to his friends and family, but his love of surfing and police work win out and he accepts the assignment.<BR/><BR/>Returning to the North Shore, where he had spent time surfing before joining the police, brings back a lot of memories for Kimo. Having only recently come out, he's also testing himself socially and sexually as a gay man. I'm not normally enthralled by sex scenes in mysteries, but the few that take place in MAHU SURFER are useful both for plot reasons and character development. As Kimo searches for a connection among the murdered surfers, he reconnects with the surfing culture and discovers several possible suspects and more than one motive.<BR/><BR/>I had a few reservations about the ending of the book, which left one promising plot element hanging. But overall this was a very enjoyable read with a wealth of detail about island life and the diverse population of Hawaii. One thing I found particularly refreshing was Kimo's relationship with his family, especially his parents. Too often, even in the mystery genre, parents are presented as (a) toxic monsters, (b) pathetic nonentities who have nothing to talk about with their sleuthing children, or (c) heroic figures impossible to live up to. Kimo's parents are loving and supportive in difficult circumstances, and he obviously loves and respects them. He also has two great friends in Harry and Terri, who each bring their own skills and backgrounds to help him solve the mystery. I hope to see more of them when I read the previous and further adventures of Kimo Kanapa'aka.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Better Than the First

    Now that Kimo's story is established, I loved this book so much more than the first one. It is more dangerous and more fun than what 'Mahu' was, and we get more details of his history/past too. Kimo also seems to be a better/stronger character for coming out, but still he struggles with intimate relationships with men. He is still growing, and that is what makes him such an attractive person. There is a sniper taking out surfers on the North Shore, and Kimo is asked to lie to the force and to his family in order to go undercover to investigate this case. (He's really good at going undercover. He seems to be doing it a lot.) Plus he'll get to surf every day by taking this case. What keeps it alive is the suspicious involvement of Dario Fonseca from his past. Kimo wants to give him another chance when Dario tries to explain why he did what he did, but Kimo is forced to keep his pants zipped for now. Kimo becomes a suspect in his own investigation when Brad, a friend who he slept with, is found dead on the beach. Unfortunately Kimo has no alibi for the night of Brad's death. The situation gets more desperate, intense, and scary when the surfers leave North Shore in a massive evacuation. They are too scared of being shot to surf. He knows he can solve this case, but in order to do that he must find the one big and final connection between the murdered surfers and Ali. It's the one clue that puts the whole mess in the clear. What's not in the clear is Kimo explaining to his parents why he lied to them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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