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The next day Ridgway learns Hersey was jumped by several men after his shift ended, and is in bad shape. After visiting Bill in his hospital room, Ridgway meets up with Clarissa. They spend the night together and Ridgway learns she is the kept girlfriend of rich real estate developer Jack Rhodes.
Ridgway discovers Hersey was complicit in the robbery at the bar, trying to pay off gambling debts owed to a syndicate of crooked Maui cops. Finding evidence that one of the cops is a muscle for Rhodes as well as an investment partner in a new luxury development, Ridgway begins a delicate and dangerous balancing act, trying to seduce Clarissa away from Rhodes.
The bad cops become violent when Ridgway gets too close in his attempt to shut them down. They beat him up and leave him for dead in a sugar cane field set on fire.
Everything rings true in this tightly crafted and highly believable narrative. SMALL ISLAND is a suspenseful fast-moving page-turner of steamy sex and urban criminal violence played out against the backdrop of a beautiful tropical island. The author of this finely crafted novel, Anthony Pignataro, speaks of Hawaiian culture without being patronizing, and discloses some of the traps of living in Paradise that are seldom seen by visiting vacationers.