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THE GREEN ROOM
by Deborah Turrell Atkinson
Poisoned Pen Press, August 2007
258 pages
$14.95
ISBN: 159058404X


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Storm Kayama has opened a law office with her partner and lover Ian Hamlin, after the death of her mentor and uncle Miles Hamasaki in PRIMITIVE SECRETS. She desperately needs clients, so when her cousin, a professional surfer, sends a woman, Stephanie Barstow, who wants Storm to act for her in her divorce from entrepreneur Marty Barstow, she agrees.

Storm hasn't seen her cousin Nahoa Pi'ilani for many years. When she was a child, Nahoa's father took Storm and Pua, Nahoa's sister and Storm's best friend, out in a surf canoe, which capsized. The girls were saved but the adult drowned. This is where Storm first met 'The Green Room', that dangerous place underwater.

Pua and Nahoa's mother blamed Storm for the accident, and took the children to another island. Storm, an orphan, at some point was also sent to another island where she was raised by a loving aunt and uncle, who finally sent her to Uncle Miles in Honolulu.

Stephanie invites Storm to the North Shore to see a professional surfing championship in which Nahoa and Ben, Stephanie's son, will be competing. When Storm and Hamlin get to the borrowed cottage on Laniakea, she re-establishes her friendship with her younger second cousin. She learns that the former top seed in the upcoming tournament has died, which leaves Nahoa as number one and Ben as fourth or fifth in the line-up.

While they are hanging about on the beach, a boy delivers an ancient Hawaiian weapon to Nahoa. The 'lei o man' is a threat. Both Storm and Nahoa know this but neither can discover who sent it.

Hawaiian lore and surfing excitement pervade this book. The North Shore of Oahu has the biggest waves in the United States. Surfers from all over the world come there to compete in races, which take place when waves rise above 20 feet. What would cause two of the top surfers in the world to wipe out and end in the green room, only to be washed up on shore, dead? Storm uses her surfing and detecting skills to find out. This is an exciting book, even for a non-sports person like me.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, October 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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