Fire Prayer by Deborah Turrell Atkinson
Storm Kayama’s old high school friend, Tanner Williams, wants a favor. He’s asked her to come to Moloka’i to make sure his ex-wife is taking good care of his adolescent son, a newly diagnosed diabetic. Ian Hamlin, Storm’s law partner and lover, is investigating the possibility that a Moloka’i kayaking company’s negligence played a part in the disappearance of Brock Liu, the son of an O’ahu shipping magnate. It looks like a great excuse for Storm and Hamlin to get away for the weekend.
But Storm soon finds that Tanner has bigger problems than he let on, like a bitter ex-wife, a history of mental illness, and ties to a local protest group linked to an unsolved homicide. Jenny Williams, Tanner’s angry ex, also has ties to the group. A few hours after Storm’s visit to Jenny’s home, twelve-year-old Luke Williams finds his mother dead on their living room floor. Luke calls the police, then disappears.
Storm believes Luke may have seen his mother’s killer and is in grave danger from both the murderer and his brittle diabetes. Hamlin and Storm discover that Brock Liu’s disappearance and Jenny Williams’ death are linked to the old homicide. Desperate, the killer stalks Storm and the boy in a chase through the dense rainforests, pristine beaches, and untamed wilds of Moloka’i.
In her third Storm Kayama novel, Deborah Atkinson uses Hawaiian legends and the islands’ cultural diversity to spin a story from an islander’s perspective. The result is a mystery super-charged with authentic characters, tension, and spine-tingling action.