Excerpt for Pleasing The Dead

Some people would call spending five days on Maui a vacation. These people would be wrong. The day attorney Storm Kayama arrived in Kahului to help Lara Farrell set up her new dive shop, someone bombed a restaurant. Then things got serious.

Some nasty predators dwell in paradise, and they aren’t all hiding in the azure waters. When one of Lara’s employees killed himself and one of his young daughters, Storm began to ask questions and made some discoveries she never wanted to know.

“The men like them very young, you know. They call it selling spring,” Lara’s manager told Storm. Stella’s gaze flickered to where bone-thin Keiko restocked file drawers.

“How did you get Keiko away from them?” Storm whispered. She wasn’t just asking about Keiko, and Stella knew it.

Coaxing information from the terrified women, Storm finds that the facts point to the shadowy Yakuza, one of the most efficient organized crime cults in the world. Comfortable in the diverse cultures of the islands, the group’s tentacles ensnare local businesses, real estate, and politics.

Storm finds herself up against a lethal and faceless enemy, in a place where disposing of a victim is as easy as dumping her in shark-infested waters. But who is hunting whom? Storm is caught in a struggle to the death, and begins to realize that surviving doesn’t always mean living. For some, the ghosts of the past may be more painful than the anguish of the present.

© Deborah Turrell Atkinson

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