The Splintered Paddle
By Mark Troy
Ava Rome can’t help everyone, but she tries. As a Private Investigator on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, she takes the Law of the Splintered Paddle seriously and tries to live by it. According to the Honolulu Police Department website, the Law was “… decreed by Kamehameha I, circa 1782, to protect travelers from wanton attack” (http://www.honolulupd.org/department/index.php?page=ourbadge).
When Jenny Mordan, a well-known working girl, seeks out Ava’s protection she doesn’t hesitate or judge her lifestyle even though she doesn’t necessarily agree with it. Jenny is being blackmailed by a cop who thinks he is above the law so Ava takes the case. Unfortunately, this cop has more going on than his underhanded dealings with Jenny. The deeper Ava gets into the case, she realizes that Jenny’s life is at stake and maybe her own.
Enter a Goth want-to-be teenager of a former client. Cassie Sands needs a parent that is going to pay attention to her. Unfortunately, her father thinks she is just acting out. He calls upon Ava to help him with Cassie. Reluctantly she agrees, possibly because she sees a bit of her younger self in Cassie.
While all of this is going on, Norman Traxler, a man Ava put in prison ten years ago while she was an MP in San Francisco is out and looking for Ava. This man is a killing machine that won’t stop until he teaches Ava a lesson about messing with the wrong person. He is watching and waiting to make her pay in a way that will hurt her more than death.
Ava has a lot going on. She is trying to keep Jenny safe, Cassie on the straight and narrow and herself from being killed. The list of people out to get her is growing much faster than her bank account. Will making a trip to the mainland to confront ghosts in her past hurt or help her at this point? Ava needs to decide.
Fast paced and full of danger, The Splintered Paddle takes the reader to places in Hawaii most visitors will never see. There is a dark side to the Islands and Ava is in the eye of the storm.
This novel isn’t all sinister; there are bits of humor – teaching a petulant teen how to drive is funny no matter how you slice it. And the bits of Hawaiian culture are interesting. I loved when the characters enjoy a lunch of Moco Loco; it looks and sounds nasty, but tastes fabulous! Troy does a great job blending the stories and solid believable characters with Hawaiian culture. Adding Ava’s past enriches the mix and pulls the readers closer to her, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.
Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.