Title: Dark Lava (Lei Crime, Book 7) by Toby Neal
Genre: Currently #1712 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals
Publication Date: July 7, 2014
Title and Cover: Dark Lava – Cover obviously depicts lava flow
I started reading the Lei Crime series back in 2014 with book 1, Blood Orchids, and have loved them all. Lei Texeira is a damaged but strong female protagonist. I’ve followed her journey in the Maui (Hawaii) Police Department as she’s climbed through the ranks. Along the way, she met Michael Stevens, also with the MPD. Their relationship was explosive, but they were obviously meant to be a couple. In book 7, they are newlyweds (finally!) and extremely committed to each other as well as their work. But Lei’s work has found her being volunteered for the bomb squad and that’s not a match that’s working well.
This installment sees Stevens participate in a much larger proportion of the story, while a parallel storyline follows Lei. In addition to the cases each encounter individually, they are met with major life-changing situations on both sides. On Stevens side, the baggage he brought with him into the relationship following their reuniting. On Lei’s side, her own family matters and the predicament presented by Stevens recent history. And that’s in addition to an underlying threat to them both regarding her previous police work.
Ms. Neal always incorporates scenes of Maui, the flora and fauna, the sights of the ocean’s unrelenting waves glistening in the sun, and the patois of the local population putting you square in the middle of the action. Information about the island and the native peoples figure heavily in this installment with Stevens investigation into the desecration of priceless artifacts.
Lei has progressed well through the series installments, becoming stronger, more confident, and less neurotic. The characters that surround Lei were well developed in previous installments, have become solid fixtures, and are beginning to feel like old friends–including her FBI contact and previous partners. Stevens is a confident, self-assured, partner. I particularly enjoy their large and sweet Rottweiler, Keiki.
I received this download from BookBub and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I’ve enjoyed this series and watched the characters grow. Each book brings new surprises, fascinating tidbits about our fiftieth state and leaves you looking forward to the next in the Lei Crime series. (This was no exception, although somehow I jumped to book 9, so I’ll have to go back and pick up no. 8.) If you haven’t discovered Toby Neal and her Hawaii-based novels and the Lei Crime series, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. Start with Blood Orchids. Recommended for all who enjoy mysteries, thrillers and suspense, women sleuths, and police procedurals.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: Award-winning, USA Today bestselling social worker turned author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kaua`i in Hawaii. Neal is a mental health therapist, a career that has informed the depth and complexity of the characters in her stories. Neal’s police procedurals, starring multicultural detective Lei Texeira, explore the crimes and issues of Hawaii and are so popular that they’ve spawned a licensed fan fiction world on Amazon.
Neal focuses on mystery, but also writes romance and a line of apocalyptic romance thrillers, the Scorch Series, with Emily Kimelman.
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©2018 V Williams