Blood Orchids by Toby Neal is the first book in the Lei crime series from the author. This is the second fast paced thriller I have read recently, Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann being another. This is a crime thriller with a complex plot starring Lei Texeira, a cop in Hawaii. I read this cover to cover and was hooked into the suspense and appropriately shocked and disgusted by the story.
Lei Texeira has overcome a stormy childhood and become a police officer in Hilo, Hawaii. She is taking classes to become a detective. Two young girls are found raped and drowned and Lei is roped in to help with the investigation. She starts receiving notes from a stalker and a fellow police officer goes missing. Is there more than one serial killer at large? Lei has been having blackouts since she was a child and the murders and rapes are a bit too close to home. Things get more complicated when she develops a crush on the lead detective. Is her awkward neighbor her stalker or is it someone from her past? Her guard dog and elderly aunt are her rocks, and Lei will end up with more than a bruised heart!
Hawaii provides a different setting and the book is peppered with ‘pidgin’, the slang of the islanders. The foodie in me had to look up purple Hawaiian rolls. I am more of a deductive mystery fan than a forensic investigation fan. The imagery is striking and some content is graphic and explicit. The crime scene at the beginning of the book brings to mind a CSI episode. This was not a comfortable read but fans of the crime/ serial killing etc. genre will like the book. With Blood Orchids, the author has created a memorable character in the form of Lei Texeira.