ALOHA, MR. LUCKY by Corson Hirschfeld
Forge, Tom Doherty Associates, March 2000
Part-time Journalist Star Hollie is working on his article on the kind of woman who respond to personal ads posted by married men when a completely different woman walks into his booth at the coffee shop. Star is thinking romance and even relationship, but not for long. The mystery woman ends up drowned hours after she meets with him. Although the police think it suicide, the woman's sister, Caddy MacConnell, doesn't think so. She draws Star into the search for what really happened.
ALOHA, MR. LUCKY mixes Hawiian culture, mythology, television evangelism, and good old-fashioned land development (the bad-guys are trying to develop a huge golf resort in the middle of a Hawiian paradise) in an amusing adventure story. Although the plot contains darker elements, ALOHA, MR. LUCKY doesn't take itself seriously--and shouldn't be taken seriously by the reader either.
Hirschfeld's strength is in his story-telling and pacing. The novel builds smoothly through an escalating set of challenges until Star, Caddy, and two allies are left in the middle of the wilderness pitted against a sociopathic killer and his two sadistic sidekicks. The villains (with the partial exception of developer D. L. McWhorter) are comic-book figures and objects of as much amusement as danger. Indeed, the plot and Hirschfeld's humor dominate even the characters of Star and Caddy. While no one will mistake ALOHA, MR. LUCKY for great literature, the action, humor, and plotting makes it a fun read. Make time to read it, you'll want to finish it in one sitting.