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    Review of PRIMITIVE SECRETS by Deborah Turrell Atkinson


    Poisoned Pen Press, 2002

    Fresh from passing her bar exam, lawyer Storm Kayama is dealt a shock when her foster father and mentor is found dead in his office. While the other partners seem happy to keep her busy, Storm senses that something is not right. When she starts to investigate, her foster father's secretary is killed and someone tries to run storm off the highway. With the help of what appears to be a Hawaiian god, Storm survives, but she is more determined than ever to find the truth.

    Author Deborah Turrell Atkinson writes convincingly of a Hawaii that ballances between its ancient traditions and the glitz of modern life. The HMO patient suffering from cancer and receiving both modern and traditional treatments is both important and symbolic of the broader issues that Storm, and many Hawaiians face in their daily lives.

    PRIMITIVE SECRETS starts slow, really involving the reader only in the second half of the novel. I had a hard time identifying with Storm and her behavior and reactions. Although incompetent police work is standard in the mystery genre, it is difficult to believe that the Hawaiian police would be as negligent as portrayed by Atkinson. Fortunately, Atkinson turns up the suspense in the second half of the book, drawing the reader to a strong conclusion.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 1/26/03

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