Friday, July 11, 2014

The Splintered Paddle- Mark Troy

The Splintered Paddle
Mark Troy
Five Star, Jun 18 2014, $25.95
ISBN: 9781432828592

When Ava Rome was a young teen her Master Sergeant father apparently went AWOL and never returned.  Not long after his desertion, her younger brother died in a bullying incident.  Though the years have passed and she became an MP, both horrific incidents still haunt Ava especially the nightmares that disturbs her sleep and an obsession to help the most defenseless.

While in the army, Ava arrested Norman Traxler for assaulting a hooker.  As Traxler served time in San Quentin, he had one motive: destroy Ava Rome for destroying his life.  Out of prison, Traxler knows that his target works as a private eye in Hawaii.  Working two cases, Ava seeks evidence that corrupt police officer Ron Never harasses prostitute Jenny Mordan and searches for runaway teen Cassie Sands who is residing with marijuana farmer Alvie Wong.  At the same time Traxler begins his campaign to assault Ava’s friends and those she protects like Morden and Sands before he goes after the main course.  Fate hammers Ava as Nevez works the Traxler case.

The second Ava Rome mystery (see The Rules) is an extremely dark tense tale starring a heroine who believes in the law of The Splintered Paddle that requires keeping safe the vulnerable even when they inanely rush into harm’s way.  Readers, who have the stomach for realistic, explicit violence, will take delight in Rome’s tour of the sleazy side of the “Paradise of the Pacific”.

Harriet Klausner

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