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The Splintered Paddle: An Ava Rome Mystery    by Mark Troy Amazon.com order for
Splintered Paddle
by Mark Troy
Order:  USA  Can
Five Star, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

With The Splintered Paddle by Mark Troy, we head to Hawaii. Works for me. I learned that the Law of the Splintered Paddle refers to the defenseless and the unconditional help they need.

To PI Ava Rome, the concept doesn't require the defenseless to be innocent. Jenny Mordan is a hooker who is being harassed by a police detective, and Cassie Sands is mixed up with a marijuana grower. These two women need help in their questionable lives, and Ava provides aid at risk to her own life. Along the way, the author takes us to parts of Hawaii we wouldn't ordinarily, as tourists, see.

I have never been to Hawaii, but can visualize that island through Troy's vivid descriptions. However, The Splintered Paddle is not just a stroll through paradise. There is a dark side and Troy takes the reader to experience the dangers that lurk there. And there are dangers many of them. Rome becomes embroiled in the two women's troubles and almost reserves a plot in the cemetery for herself.

Mark Troy is the author of the Shamus-nominated Pilikia Is My Business. Unfortunately, The Splintered Paddle is a quick read and ends much too soon. I became engaged in the story and wasn't in any hurry for it to finish. Great characters accumulate as quickly as the giant waves of Hawaii hit the shore. Good book. Great beach read.

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