Wednesday, April 16, 2014

~~Review for Black Jasmine by Toby Neal~~

Title: Black Jasmine
Author: Toby Neal
Publisher: Toby Neal
Genre: Crime/Mystery/Suspense/Contemporary
Publication date: November 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9839524-6-6
Length: 274 pgs
Book Series and number: A Lei Crime Novel book 3
Rating: 5
Heat Rating: Warm

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed for For Whom The Books Toll
5, Warm

The island of Maui is turquoise ocean, stunning vistas, and whalesong—but organized crime has a hidden hold, and Detective Lei Texeira tracks evil that hides behind a beautiful face.

Lei and Stevens find a haven on Maui—until their new life as a couple is interrupted by murder. When a nameless teenage girl dies in an apparent vehicular suicide, Lei can’t rest until she finds out what really happened. She blazes through all the wealth and poverty of island society in her quest for justice, rousing a deadly foe—even as she faces the personal demons of commitment and revenge that threaten the only real love she’s ever known.

Black Jasmine by Toby Neal is another great page turner with some unforeseen twists.
The action is fast paced and the characters as always are well written with depth and dimension.

Ms. Neal's writing is so descriptive that I believed that I was in Hawaii feeling the breezes in my hair. She gives just enough insight into the people and culture, the sights of the islands that allows the reader to transport themselves into the pages of the book.

Michael is very patient with Lei and all of her problems, he loves her deeply and it shows in everything he does for her. Although there are times I believe that he gets frustrated with Lei's inability to move past certain obstacles.

Lei is strong willed and a survivor but sometimes her past comes back to haunt her. I admire Lei's determination. I wish she could get over her commitment issues and be happy with Michael. I think he's very good for her. Lei is still jumping first and looking later in her cases, she has learned to trust her gut feelings which makes her methods a little unorthodox but in the end she always gets the bad guy.

Lei and Michael go on a roller coaster ride that starts out with trying to bust a cock fighting ring, to trying to find out who is trafficking people. And if that isn't enough, someone is trying to kill Lei.

Ms Neal's secondary characters compliment the story well and help it move forward.
I had one 'aha' moment that didn't last long as Ms. Neal surprised me again with another curve in the plot. I was very surprised by the ending and I applaud Ms. Neal for making the reader think. The Lei Crime series is a must read series for any reader who likes a lot of action with surprises thrown into the mix. And remember just because a place is beautiful and tranquil like Hawaii, danger and ugliness can lurk in the background.

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