RARA-AVIS: wiley's lament

From: Gary ( piesbook@execpc.com)
Date: 07 Mar 2003

I just had a chance to read WILEY'S LAMENT by Lono Waiwaiole, out this month from St. Martin's. Wiley, the first person narrator, is shown the dead body of his estranged daughter Lizzie by his old high school pal and homicide detective Sam. Sam lets Wiley know that another high school pal named Leon employed Lizzie in his escort service and that is how she ended up in an airport motel with her throat slashed. The reader already knows that because in alternative chapters, in third person perspective from the point of view of a drug runner named Fernando, we witnessed Lizzie's death. The DEA has hid Fernando until their deal goes down, and now they are willing to cover up Lizzie's death to maintain their scam. What they do not realize is that Wiley is the avenging angel for his daughter, and it is chilling to read passages like 'I couldn't find Leon by the time I made up my mind to kill him." This is just the first thirty pages! The sense of tension is maintained throughout, while revealing the hopelessness and despair of the characters. However, it also deals with issues of loyalty, family responsibility, and the administration of justice. Perhaps it is unfair to say that Portland, Oregon, is a surprising setting for such a dark book but if you liked NIGHT DOGS, you will appreciate what Waiwaiole has done. I think this book is the equal of ICE HARVEST by Scott Phillips. Anybody else read this one yet?

Best, GWN Gary Warren Niebuhr P. O. Box 341218 Milwaukee, WI 53234 piesbook@execpc.com http://my.execpc.com/~piesbook/piescatalog.html

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