Buddy Kai and Dominic Rosario are enterprising native Hawaiian businessmen — competitors, actually — preparing to fight for control of the methamphetamine trade on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the population is small in relation to Oahu with it megapolis of Honolulu, but where the appetite for “ice” — as crystal meth is known in the local parlance — seems to both of them to be almost insatiable. When Buddy is approached by an L.A.-based Mexican cartel to be their “main man” on the Big Island, and becomes convinced that he and his particular cohorts and minions can go up against and “defeat” the entrenched Japanese organization, which has controlled all vice in the Islands, including the meth trade, since time immemorial, and which certainly has no intention of sharing, let alone being forced out, of such a lucrative criminal enterprise, the stage is set for DARK PARADISE, Lono Waiwaiole’s brilliant “Red Harvest in miniature”, a noir novel-cum-sociological study that truly “tells it like it is,” showing the society that has resulted from the policies of “internal colonialism” that have been practiced by the federal government of the United States, starting with the Calvinist missionaries of European descent and continuing through the last 125 years, with successive waves of imported foreign “labor” — Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, South Sea Islander — always with the native Hawaiians relegated to the bottom rung of the economic totem pole, where the only “outs” — just like in the mainland ghettos — are sports, entertainment, or drug-dealing. Maybe the situation will change some day, if enough people read and understand novels like DARK PARADISE …
Praise for DARK PARADISE …
“Violent and profane, this noir exercise draws a devastating picture of drug-induced carnage, though readers should be prepared for plenty of island patois.” — Publishers Weekly
“*Starred Review* Noir fans need to know about Waiwaiole right now. He’s the real thing, and he’s too good to miss.” — Booklist
Set on Hawaii's Big Island, this fast-moving stand-alone from Waiwaiole (Wiley's Refrain and two other novels featuring a Pacific Northwest pro poker player) focuses on the battles over who will control the island's lucrative drug trade. In the middle of the muddle is criminal investigator Geronimo Souza, who simply wants to keep the collateral damage to a minimum. The many often reluctant players, only a few of whom stand out, include local distributors like Buddy Kai and Dominic Rosario; established Japanese suppliers Johjima and his ambitious aide, Kitano; and L.A.-based Mexicans, led by Jesus Fernandez, who are trying to gain a foothold. Geronimo's heroic attempts to control the chaos grow increasingly desperate. Violent and profane, this noir exercise draws a devastating picture of drug-induced carnage, though readers should be prepared for plenty of island patois (e.g., "What da kine I fockin' wen tell you fo' watch?").