Wiley is a man who's drifting through the remains of his torn-up life like a ghost, playing poker to make ends meet but always on the edge of the abyss, not quite sure whether his minimal efforts at life are worth the trouble.
When the estranged daughter he hasn't spoken to in a year turns up gutted with a sharp knife in a cheap motel room, Wiley's solitary life spins out of control and a violent showdown with both the killer and with his own bloody conscience becomes inevitable. He stalks the nasty underside of Portland's sex industry, jumping at every shadow and taking two steps back for every forward stride. But Wiley is determined to do this one thing right, perhaps to make amends to his lost daughter, or maybe to make peace with his own battered soul.
Brutal, heartrending, ultimately a story of remorse, renewal, and the flickering possibility of redemption, WILEY'S LAMENT signals the emergence of a significant and compelling new voice in the grand tradition of American noir.
Praise for WILEY'S LAMENT …
Noir aficionados will embrace Waiwaiole's impressive if slightly unwieldy debut, a somber, violent tale of loss and redemption. — Publishers Weekly
Author Lono Waiwaiole makes it all worthwhile... plus the kind of writing that tears at the heart. — Chicago Tribune
Hard-hitting, down-and-dirty prose characterizes this first novel, set largely in the dirtier side of Portland, Oregon. A safe bet. — Library Journal
It's a gritty world that debut Portland writer Lono Waiwaiole portrays very effectively … Wiley's a character to watch. — Seattle Times
The noir is so dark in Lono Waiwaiole's first novel, WILEY'S LAMENT, you'll need a trenchcoat and a fedora. — The Oregonian
Noir aficionados will embrace Waiwaiole's impressive if slightly unwieldy debut, a somber, violent tale of loss and redemption. Wiley, a haunted, solitary man living on the fringes of society in Portland, Ore., copes with a failed marriage and a stalled career, eking out a meager living by playing poker and robbing the occasional drug dealer. Then Wiley's estranged daughter, Lizzie, turns up naked with her throat slit in an airport motel. Wiley suspects his ex-best friend and kingpin of Portland's sex industry, Leon, who'd been romantically involved with Lizzie. When Wiley finally tracks him down, Leon maintains his innocence and vows to help find the real killer. The point-of-view shifts between Wiley and that of the killer (and this is no spoiler, as we learn his identity early on), a sadistic DEA agent, who systematically murders other escorts who can connect him to Lizzie's death. His antics have his crooked boss, who enlisted him to help bring down a drug dealer, scrambling to cover up the killings. The body count rises dramatically as Wiley and Leon close in on the rogue agent and the action comes to a bloody conclusion. Some repetition and superfluous scenes slow the pace, while one wishes for more about what led up to Wiley's fall and the breakup of his marriage. The jacket art of a stark motel exterior seen through a rosy, rain-splattered windshield nicely captures the novel's lurid mood.