Dark Paradise: Mysteries in the Land of Aloha – Tentacles of Death

After the tight focus of the other stories, this one feels sprawling. And sloppy: SWAT, Swat, swat – three different renderings of the same acronym? Yes.
It starts with a man murdered using a tako spear, apparently because his wife brought home the wrong picture from her Wine and Canvas event. Apparently the picture she brought home was actually a clue to a conspiracy by a large militant Native Hawaiian group (led by the obligatory evil maniac) to take over the state. Even at the end, when the maniac is caught, we’re told that this group has its deadly secret tentacles everywhere throughout the islands.

Nothing new here, with a strong trace of racism to it. And hypocrisy, since it was white American business men conspiring with the captain of a US Navy vessel in Pearl Harbor who took over the sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii using force. I regard this story as the usual “because we (white colonialists) are violent thieves that take things that belong to others, EVERYONE ELSE IS OUT TO DO THE SAME THING TO US!”

Bah. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Not just for the racism, but also for the weak plotting and so-so characters. I might award this the booby prize as the worst story in the book.

Perhaps you’ll like it, anyway, so go buy your copy of the anthology, read it, and let me know what you think in the comments.

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