Walt Williams gets immersed in Hawaiian culture in Robert Thornhill’s Lady Justice Gets Lei’d. After getting engaged to his longtime sweetheart, Maggie, in Lady Justice and the Lost Tapes, the pair get cold feet about making this major life change, so Walt stays busy with his policing. One day Maggie gets free tickets to a museum, where the pair enjoy a lecture about newly discovered artifacts from Hawaii and where the curator, a native Hawaiian known as Uncle Ray, speaks to Walt and Maggie, giving each a Hawaiian name, which they later learn mean Daughter of Royalty for Maggie and Protector for Walt. He also gives Walt an amulet of an obsidian black lizard that he says will give Walt direction. Then, a couple days after the lecture, Walt and his partner, Ox, are sent to examine the body of a homeless man, only for Walt to recognize him as Uncle Ray. The man was killed with an ancient Hawaiian weapon with shark teeth embedded in it as retribution for disturbing the artifacts and the ancient Hawaiian gods.
Walt takes a journey, both literally and figuratively into Hawaiian culture and traditions. With the discussion of Hawaii, Maggie and Walt decide to go to the islands for their wedding and honeymoon, where their connections with Uncle Ray’s family gives them access to the Hawaii of the natives and not just the tourist areas. They get put in the middle of a fight over the topic of Hawaiian sovereignty and return to the ancient Hawaiian religion and culture.
This book is much more thematic than the previous two books, though it still follows the enjoyable storytelling style of the series. It is obvious that Thornhill did a thorough job of researching issues of Hawaiian culture, and the book includes some informative details about Hawaii.
George Kuch continues to do an amazing job as narrator of this series. I was already deeply impressed by his performance, but this book includes a lot of Hawaiian words and place names. Knowing nothing about the Hawaiian language, I can’t vouch for his accuracy of pronunciation, but the words sound very believable to me, and Kuch incorporates the language very smoothly into the narration.
Lady Justice Gets Lei’d is another great book by Robert Thornhill. It has a different flavor than the previous two books, but I loved it just as much as the other books. I give this book five stars!
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