About the Book
With some $200 million sunk into a real estate development plan in Kauai, the investment partners have a lot to lose if Peter Roosevelt succeeds in stopping the project for the sake of preserving Hawaii’s rich and exotic environment. When Roosevelt is found dead in his home, a suspect is quickly arrested—and becomes the latest challenge, and one of the toughest, for Honolulu’s top criminal defense attorney, Pancho McMartin.
The main obstacles in proving Wayne Takei innocent are tough to overcome: His gun is the murder weapon, and he has no alibi to help clear his name. Lies and deception quickly plague the proceedings, with Pancho and his team running out of time to save their client from life in prison, in this fourth novel of David Myles Robinson’s increasingly popular legal thriller series.
The parallel plot lines follow Pancho’s progress on the case along with the background movements of a slew of suspicious characters, keeping the suspense high as the evidence begins to stack up but substantial proof remains just out of reach
From Chapter 1
Three hours before his murder, Peter Roosevelt had been ecstatic. He’d just received notice that the Hawaii Supreme Court had upheld the injunction that the Circuit Court had granted against a huge real estate development on Kauai, which Peter had alleged was in violation of a myriad of county, state, and federal permitting regulations. But as the hours passed, his elation had slowly devolved into an angry depression.
Peter walked out onto his large lanai, which overlooked Diamond Head and Waikiki beyond. The early evening lights twinkled as the blues and oranges and pinks of the sky began to fade into dusk. He took a sip of his third Scotch, pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, and dialed his girlfriend, Lei Takei. It went to voicemail, just as it had the five previous times he’d called.
I should be celebrating with Lei, he told himself.
Years of grueling work and his own money had gone into this lawsuit, and the “Supremes,” as most attorneys called the Supreme Court, had now given substantial validation to the case.
But Lei was nowhere to be found. She’d moved out of her house next door a month ago, leaving Wayson Takei, her husband, in a perpetual rage. According to Lei, it wasn’t a rage born of love but of embarrassment. Mr. Takei was used to getting his way, and his wife’s walking out on him didn’t fit the narrative his ego demanded. A wealthy businessman, Mr. Takei had a reputation for being ruthless, petty, and vindictive. Many small businessmen in Honolulu had learned the hard way that it wasn’t wise to cross Wayson Takei. He swatted away lawsuits against him for nonpayment of services rendered as if they were pesky flies. Usually all it cost him was pennies on the dollar.
Over the course of the past week or so, Peter had found it more and more difficult to contact Lei. When she’d finally left her marriage, he thought they would be together all the time, but now she seemed to be pulling away.
Peter didn’t leave another voicemail. He didn’t want to seem more pathetic than he already had. He shoved the phone into his pocket, turned from the multimillion-dollar view, and entered his spacious living room through the open pocket doors. Several authentic Persian rugs softened the French limestone floor’s off-white coolness. Peter’s bare feet made subtle slapping sounds on the limestone, went quiet on one of the rugs, and then slapped again as he made his way to the guest bathroom, situated between the living room and kitchen.
The sausage-and-pepperoni pizza he’d had delivered and eaten alone in a quiet fury had not set well with him. Stress and the multiple Scotches probably weren’t helping either. His stomach was in turmoil. His frustration was unabated.
He put his drink on the sink and left the door open. There was no reason for privacy. His bowels exploded almost the moment he sat down.
Peter was mopping the perspiration from his clammy forehead when he heard a noise. It sounded like a door opening and closing. He called out, but no one answered.
Shit, he thought, no one but Lei would just walk in without knocking. But even she would call out.
He wasn’t quite done, and the bathroom stunk to high heaven. It would be embarrassing if Lei were to walk in on him. He called out again. No response. He began to relax and assumed it was just the wind, but then he heard distinct footsteps on the limestone as someone approached. Whoever it was hadn’t taken off their shoes, as was the custom in Hawaii, and the heavy footsteps didn’t sound like they belonged to a woman.
A silhouette appeared in the doorway. “Jesus, ugh! Smells like someone died in here.” The intruder was a man. He spoke in a gruff voice.
“Oops. I guess someone did die in here,” the man said with an ugly laugh.
Three shots rang out. Even with a silencer, they echoed loudly in the tiled bathroom. The percussion caused the cocktail glass to fall from the edge and crash into the sink. The amber liquid spilled into the white porcelain bowl as Peter’s red blood spilled onto the blue tiled floor.
About the Author
David Myles Robinson is a retired trial attorney, having spent thirty-eight years in Honolulu where he specialized in personal injury and workers’ compensation law. His wife, Marcia Waldorf, is a retired Honolulu Circuit Court Judge. The two now live in Taos, New Mexico, where Robinson can indulge his passions for skiing, golfing, hiking, traveling, and writing, not necessarily in that order.
Praise for Tropical Deception
A well-executed crime drama
A lawyer—defending a client accused of murder—gets drawn into a murky conspiracy that involves the mob, Russian corruption, and a lucrative business deal in this fourth installment of [the Pancho McMartin Legal Thriller series].
When Peter Roosevelt is shot dead in his Hawaii home, the obvious suspect is Wayson Takei, a successful businessman infamous for his “world-class temper.” Peter was sleeping with Wayson’s wife, Lei, who had just left her husband and filed for divorce, a humiliation that provoked wounded pride more than jealousy in the entrepreneur. Furthermore, the gun used to kill Peter belongs to Wayson, the last contribution to a pile of evidence that lands him in jail, held on a prohibitive $2 million bail.
Pancho McMartin, a private attorney and the star of this series, takes on Wayson as a client and quickly discovers another possibility: that Peter’s murder had something to do with a business deal he effectively thwarted, a multimillion-dollar development project he opposed on environmental grounds. Peter’s neighbor Barry Williamson was among the principal architects of the deal and stood to lose everything. Even more suspicious is the involvement of Las Vegas businessman Joe Malen, a “shady character” with ties to organized crime who may have once been a Russian oligarch.
Robinson packs the novel’s plot with a generous measure of action, and the tale maintains an enjoyably brisk pace. This is a legal thriller with an intriguing political dimension—ultimately the Russian element of the story ties into a corrupt American governor. . . . The author’s goal seems to be the production of easily digestible entertainment and some artfully crafted suspense, both of which are ably provided.
A pleasant and well-executed crime drama.
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