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The Howling Cliffs: A Sara Mason Mystery by…

The Howling Cliffs: A Sara Mason Mystery

by Mary Deal

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I was initially drawn to this book because of Vietnam and the search for the remaining MIA American soldiers. When I was in high school, we used to wear bracelets representing the POW’s that were being held while the conflict was still ongoing. I have no idea if the person I wore on my wrist every came back. Then I met my late husband who had served three tours in Nam. He had also been a POW and was one of the lucky ones that escaped. So the concept of this story resonated with me.

The book starts with Sara, Huxley and Esmeralda deep in the Vietnam jungle, searching for the remains of his brother and her daughter. They are with a group of other people searching for remains of their own loved ones. Mary Deal does an excellent job setting the stage and I became involved with the characters as they stumbled upon a few golden links and a barely legible, partial dog tag. Who did it belong too?

The main story starts when Sara returns to her new home in Hawaii, and becomes involved in a cold case disappearance or murder of a girl who suffered from Down’s syndrome. And the girl that disappeared was the sister of her reclusive, psycho neighbor Maleko. As Sara searches for the truth, she is faced with death several times, as the killer tries to eliminate her.

This story is rich with the history and layout of Hawaii and its culture. A little too much for me. The pace of the story died with too much information. But once the action started, it was so fast paced, I couldn’t keep up. And there’s plenty of action. I loved Sara and her strong-willed nature. And I adored her other neighbor, Birdie. We should all have someone like that in our lives.

I thought the ending for the murder mystery a little confusing and anit-climatic, but that was only one ending. The real ending, that made me bawl like a baby, was the identity of the person behind the partial dog tag. Even though I guessed it, the presentation was so well-written that I had to cry for their loss and acceptance.

If you’re intrigued with Vietnam / Hawaii and you love mysteries, drama and action, you’ll want to read this book. I give it 4 feathers. ( )
  saharafoley | Apr 22, 2015 |
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