House of the Hanging Jade
by Amy Reade
House of the Hanging Jade
Setting – Hawaii
Lyrical Underground (April 26, 2016)
A dark presence had invaded the Jorgensens’ house. On a spectacular bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, something evil is watching and waiting . . .
Tired of the cold winters in Washington, D.C. and disturbed by her increasingly obsessive boyfriend, Kailani Kanaka savors her move back to her native Big Island of Hawaii. She also finds a new job as personal chef for the Jorgensen family. The gentle caress of the Hawaiian trade winds, the soft sigh of the swaying palm trees, and the stunning blue waters of the Pacific lull her into a sense of calm at the House of Hanging Jade–an idyll that quickly fades as it becomes apparent that dark secrets lurk within her new home. Furtive whispers in the night, a terrifying shark attack, and the discovery of a dead body leave Kailani shaken and afraid. But it’s the unexpected appearance of her ex-boyfriend, tracking her every move and demanding she return to him, that has her fearing for her life . . .
This is the first book by Amy Reade that I have read but it definitely will not be the last.
Kailani Kanaka has had enough of the harsh winters in Washington D.C. so she decides to return home to Hawaii. She quickly finds a job working as a personal chef for the Jorgensens. Barbie Jorgensen wants her family to eat more healthy foods, while her husband Lars, and the kids, Marcus and Justine, love things like chips, hamburgers and pot roast. She grows close to the children as she teaches them about more healthy treats and teaches them a little cooking as well. She is so happy and feels at home.
But things are a little more cloudy in the household. Mom seems to be having an affair with a doctor living in the guest house, and Dad seems to know but Kailani tries to remain neutral and putsthe kids needs first. Then the man is founds dead in the pool and Kailani wonders if Lars got rid of his competition. As if there is not enough drama, her ex, Geoffrey, from Washington, shows up and is determined to win her back. She had no serious feelings for him when she left but apparently he did. She becomes unnerved when she finds him stalking her and demanding they get back together.
First of all the Hawaiian setting and the Jogensen’s home sounds absolutely fabulous. I hope someday to see the surf and sand myself. I don’t understand how anyone could ever leave the islands to live somewhere like D.C.
The characters Amy Reade brings to life in the pages are vibrant, complex, and real. Kailani has a good soul and tries to see the best in everyone. Her boyfriend goes from quirky to crazy in a hurry. Barbi Jorgensen seems to be into every man except for her husband. Lars is a good man, in a tough spot. The oldest son Marcus is having trouble adjusting to life in Hawaii. The family has recently moved from California. Justine is at a tender age so Kalani feels very protective of her. We also meet Kailani’s family and her friend, Liko, who becomes the children’s tutor.
The Jorgensen home is a house full of secrets and Kailani seems to be caught in the middle.
There are more than a few suspenseful moments in this book. One where Kailani gets up close and personal with a shark. I think I held my breathe the whole time I was reading about that adventure. But it was the final twist that had me almost hyperventilating. So good, so, so good!
This is a excellent piece of suspense fiction. I could easily see it made into a movie of the week.
About The Author
Amy M. Reade grew up in northern New York. After graduating from college and law school, she practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where she lives now with her husband, three children, dog, two cats, and a fish. She writes full time and is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a novel of romantic suspense set in the Thousand Islands region of New York, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, a novel in the same genre set outside Charleston, South Carolina. Her third novel, House of Hanging Jade, is set in Hawaii and will be released in April, 2016. She is currently working on the first book of a series set in the United Kingdom (expected release date in early 2017). She loves cooking, reading, and traveling.
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