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Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua knows firsthand how cops work in the big city; he spent seven years on the beat with the San Francisco PD. There, the job was just a job. But back home on American Samoa, it’s personal. On an island, there are no strangers. Secrets may be commonly known but they’re never discussed, and solving crimes requires a certain…finesse. Here, Apelu walks the line between two cultures: Samoan versus American, native versus new, each with its own unique way of coping when things go wrong. And never is that more evident than when a seemingly random break-in at a white family’s home turns out to be anything but random.
Following a tangled evidence trail that wends between cultures, Apelu must navigate dead bodies, hidden codes, and a string of lies before he can uncover the ugly truth buried at the heart of paradise.
Like a visit to a tropical island, everything is slower and that can be frustrating but the scenery is fascinating.
The core theme of this book is the clash and contrast between the slow, connected Samoan life style and the fast, opportunistic paalangi (American) ways.
Our protagonist embodies this clash. He is a Samoan who grew up in San Francisco and was a policeman there. He left the high-speed life of an American city to go back to the laid-back Samoan style where having a beer with a suspect at a beach bar seems not only acceptable but also the sensible thing to do.
The story revolves around incidents that involve both cultures and, inevitably, the criminal faultlines where the cultures collide. It is a solid story reasonably well told but a loose end here and an abrupt close there make it only a three out of five for the story.
I can see how others might find it slow. If all you are looking for is a mystery or thriller it is slow. But I enjoyed the cultural tour, it's details and its tone, so I never minded the story running on island time.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I'd never heard Phil Gigante read before, and was truly impressed by his handling the range of characters, especially female voices. Plot suffered from a slow start, and somewhat confusing (at least in audio) finale. I'd definitely read more of the series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Pago Pago Tango?
The lack of action & plot really disappointed me. Maybe I'm spoiled by the worlds of 'Private', Kay Scarpetta, Temperance Brennan, Poke Rafferty & Agent Penderghast, but I'd like a little action in my Thrillers & Mysteries. Right from the start, it was a slow mover & I lost interest so many times I was nodding off over my keyboard. I finally gave up about half-way through & deleted it from my 'play list'. I really tried hard to like this new series, really I did, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a stinker.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Pago Pago Tango the most enjoyable?
The fact that I lived in Samoa from 1982 to 1984 and knew the island and lifestyle. It really hit home. We also have an adopted Smaoan son who will be 29 this month. We loved living there and was very happy to read a book about the island. I think there was only one murder when we lived there.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Very surprised by who was the ring leader in the end.
Which character – as performed by Phil Gigante – was your favorite?
The main character. He did well pronouncing the words correctly. Missprounced a few.
Any additional comments?
I felt he ended the book a few chapters short. There should have been a wrapup of arrest and find out what happens to the bad guys. Instead we were left hanging. Was dissapointed with the end of the book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Was not impressed. Very Slow story. Did not make much sense to me.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
the narrations was great
1 of 3 people found this review helpful