Hell Bent--One Man's Crusade to Crush the Hawaiian Mob
From Lyons Press: November 4, 2014
Mob-style executions, drug smuggling, and vicious gang warfare are seldom part of Hawaii's postcard image. Most folks think of Hawaii as a blissful vacation destination with its world-class beaches, fragrant frangipani, swaying palms, and hula girls. Most folks think of Hawaii as a vacation destination. Yet Hawaii was once home to not only Aloha spirit, but also a ruthless, homegrown criminal underworld. During the 1960s and 1970s, Hawaiian gangsters grew rich off a robust trade in drugs, gambling, and prostitution that followed in the wake of Hawaii’s tourist boom. Hell-Bent takes readers inside a shocking sun-drenched battle between law enforcement and organized crime in the islands.
By 1980—the year Charles Marsland was elected Honolulu's top prosecutor—the honeymoon island paradise was also plagued by violence, corruption and criminals of all kinds. The zeal that Marsland brought to his crusade against the Hawaiian underworld was relentless, self-destructive, and very personal. Five years earlier, Marsland’s son had been gunned down. His efforts to bring his son’s killers to justice—and indeed, eradicate the entire organized criminal element in Hawaii—make for an extraordinary tale that culminates with intense courtroom drama.
Hawaii Five-O meets Wiseguy in author Jason Ryan’s vigorously reported chronicle of brazen gangsters, brutal murders, and a father’s quest for vengeance—all set against an unlikely backdrop of seductive tropical beauty.
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Brushing past the tropical clichés perpetrated by Hawaii Five-O and Magnum P.I., Jason Ryan dives into the story of one man's personal Pearl Harbor; the loss of his son to the brutal crime syndicate that controlled the islands' vice rackets.
Ryan paints a complex portrait of his protagonist, Charles Marsland, the island prosecutor whose lax parenting skills could have contributed to his son's death, and whose steadfast desire for justice leads him down the dark road of revenge.
After reading Hell Bent, I felt like the Hawaiian gangsters who sent back to their mainland Italian counterparts two of their tough guys chopped into little pieces in a suitcase with a note that read, 'Delicious, send more.'" -- James Higdon
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