Sunday, March 19

The Last Full Measure by Hal Glatzer

Review by Gloria Feit


The all-girl band of which Katy Green, the protagonist in this series by Hal Glatzer, is a member has a gig on the liner the SS Lurline from San Francisco to Honolulu, on almost literally the eve of the American entry into WWII.  Distrust of Japanese people on the ship and in America is rampant.  The tale involves a treasure hunt on the Big Island, the nature of the prize of which is in doubt but the value of which is not.  The prospect of the treasure hunt leads to a murder during the cruise, and Katy becomes embroiled in the hunt for the murderer.  There are several potential suspects and few if any clues.  

There is a great deal of color and texture of the period in this entertaining novel, with interesting factual background on the history of Hawaii.  The author makes the point that everybody has two faces, that being the case with several of the characters who populate his book.  There are parallels drawn between that period and today, e.g., “There’s no point in declaring‚ war anymore.  If you need to make war, you just do it!”  The problem for this reader was that the dialogue didn’t ring true, even allowing for a different time and culture.  But maybe that was just me.  However, the descriptions of shipboard life and the lives of the musicians working on the ship and the sense of nostalgia created by the book definitely worked for me.

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