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I've read all four books (no real spoiler that one's intended as a series conclusion), and while I don't recall the details of the other three specifically, I retain an impression that the first two were strong on plot and setting, while the third was weaker, focusing on Apelu as a character. This one had a suspenseful plot, with a denouement I didn't see coming at all, although I was disappointed that setting seemed to play less of a part as the story went on. Doctor Laura was a terrific complement to Apelu as a secondary investigator, along with Officer Frost (who becomes a protégé of his). His girlfriend, Avelisa, seemed rather ... unstable, shall we say; however, she's quite the change from his estranged, religious, frankly frumpy wife. I wasn't real thrilled with the plot angle regarding their baby, especially the graphic details of her conception! Strange thing is that even though the pregnancy and events afterward are covered, it didn't feel as though two years had passed - no jumping around as such.
Series recommend for its unique Samoan background, and overall plotting. Phil Gigante's narration is one of those he-was-made-to-read-this fits!