[READ] Pago Pago Tango AUTHOR John Enright – happypink.co.uk

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N crimes involving Samoan natives and those involving palangi white people pronounced puh LANG ee In the former cases everyone knew what happened and why and usually the perpetrator would either be waiting for Apelu already collared and ready to confess or easily identified and apprehended Chapter 3 But with the palangi the police rarely knew what had really happened When someone breaks into the upscale home of SeaKing Tuna executive Gordon Trurich and his vodka swilling trophy wife Karen Apelu uickly realizes there are unknowns than usual First of all the mode of entry differed from that of the recent all the mode of entry differed from that of the recent of robberies Secondly why would burglars take a VCR and 50 videotapes most ust home made ones and then dump the VCR on the edge of the property but take the tapes The same tapes that Mr Trurich forgot to mention on the police report This narrative is set in the early 1990s And why did neither Gordon nor Karen Trurich report the357 that was stolen as well a gun later used in a shooting at a nightclub Later on even discrepancies and some mayhem emerge Apelu uickly realizes the case constitutes than a run of the mill burglary by teenaged gang members Himself a palangi who spent 26 years in the South Pacific John Enright has created a great protagonist in Apelu an imperfect man at odds with his people s missionary culture his religious and strict wife and his superiors at police headuarters Pago Pago is pronounced Pango Pango so that the title is said Pango Pango Tango that s perfect because Apelu finds himself dancing a very intricate dance between palangi and native cultures between traditional views of honor and its modern consumerist bent between his own sense of ustice and his strained relationship with his superiors between the overwhelming demands of his ob and the needs of his family Enright has a great mystery with a suspenseful ending of course but what I really welcome was the chance to learn about American Samoa about which I knew virtually nothing Enright has created a valentine to with this debut novel while not shying away from the sordid aspects of life in a supposed paradise the subverting of native culture the destructiveness of inter village rivalries and resentments the corruption and nepotism involving the traditional chiefs As with the novels of Robert van Gulik Pago Pago Tango provided this armchair traveler a chance I d not otherwise get to see another faraway culture from the insideThe next book in the so called Jungle Beat series Fire Knife Dancing appears later this month I can t wait for a return visit to Tafuna. E evidence piles up Apelu follows a tangled trail between cultures dead bodies hidden codes and a string of lies on his hunt for the ugly truth buried at the heart of paradiseSet against the steamy backdrop of the Samoan ungle this thoughtful whodunit introduces a memorable new gumshoe to the ranks of detective fictio. ,

This book nails the atmosphere of Pago Pago and American SamoaBrings back the feel of the place to me as I lived there for a short time many years ago The crime part was a OK nothing special Detective Sergeant Apelu was a good character eminently likeable and his views of the palangis were uite humorous Some very interesting insights into the culture of the Samoans and the problems facing them due to their reliance on US funds and the scourge of the Samoans and the problems facing them due to their reliance on US funds and the scourge Ice I raised my rating to 4 stars after reading this again As a crime novel it s fine compelling does the trick But I love this book have read it twice am continuing with the series because I work in American Samoa on the island of Tutuila where this is based From that perspective Enright does a superb ob of portraying the culture history of American Samoa He should as he is former Director of the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office I didn t know that upon my first read wasn t sure if he was getting all his facts right since I hadn t heard much of it before But I ve since been back to American Samoa learned of his past life listened again The I know about American Samoa the better this book gets It reminds me of Arthur Conan Doyle s A Study better this book gets It reminds me of Arthur Conan Doyle s A Study Scarlet because much of that famous book is less mystery than a primer in the history sinister nature of early Mormonism in the US Similarly Enright does a superb Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare job of portraying the current state of American Samoan culture putting it in historical context I do love a pulpy detective novel that takes me around the world but than that I love when I can imagine every scene being described because I have been there know those streets Very well done I m on to the next in the series so far it sust as historically
culturally exciting i 
exciting I the rare good fortune to have a Organizations As Knowledge Systems job that allowed me to get to know the territory of American Samoa the only flag flying part of the United States south of the euator I visited the territory twice and was impressed by the beauty of the islands and by the strong American patriotism of the people American Samoa has a uniue relationship with the United States which allows its inhabitants to practice the Fa a Samoa or the traditional Samoan way of life Samoa presents a challenging mixture of local and American valuesThe fond memories I have of American Samoa led me to this new book Pago Pago Tango by John Enright Pago Pago the capital of American Samoa is pronounced Pango Pango Enright is a mainland American who lived in Samoa and taught at the American Samoa Community College which I visited for many years before returnin. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua spent seven years in the San Francisco Police Department where theob was Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins just aob and solving crimes reuired cool detachment But back home on American Samoa life is personal especially for a cop Because on a small island where no one is a stranger and secrets are widely known but nev. Pago Pago TangoG to the United StatesIt was a pleasure to visit American Samoa again in this book with Enright as a guide I recognized the places he describes the government buildings the American Samoa National Park with its rickety cable car which somehow I found the nerve to ride the hotel the cannery the airport the LBJ Hospital the local ail and its culture the small local shops and restaurants and It was recollection for me while it will be a new world for most American readersEnright has restaurants and It was recollection for me while it will be a new world for most American readersEnright has a complex involved mystery centering upon a Samoan detective Apelu Soifua Pelu as he is called spent much of his childhood in San Francisco followed by seven years as a detective on its police force before returning to his native island Pelu s life and detective work shows the tension between mainland and Samoan culture a tension mirrored in American *samoa itself his story develops slowly and involves *itself His story develops slowly and involves complicated series of events and crimes beginning with a small break in at a home in a compound reserved for mainlanders which gradually escalates and becomes tied in through Pelu s efforts to murders and a large clandestine drug operationThe crimes and the manner in which Pelu investigates them show a great deal about island life even though I found the story itself somewhat tangled and forced The book is most valuable in describing the clash and accomodation of local and mainland American culture It discusses the importance of the cannery to Samoa s economy and the influx of different people on the island including Koreans New Zealanders and residents of other Pacific islands in addition to Americans Enright contrasts well the close communal character of traditional Samoan life and the interaction of the native population with the immigrantswho only rarely become fully integrated long term residents of SamoaThe story has a wonderful sense of place and a feel for the people of American Samoa It is possible of course to learn about American Samoa from the dry pages of a study but few readers would be inclined to do so Even fewer people would have the opportunity to work with and visit American Samoa as I have done and as Enright did to a much greater degree In Pago Pago Tango offers readers an opportunity to Get To Know American to know American through a good suspenseful work of noir fiction The book offers an introduction to most Americans of an aspect of their country that will be new to them The book made me with I could visit American Samoa again and see it with new eyesRobin Friedman Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua in Tafuna American Samoa makes distinctions betwee. Er discussed solving crimes reuires a certainfinesseHere Apelu must walk the line between two cultures Samoan versus American native versus new And that gulf never yawns wider than when a white family’s home in Pago Pago is burglarized And what appears to be a simple open and shut case turns out to anything but As th. ,