Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mahu Surfer (Mahu #2)” as Want to Read:
Mahu Surfer (Mahu #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mahu Surfer

(Mahu #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  52 reviews
"An eminently likeable hero—the kind of man’s man you just want to hug." —Daniel M. Jaffe, author of The Limits of Pleasure

Mahu is a generally negative Hawaiian term for homosexual, and for police detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, being gay doesn’t make for an easy life. Especially when you’re publicly outed. Now, semi-retired, Kimo must go undercover and stop a brutal killer. Al
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Alyson Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mahu Surfer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mahu Surfer

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  401 ratings  ·  52 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mahu Surfer (Mahu #2)
The second in the Mahu series, this is a solid mystery -- the best I've read in a while -- with well-developed secondary characters. Homicide Detective Kimo Kanapa'aka has a plain but distinctive voice. He's not a deep thinker, or a brooder, or a tormented soul wallowing in angst. He's basically a nice but unremarkable guy who tries to do his best. He makes for a convincing cop. I like him.

I'm happy to report that this isn't a romance. Kimo just came out of the closet after all, involuntarily an
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Once again I’ve immersed myself in the quiet easy flow of Plakcy’s writing. Kimo is getting more comfortable with the decision he took in the first book and he is fast becoming a guy I would want to hang out with. I especially enjoy the camaderie with his friends and family. I am coming to discover him bit by bit as he finds himself. Again Plakcy interweaves the story with Kimo so effortlessly, that it makes you wonder why other writers have such difficulty doing so.

This second book explores fur
Rosa, really

"I ended up at the top of Mount Tantalus, overlooking Honolulu....I looked out at the city for a while, saw the line of surf where waves broke against the shore, planeloads of tourists landing and taking off from Honolulu International, the steady traffic of tiny cars along the ribbon of the H1, the highway the federal government requires us to call an interstate. I guess subconsciously I’d hoped that coming up there would allow me to put all my troubles into perspective, see myself as just one
3 very reluctant stars

For the most part I’m an easy-going and forgiving girl. I try not to judge characters for their actions, because I’m not them, I’m not there and it’s their (fictional) lives they can do whatever they like with. But I know I have at least one hard limit and this book crossed it. Drinking and driving do not go together – at all.

“I was a little drunk by then. Still able to function, still able to drive, but my defenses were dangerously low.”

And these two sentences definitely
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
TW: mention of past rape/sexual assault, mention of drug use (off page characters and briefly of a minor character)

4.5 stars

I thought I was going to have to open this with a rant about Kimo's unprofessional professionalism and threaten to not read anymore books until he learned to (view spoiler) but then thankfully, he was called to the mat for it. In fact, everything that was starting to worry me was eventually addressed
Neil Plakcy
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Mahu Surfer was actually the third mystery I wrote, though it was the second to be published. I can clearly remember being out walking my dogs, and thinking about Kimo and his life. I thought, wouldn't it be cool if he could go undercover on the North Shore of O'ahu and use his background as a surfer to get insight into a closed community up there.

That's when I realized that I had to hold off on publishing Mahu Fire, in which Kimo meets hot fire investigator Mike Riccardi. Kimo needed to make so
Great addition



Great addition to the series. I was again worried that I wouldn’t take to this one as quickly as it was a reread, and I did struggle with the start but all of a sudden I was invested and wanted to know who did it.

I love Kimo. He is a great MC. He makes mistakes and doesn’t think at times, but that makes him more relatable in my opinion. I liked that this one combined his love of surfing with his job and gave him a chance to do both.

Looking forward to the next one
Excellent !

Kimo is asked to go undercover to investigate the murders of three surfers in North Shore.

This time Kimo is alone, no partner, no family to lean on, and he is still grappling with his new found freedom as an openly gay man.

Another well crafted mystery , and the complexities that confound Kimo as he discovers what being out entails.
Nov 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Kimo Kanapa’aka is a detective working on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and has recently been outed on television by his brother, who works for the local station. The Honolulu police chief decides to use Kimo’s outing as an opportunity to send Kimo undercover to investigate the surfers, and three murders on the north shore near Pipeline. Kimo is the perfect candidate since he was a competitive surfer before joining the force. The fact that he’s been outed so publicly provides the chief an opportu ...more
Into the second book of Mahu series and I still find myself struggling to get some sort of emotional liking to Kimo. I don't know what is it in this book that makes Kimo feels "distant" and it's a bit difficult for me to pay attention to his 1st voice narration. It's definitely not because I don't like Neil Plakcy's writing, considering I love his "Have Body, Will Guard" series. Maybe I haven't just warmed up to Kimo just yet.

However, the investigation in the second book is more interesting than
Nov 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rusalka by: Will
We rejoin Kimo as he is moving to a new office since the last book and being reinstated as a police officer. Yet his boss would like him to keep this secret and go undercover into the northern surfing towns to help solve the murders of a couple of surfers. As an ex-semi-professional surfer, Kimo is the best fit, but after coming out and airing all his secrets in the last book, lying to family and friends is not high on his priority list.

Reality and a sense of duty convince him to do it however,
I read this book, not because of the gay theme, but because I am reading a mystery set in every state in the Union, by an author whose work I haven’t read before. I got to Hawaii and, because I’d read some of his posts on an online mystery discussion group, decided to try one of Neil Plakcy’s MAHU series. (Mahu is a, not necessarily complimentary, Hawaiian term for homosexual).

When the book opens, the protagonist, Detective Kimo Kanapa'aka, is reporting for duty at his new assignment within the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a well written mystery set in Hawaii. The main character, a cop who has recently come out as gay, is sent to do an undercover job on the North Shore of Oahu to find out who's killing surfers.

Neil Plakcy has created an interesting character in Kimo, a man who is still struggling with being out there as gay and finding his way in the gay world, while at the same time, dealing with hostilities in the force due to his coming out.

The mystery part of this book is very well done and keeps a go
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book about Hawaiian police detective, Kimo Kanapa'aka and follows closely on the heels of the first book. Having had his suspension overturned Kimo joins a new department, or rather, to his friends and family he doesn't. Whilst they think that he has headed to another part of island to surf and think about his future in fact he's working undercover to discover more about the recent murders of three surfers.

This is much more a crime/police procedural story with a gay protagonis
Oct 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Solid effort, decent product. The mystery is well-constructed, and if it did not exactly leave me breathless, I was at least entertained. The Hawaiian setting is interesting and unique enough that there was a real sense of place and culture. Kimo, our main character, feels and sounds fairly realistic, if a little idealistic. Unfortunately, I think that my biggest problem with this book isn't really the book, but the fact that I read it after I read the third book, so it was more like backstory. ...more
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-fiction
I liked the protagonist. He's a Honolulu police detective who recently came out as a gay man. Kimo is the kind of guy you'd like to have as a friend. This is a surfer adventure where he's working under cover. On as side note, if you go to the author's website, he'll send you an autographed book plate.
Sep 01, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
The Hawaiian setting and details of the series are quite well done, but I can't say that after two books I'm particularly "engaged" with Kimo as a protagonist. I'm willing to read a third Mahu book, hoping he'll put the past behind him and move on.
Lori S.
I like the way Kimo is developing. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a solid mystery and I enjoyed the book very much. I read it sometime ago and started to listen to the audio book today and had to stop. If you enjoyed the book (as I did), don't bother to listen to the audio. Save your money. Don't get why they have "mature" narrators (who are voice actors) try to play a younger role. I mean, I wouldn't accept Clint Eastwood as a 25-35 year old man. Improperly matched narrators to the characters simply ruin some audio books. The narration of this book t ...more
Anthony McGill
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-fiction
Neil Plakcy has created an interesting character in Kimo Kanapa'aka, a gay police detective (and one-time competitive surfer) solving crime in his native Honolulu. Just recently "outed" he is assigned to work undercover, tracking the killer of young surfers on the North Shore of Oahu.
Nothing particularly remarkable about this mystery novel. Characters and situations are a bit routine and a not altogether convincing ending lowered my rating but the author does keep your interest alive with keen o
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I didn't like this one as much as the first, but I simply can't put my finger on why.

I liked the mystery a lot, and, again, I really enjoyed Kimo's relationship with his family. There were some moments there when I found Kimo's conduct less than professional (driving while half-drunk, sleeping with people involved in his investigation) and maybe that was what made me uncomfortable with the story. Even when at least the second issue was addressed later by his superior.

But, all in all, I en
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Big fan of Neil Plakcy’s works for years, but I’ve have only recently started reading his Mahu series. The first volume, Mahu, introduced the closeted Hawaiian police detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, his family, and many of his friends.

In Mahu Surfer, Kimo’s undercover assignment and the lies associated with it become increasingly intense as does his adaptation to being openly gay. The ultimate resolution of several North Shore surfer murders was complicated but from a reader’s perspective, satisfying
Willo Font
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really like this series.
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The second book in the Mahu series is infinitely much more to my liking than its predecessor. The story takes place very shortly after the events of the first book (so this is a direct sequel). Kimo gets a second chance at proving himself, despite being outed, and he now goes undercover to solve the mystery of three murdered surfers in the north shore. This time around, virtually without help from anyone one familiar, he tries to solve this puzzling case. That's all I can say about the story, ot ...more
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the second in Neil Plakcy's Mahu series. It's a little bit easier to get into, especially after reading the first one, because Plakcy doesn't spend as much time explaining everything (or if he does, I'm used to it and have zoned it out).

In terms of a character study, I enjoyed this book more than the first - it was more of a chance to get to know Kimo without him agonizing over his sexuality too much. Some of the melodrama seemed a little forced - he's seriously a celebrity who's going t
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, police, m-m
This is the second book of the Mahu series. Kimo had a traumatic time in the first book, being public outed, suspended from the police force and he now find himself at a professional cross-roads. He is given the opportunity to go to the North Shore, undercover to investigate a number of murders. Kimo was torn between accepting the role and being able to ease back into police work and the fact that he would, once again have to lie to his family. Kimo's background in surfing made him a natural cho ...more
May 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Greg Herren and Rob Rosen
Now that Kimo’s story is established, I loved this book so much more than the first one. It is more dangerous and more fun than what Mahu was, and we get more details of his history/past too. Kimo also seems to be a better/stronger character for coming out, but still he struggles with intimate relationships with men. He is still growing, and that is what makes him such an attractive person.
There is a sniper taking out surfers on the North Shore, and Kimo is asked to lie to the force and to his f
May 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Greg Herren and Rob Rosen
Now that Kimo’s story is established, I loved this book so much more than the first one. It is more dangerous and more fun than what Mahu was, and we get more details of his history/past too. Kimo also seems to be a better/stronger character for coming out, but still he struggles with intimate relationships with men. He is still growing, and that is what makes him such an attractive person.
There is a sniper taking out surfers on the North Shore, and Kimo is asked to lie to the force and to his f
3.5 stars

I liked the first book very much that it isn't really a surprise that Mahu Surfer couldn't quite live up to that. The mystery was decent, but the case itself isolated Kimo from his family and friends (although they do appear in the book) and that somehow cost him part of his charm. Also, while he started coming to terms with being a gay man, he didn't get a chance to confront the fact that he is a gay cop which I expected, though we get some hints how that will work out. Still, I couldn
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures #1)
  • A Guy Walks Into My Bar
  • Let's Get Criminal (Nick Hoffman, #1)
  • Tallowwood (Tallowwood, #1)
  • The Hitman's Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love (The Hitman's Guide, #1)
  • The Scottish Boy
  • Rushing Waters
  • Not Dead Yet (Not Dead Yet #1)
  • A Body on the Hill (A Mitch O'Reilly Mystery #2)
  • The Reef
  • Night and Day (Eve Duncan, #21)
  • What Lies Beneath (Lancaster Falls Trilogy, #1)
  • Bromosexual
  • Have Mercy
  • Lay Your Sleeping Head (Henry Rios #1)
  • Pride and Joy
  • NautiCal (Forever Wilde, #8)
  • Suddenly Stranger (Close Quarters #3)
See similar books…
I have been a voracious reader all my life, mostly in mystery, romance, and science fiction/fantasy, though a college degree in English did push a lot of literary works into my list of favorites.

I began writing seriously in high school after an inspiring assignment with A Separate Peace by John Knowles. But it took getting an MFA in creative writing to kick-start my career.

Since then I've written

Other books in the series

Mahu (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Mahu (Mahu #1)
  • Mahu Fire: A Hawai'ian Mystery (Mahu #3)
  • Mahu Vice (Mahu, #4)
  • Mahu Blood (Mahu, #5)
  • Zero Break (Mahu, #6)
  • Natural Predators (Mahu, #7)
  • Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations (Mahu, #8)
  • Children of Noah (Mahu #9)
  • Ghost Ship (Mahu, #10)
  • Deadly Labors (Mahu #11)

Related Articles

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we...
189 likes · 71 comments