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Hell-Bent: One Man's Crusade to Crush the Hawaiian Mob

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  11 reviews
World-class beaches, fragrant frangipani, swaying palms, and hula girls. Most folks think of Hawaii as a vacation destination. Mob-style executions, drug smuggling, and vicious gang warfare are seldom part of the postcard image. Yet, Hawaii was once home to not only Aloha spirit, but also a ruthless, homegrown mafia underworld. From 1960 to 1980, Hawaiian gangsters grew ri ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Lyons Press (first published November 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Mahree Moyle
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
My longest review ever.

Jason tried very hard to capture Prosecutor Charles Marsland and this time period in Hawaii’s history. It’s nearly impossible to get the real truth in any murder, even harder dealing with a place so small, controlled and isolated from the rest of our country. I’m impressed he got as much as he did out of the people interviewed. This was a very difficult murder to address. Charles Marsland fought for what he felt was right and he fought hard. The loss of his son burned insi
This is a sad story of one family's experience of lawlessness in Hawaii during the last decades of the 20th century. The son was murdered by men in the syndicate, and the father was a prosecutor who sought justice. The case and milieu are investigated in great detail with much history of all the personalities involved.

I wanted to read this because I lived in Hawaii during this time period and, working in a resort area, was aware of the gambling, drugs, and prostitution controlled by the underwo
Que Risa
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of several books that should be required reading for anyone who thinks they may want to live and work in Hawaii. While organized crime is not, apparently, as prevalent today - the underlying dynamic in this book is still alive and well in government and public institutions. Paradise can quickly turn into a kafkaesque nightmare if one finds themselves, often through no fault of their own, down the “rabbit hole”, as its often appropriately referenced. Charles Marsland was from a family ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Very good reporting and a strong narrative.
Gerald Kinro
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written, this work brings back memories of forty years ago when the names Pulawa, Ryder, Hui Hui and others terrorized the entire State of Hawaii. I remember the murders and the rapes very well, as they received almost daily coverage by the local media. I was outraged at Judge Shintaku's overturning of the jury's verdict. Charles Marsland was the knight who fearlessly took on organized crime. In short, it was a very enjoyable book. At times, the work bogs down with too many descriptions and ...more
Aug 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: true crime readers, Hawaii fans
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it. My copy was an advanced reading copy, and changes will be made in the published version, due out November 2014. In particular, the end notes and index were not yet finished.

Hawaii’s reputation as a tropical paradise vacation destination tends to gloss over the fact that it’s inhabited by fallible human beings, who have the same problems there as anywhere else. In particular, during the 1970s, it had a
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

As someone who lived on Oahu for three years, I enjoyed this book and found it interesting. It was neat learning little tidbits about places I'd been, though that was only a small focus of the book. If you're curious about learning how criminal organizations work, I'd recommend this book for a start as it gave me a rather terrifying glimpse into that world - I'd been curious about the mafia/yakuza/etc for a long time, but have never really studied it or a
John Collings
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
A lot of the mafia dealings in this story were interesting and kept me engaged, but I never felt I knew who Charles Marsland was as a character as I read the book. It made it difficult to enjoy due to the fact that this district attorney was the main focus of the novel, and his bullheaded approach to solving his problems made him a not likable character. Because of this, I was left with a bitter taste ion my mouth through much of the book, and wished for the times when I could hear more about th ...more
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was lucky to have won this book thru Goodreads First Reads. Thank you, Jason Ryan!

I enjoyed the plot and characters, however, (for me) there were too many details on history. That type of stuff is more for my husband.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This was not nearly as good as I had hoped it would be. There was too much back and forth without enough details of how bad crime truly was in Hawaii at the time, and the story really painted the lead character as an arrogant jerk.
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