Lani Tagama is working at her auntís coffee company, inspecting the rich coffee they are going to be shipping out. While shifting her hand in the bag of coffee beans, Lani pulls out a rare blue coral. Someone is smuggling it out of Hawaii! When Lani turns to ask an employee if she knows anything about the coral, someone shoots leaving the employee dead, and Lani blinded.
Ben Mahoney is an ex-cop, who now trains Seeing Eye dogs. When Laniís brother approaches him to help with Lani, Ben initially refuses. After all, her blindness might be temporary. And why should she get preferential treatment when there are lots of permanently blind people on the waiting list for a Seeing Eye dog? Besides, Ben doesnít like Lani. He knows her reputation, and his brother was one of her conquests.
Eventually, Ben agrees to use Lani as a study for one of his programs. He also agrees let her use the dog heís training on a temporary basis only. Ben finds an entirely different Lani than what he expects. And while helping her, they learn things that plunge them deep into a smuggling mystery, putting their lives in danger.
Colleen Coble has done it again! Book four in the Aloha Reefs series, Midnight Sea instantly grabs the readerís attention and holds it until the end of the book. While Midnight Sea easily stands alone, I enjoyed reconnecting with characters from Ms. Cobleís other Hawaiian books.
Lani and Ben are both loveable characters, and both struggling with their own faith issues. Ms. Coble is able to bring the Hawaiian islands alive with the scent and sights that are unique to the islands, making the setting as much of the plot and story line as the characters and the mystery. There are plenty of red herrings in the story, and even though I guessed who might be behind the smuggling, I kept changing my mind until the end and all was revealed. Discussion questions and an author interview are included at the end of the book.