When a beautiful journalist drowns mysteriously off Waikiki, Hawaii, Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins, now a well-known surfer and international correspondent for surfing magazines, tries to find out why she died. What he quickly learns makes him a target for murder or life in prison, as a cabal of powerful corporations, foreign killers, and crooked politicians places the blame on him.
Haunted by memories of Afghanistan and determined to protect the Hawaii he loves from dirty politics tied to huge, destructive energy developments, Pono turns to Special Forces buddies and his own covert skills to fight his deadly enemies, trying to both save himself and find the journalist's killers. Alive with the sights, sounds, and history of Hawaii, Saving Paradise is a deeply rich portrait of what Pono calls the seamy side of paradise and an exciting thriller of politics, lies, and remorseless murder.
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Pretty good, Bond gets it, narrator awful
I would recommend the book but if you live in Hawaii, the narration will drive you nuts.
The surfing dachshund.
The author apparently did not exert enough control over the choice of the narrator. If this story were set in Omaha, he would be fine but not for Oahu. ex: Punawho school, Kalewee Maui, and so on. He murders Hawaiian names. Toby Neal and Frankie Bow did it right by choosing excellent narrators with Hawaii roots. It's difficult to walk the line of being authentic but still accessible to a broad audience. This guy doesn't do it.
No. It's good for the car or poolside.
Writing a mystery set in Hawaii is difficult. My favorite recent failure was the author who created a private resort island off the coast of Oahu. Authors like Bow and Neal get it right by virtue of being part of local culture. It sticks out like a sore thumb when authors don't know what they're talking about.
- James Petersen