Morning everyone. I hope you’re all staying wrapped up and warm in this beautiful snowy weather. Today I’ve got a review for you of Death of a Messenger by Robert McCaw, a Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery with fantastic twists and lots of Hawaiian history and archaeology……
about death of a messenger
On Hawaii Island, an anonymous 911 caller reports a body at Pohakuloa, the Army’s live-fire training area. Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kane, a cop with his own secret criminal past, finds a mutilated corpse–bearing all the hallmarks of ancient ritual sacrifice.
He encounters a host of obstacles as he pursues the murderer–an incompetent local medical examiner, hostility from both haoles (Westerners) and sovereignty advocates, and a myriad of lies. Koa races to discover whether the victim stumbled upon a gang of high-tech archaeological thieves, or learned a secret so shocking it cost him his life and put others in mortal danger.
Will Hilo’s most respected detective stop this sadistic fiend–or will the Pohakuloa killer strike again, with even deadlier consequences?
Perfect for fans of Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing (5th January 2021)
Death of a Messenger is a twisty whodunnit, investigated by Chief Detective Koa Kane and his team. At first I found it quite challenging to get into and didn’t know whether I’d enjoy it, which is surprising for me with the nature of the story at the beginning. However, I think because its set in Hawaii, I found a lot of the words difficult to pronounce which slowed down my reading and made it a bit stilted. Obviously this is to be expected in a novel set somewhere wonderful and exotic but it didn’t ‘grab me’ from the beginning as others do.
Although after about the first 10-15%, I was hooked! The story is complex and twisty, and will keep you guessing. I literally had no clue as to who the killer was! McCaw interweaved some bits together which I absolutely loved.
I really enjoyed the historical and archaeological side of this story (for anyone that knows me that’s obvious!). It was fascinating to learn bits about the history and traditions of Hawaii – a place that, if I’m honest, I know little about. The fact that the story incorporated looting of archaeological sites is something that is all too real and a frustration for those of us that want to learn about the past.
The other thing I truly loved were some of the characters. I love Koa – he’s a fantastic character; a wonderful man but with his own secret past that haunts him. Despite this, he is a good and loyal guy and you can’t help but love him. Hook and Nalani are also fantastic – I loved them both. There are some proper shady characters in this too! Getting to know more about them was brilliant and bought a good edge to the story.
Obviously a book set in Hawaii is going to be fantastic and this is true to form. It’s definitely encouraged me to do some more digging into Hawaii and I loved googling the places to bring them to life for me!
So overall, a brilliant whodunnit mystery with plenty of twists and fantastic characters. It may take a little while to get into but I would encourage you to persevere – it’s definitely worth it. There are more Koa Kane books in the series and I’m definitely be up for reading more about him – especially since I loved him so much! So if you’re looking for a mystery in a different setting then check this out!
about the author
Robert McCaw is the author of Fire and Vengeance, Off the Grid, and Death of a Messenger. McCaw grew up in a military family, traveling the world. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, served as a U.S. Army lieutenant, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a partner in a major international law firm in Washington, D.C. and New York City, representing major Wall Street clients in complex civil and criminal cases. Having lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, McCaw imbues his writing of the Islands with his more than 2-year love affair with this Pacific paradise. He now lives in New York City with his wife, Calli.