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Saving Paradise

Saving Paradise

4.1 32
by Mike Bond

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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, soon gets embroiled in trying 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


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, soon gets embroiled in trying 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 both save himself and find her killers. Alive with the sights, sounds and history of Hawaii, SAVING PARADISE is also a deepy rich portrait of what Pono calls the seamy side of paradise, and an exciting thriller of politics, lies and remorseless murder.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Kirkus Review - SAVING PARADISE:

In the latest thriller from Bond (The Last Savanna, 2013, etc.), an Afghanistan War veteran–turned-surfer risks his life and freedom to search for a journalist’s murderer.
When Pono Hawkins finds surfing-magazine correspondent Sylvia Gordon’s lifeless body floating off the shore of Oahu, police quickly determine that she was murdered, but then promptly change their minds and rule it an accidental drowning. Pono makes it his mission to find the woman’s killer, and his quest takes him into a world of political and corporate corruption. As he weeds through lies, suspects and threats, the police eventually agree that the journalist was indeed murdered—and they accuse the twice-jailed Pono, who soon finds himself on the run. More murders follow. 
Bond’s lusciously convoluted story provides myriad suspects and motives. At one point, near the beginning of the story, Pono lists Sylvia Gordon’s probable killers and has trouble eliminating any one of them. On multiple occasions, Pono believes someone is a murderer, changes his mind and then reverts back after uncovering new information. As a result, he distrusts nearly everyone, and readers likely will, too.
Bond skillfully adds new elements to the mystery, including several energy corporations and no less than three femmes fatales: Angie, Sylvia’s Maui friend; Kim, a cop responsible for one of Pono’s trips to prison; and Charity, a receptionist for a company called WindPower. Other characters are more dependable, such as Pono’s fellow veterans—most notably, the technologically savvy Mitchell—as well as Pono’s cat, Puma, and surfing dachshund, Mojo. But his most persuasive relationship is with Sylvia, a woman he can’t stop thinking about, even though he never knew her when she was alive. In the end, readers may find it nearly impossible to guess the killer, but they’ll enjoy the trip.
A complex, entertaining whodunit.
Reviews for prior Mike Bond thrillers:

Bond's deft thriller will reinforce your worst fears about the CIA and the Bomb. A taut, tense tale of pursuit through exotic and unsavory locales. (Publishers Weekly) One of the most exciting in recent fiction…an astonishing thriller that speaks profoundly about the venality of governments and the nobility of man.( San Francisco Examiner)

A profound tale of war, written with grace and understanding by a novelist who thoroughly knows the subject. Literally impossible to stop reading. (British Armed Forces Broadcasting)

A thoroughly amazing book.  Memorable, an extraordinary story that speaks from and to the heart. And a terrifying depiction of one man’s battle against the CIA and Latin American death squads. (BBC)

An entrancing, terrifying vision of Africa. A story that not only thrills but informs. Impossible to set aside or forget. (BBC)
The imagery was so powerful and built emotions so intense that I had to stop reading a few times to regain my composure. (African Publishers’ Network)

Product Details

Mandevilla Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
16 Years

Meet the Author

Bestselling author, advisor to the US and foreign governments, human rights and war correspondent, award-winning poet and international energy expert, Mike Bond has lived and worked in over thirty countries on six continents. His works have been translated into several languages and have been praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic for their intricate plots, fascinating characters, extraordinary settings, and explosive pace. 

Based on his own experiences in dangerous, remote, and war-torn regions, his novels look deeply into the dark side of man as well as the good. They mix the terror and fury of battle and the intense joy of love, the vanishing beauty of the natural world, and the nature of the universe and its many meanings for human life. His lean unsentimental raw prose, free of best-seller formulas and literary pretension, conveys through the lives of real people what it means to be deeply alive, to hunger for a better world. 

Dealing with political truths few else discuss, Mike Bond's writings have been widely quoted by military experts, intelligence analysts, and political thinkers. How do we live, his books ask, at the deepest level? How does evil masquerade as good? What are politics, government, and intelligence behind their many masks? The secrets behind international deals, dirty wars, assassinations, and coups? How does one lead a good life and care for others in a world of danger and evil?

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Saving Paradise 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
RMCM More than 1 year ago
This is a page turning, fast moving thriller that has it all, love, humor, murder, mystery, political games, big money interests & an insight into Hawaii. Any person that has an  interest in Hawaii & Molokai should not miss this one. Amazing fiction based on a lot of truth? RMCM
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent read. It makes you very aware of your environment, how fragile it is and how easy it could be destroyed by greed and corruption. ME
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book! I was really excited by it from the first page. Wow! It feels real, the story of a surfer and Afghanistan vet who gets tied up in the murder of a Hawaiian journalist. I had no idea how corrupt the political-corporate scene is in Hawaii. Only warning -- don't expect to do anything else once you start -- if you're like me, you'll be totally hooked. -- Booklover1943
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Pono Hawkins is a Special Forces veteran of Afghanistan who has seen too much war and too much mindless brutality.  He’s a guy who seems programmed to correct wrongs when he sees them.  That hasn’t always been a wise thing to do; in fact it also earned him some prison time both inside and outside the military.  So he spends his days surfing and relishing every moment of this land, Hawaii, he loves so, so intensely!  He also teaches other vets how to surf, a form of therapy that takes them into a healing space they desperately need after having served in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade and more. He makes some money because of his surfing dog, Mojo. That’s all about to come to a squeaking halt! Pono hates the tourist areas of Honolulu as well as the way the “haoles” or white Americans and Europeans have raped the land of Hawaii, imprisoned its native people in back-breaking labor for little pay, and taken their land for the sake of profit or “big business.”  That intense dislike quickly increases when Pono finds a dead woman on the edge of the surf not far from a well-known hotel.  Now, because of his criminal record, he’s not exactly getting much information from the local police.  Add to the mystery that a coroner’s report that initially said the victim died from drowning in a rather unique way, considering where she was found, has now been retracted.  Anyone with a connection to the police is mum about this serious retraction of significant evidence. Pono can’t let go; he becomes fanatic about finding the real killer.   Wind-powered is supposed to be one of the natural resources that can lead to the creation of energy.  It’s supposed to be one of the “green” energy forms that people can feel good about using.  However, it turns out that it’s not so green and leaves behind enough side effects that are inhospitable to this already depleted earth to sink a ship  It also costs a fortune to set up but not because the wind costs money to transform into energy; it turns out that politicians and business executors are in the loop for the profits and if it means the displacement of Hawaiian natives, not a great loss – so be it!  The reader also gets a bit of an education about the pros and cons of this latest energy-producing fad! Add a gang to the creep list and some women about whom the reader will wind up mentally quibbling since they seem innocent yet know quite a bit about the murdered journalist, Sylvia Gordon.   Pono moves to the top of the hit list due to his continuous inquiries and his insistence on using the enemies’ employees as sources or connections.  Just when it seems that there’s hardly anything left to plunder in Hawaii, a group of greedy entrepreneurs will stop short of nothing, including murder, to make sure their Wind-Powered Energy project succeeds.  But they fail to understand the passionate love the native Hawaiians have for their land and the determination they have to make sure this energy nightmare never happens. Intense clashes will arise in different ways that turn into a real nail-biter thriller. Mike Bond knows Hawaii and human nature just as well. So it’s the heavy-hitters against a Special Forces Vet – quite the challenge! Saving Paradise  is one heck of a crime novel/thriller and highly recommended!  It’s a keeper!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At last an excellent book about the industry that is destroying the last pristine places on our planet, under the fallacious pretext of saving it.
bernardrabbs More than 1 year ago
This book is stunning. I've never read anything quite like it. It's an absolute thriller - I defy you to put it down after you've read the first page. But it's also a very deep inquiry into life and what is driving our nation today. It's going to be a best seller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, it moves you right along. Very telling f the times we live in!
Whale_Watcher More than 1 year ago
The writer is the Tony Hillerman of Hawaii. But he speaks to all of us, about every beautiful place and how important it is to save it. Parts of it are like Hemingway, so simple and clean and truthful, but with the dark vision of Cormac McCarthy. I loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book. I couldn't put it down. And it has a lot to say about our country the way it is today, the gun problem, the environmental tragedies, the political corruption. I would recommend it to anyone who cares about our country, or who loves a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book! I couldn't put it down!
DebraGolden More than 1 year ago
This is a very exciting story, and one with a lot of truth. And it's very aware of women's issues, environmental issues, political corruption in Hawaii, and has a great story about dogs and cats. I really liked it. Debra Golden
claycity More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read this book because I love Hawaii. How ever I could only read 15 pages. I'm a life long Democrat but the author's hatred of anything Republican on conservative got in the way the story. rated 1 star
Bobbi_McGee More than 1 year ago
This action/adventure story takes place in Hawaii, my favorite place.  Pono Hawkins loves to surf, his dog has his own board and surfs too!  Once in special forces, Pono needed a break after three tours in Afghanistan.  A woman he knows tells him about her friend who drowned the night before and shows  him pictures of her.  She was  a good swimmer, so why did she drown?   The coroner found chlorine water in her lungs, so why was her body found washed ashore on the beach?  Later on the coroner changes  his story and says it was sea water in her lungs.  Why? Turns out there's a big conspiracy involving politicians from the islands, , the mainland, millionaires from overseas, mercenaries, and hired thugs.   Pono and friends take on all of them to find out who murdered Sylvia an innocent, but nosy, reporter.  Exciting, well written!  Try it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started this book I didn't think I liked the style of writing. After reading for a while I realized there was no other way to cover all the ground and bring the pieces together. While it is a work of fiction it could be real and has piqued my interest on the subject.Interesting characters and story line. I have gotten another of his books and hope is as thought provoking as this one is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting background on Hawaii's history, politics and racial struggle n resentment. Lots of thrills n twists intermixed with friends n lovers. Very enjoyable read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa Gardner is a wonderful writer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. Bond tells the real story behind the crime, corruption, destruction and desecration of Hawaii. It is the environmental novel of the decade and an insiders view of the real Hawaii.  I simply could not put this book down and had to find out  the answers in this thriller. It truly kept me up at night. I had no idea that any of this was going on in paradise.  The book is almost Tolstoyan in it's simplicity, in it;s blunt words and real sense of being there, and how it sees the world. I learned and saw so much new and it altered my view of America, the world, all of us. Wow! This is an A plus. 
Ratbruce More than 1 year ago
I love Mike Bond Books! His characters are so fully developed. Politics, murder and suspense all wrapped up in a great story!
SusieH5 More than 1 year ago
Pono, surfer, Afghanistan veteran, known to the police, finds a drowned woman on a Hawaiian beach.  A journalist, she had been working on several stories, any one of which someone may have tried to cover up. Was she killed, or was her death an accident?   Pono is convinced her death was no accident, and he starts asking lots of questions, which brings him unwelcome attention. Tension mounts, Pono is in danger as he continues his investigations.
JennMcLean More than 1 year ago
"Saving Paradise" by Mike Bond is based in Hawaii, which made it really enjoyable to read. It was informative to learn all about Hawaiian history and the corrupt underbelly that exposes the exploitation of Hawaiian natives.  Pono Hawkins, our main character, is a special forces veteran, an excellent surfer, a native to Hawaii and a reluctant amateur sleuth. When Hawkins inadvertently bumps into a beautiful, young but dead woman, as he goes to catch the next wave one morning, he is instantly saddened and overcome by her death. The fact that he found her spurs him on to find out what happened. The police called it an accident but Pono discovers that she was murdered. Finding justice for Sylvia Gorden, the beautiful and smart investigative journalist who stepped into something much too sinister for her own good, is Pono's determined goal. Mike Bond's excellent narrative is both fast paced and convoluted. Although quite logical in his step by step approach to finding the killer of Sylvia, Bond's writing keeps the reader's interest by having many savvy details. Mr. Bond's prose include beautiful descriptions of Hawaii's islands. The reader, as they run headlong into the mystery, is treated to some spectacular scenery along the way. This is a four star book, I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a slightly different kind of hero and a good who-done-it mystery. Along with a great and complicated mystery, you get terrific information about Hawaii, it's history and the lifestyle of the people who live there. It's an easy read and a good book to curl up with on a cold and snowy day.
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