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)
NIGHT OF THE DEAD
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)
THE LAST SAVANNA
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)