On Hawaii Island, a volcanic earthquake disrupts an abandoned cemetery, unearthing the body of a woman mutilated by her killer.
The search for her identity leads Hilo Hawaii’s Chief Detective Koa Kāne to a defense contractor with a politically connected board of directors. Defying his chief of police, Koa pursues the killer, only to become entangled in an FBI espionage investigation of Deimos, a powerful secret military weapon.
At the same time, Koa—a cop who thirty years earlier killed his father’s nemesis and covered up the murder—faces exposure by the dead man’s grandson. Koa is forced to investigate his own homicide which threatens to unravel his cover-up, until another man is falsely accused. Will Koa stand by and let an innocent man pay for his crime?
This book came to me via a publisher’s email and the two things to catch my attention were: 1. A thriller (I managed to read so few of them last year) and 2. A new author (I’m always excited about discovering a new, potentially favourite, writer).
I do have a long list of books I’m approved for on Netgalley which I’ve been saving to start reading in 2022 but I decided there’s nothing more fun than starting the year with a new author.
Treachery Times Two is the fourth book in the Koa Kāne Hawaiian mystery series. The author introduces the reader to Hawaii’s natural beauty and indigenous culture in this crackling mystery set in and around the Big Island.
Unlike most crime thrillers, this stands out for the protagonist’s conflict with himself. On one hand, as Chief Detective, Koa Kāne is tracking down a mysterious killer, while on the other he is covering up a thirty-year-old homicide he committed.
The book’s underlying theme is its exploration of two basic human traits. The first is human flaws. No one is perfect. Everyone has them but while some let their flaws define themselves, others strive to overcome them. Koa has turned his life around since that night thirty years ago but can the same be said for others?
Then there is the human compulsion to hide their misdeeds. Revealing this secret will take away everything Koa has built for himself and that is not something he is willing to give up. So he plays along, treading carefully in investigating the crime he committed.
Meanwhile, the FBI has swooped down on him to takeover his original investigation before he can dig into the mysterious defense contractor. Even though they agree to join forces, Koa is convinced the FBI is withholding information.
Robert McCaw builds suspense in this multi-layered plot by keeping the tension taut and adding the thrill of exploring an unforgiving landscape in the search for the killer. His characters, as flawed as they are, present a moral struggle so complex, it is impossible to choose sides.
Don’t let the fact that this is the fourth in a series deter you for it can well be read as a standalone. More importantly, at the end it will have piqued your curiosity enough to want to read the first three as well.
A rare find, I’d call this a culturally enriched thriller for the picturesque descriptions of Hawaii, its people, their history and traditions. That it comes with a nail-biting mystery is a double bonus.
Book 1 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2.
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