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Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

In the second “A Knight and Moon Novel” Janet Evanovich has gone back to writing without a partner.? “Dangerous Minds” as a result is back to standard Evanovich formulas for creating quirky characters and fast moving, adventurous plots that keep the reader turning page after page.? This is the most enjoyable Evanovich novel in a long time.

The series revolves around a young billionaire amateur investigator, Emerson Knight, and his assistant, Riley Moon, a Harvard graduate originally from Texas. Their side-kicks on this zany adventure are Emerson’s eccentric childhood friend, Vernon, and Vernon’s friend, a little monk from Bali named Wayan Bagus.? Bagus asked the team to find an island near Samoa he was living on that disappeared after it was invaded by some military-like men with strange tattoos on their wrists.? These quasi-military men turn out to be a secret society off-shoot of the Rough Riders founded by Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War.? They wear National Park Service uniforms and appear to have the run of several very remote parts of Yellowstone in Wyoming and Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii.

I don’t want to give away the plot but suffice it to say, there’s a particularly crazy bad man, not unlike Dr Strangelove, who wants to destroy the world with some “strange matter” that is found in volcanoes that have active magma from the core of the earth bubbling up to the surface occasionally.

Those readers who like Evanovich’s quirky characters, weird plots and breezy dialog will love “Dangerous Minds.”

Liz Nichols

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Saving Paradise by Mike Bond

Saving Paradise” is an environmental and political thriller set in the Hawaiian Islands.  It has all the elements of a great thriller: a likeable and complex protagonist (journalist/surfer, ex-Special Forces and ex-con, Pono Hawkins), an atmospheric and beautiful setting (Molokai and Oahu), and a tense mystery that nearly takes down our hero in the process of solving the crime.  Pono is a former Special Forces officer who was assigned to Afghanistan and suffers  PTSD and other psychological illnesses that plague thousands of veterans of the middle east wars.  He is characterized as a flawed but likeable guy who keeps finding trouble but desperately wants to avoid getting caught and sent back to prison.  He has a very strong loyalty to his native Hawaiian roots and wants to preserve the beauty and serenity of the islands for as long as possible.

A journalist is found washed up on the shore on Waikiki and it is quickly determined that she was actually drowned in fresh water and dumped in the ocean.  Who would want her dead?  The lead candidates all have ties to the current governor and Big Energy and are tied specifically to the burgeoning wind power industry in Hawaii.  Environmental groups are opposing the wind power lobby because they argue wind turbines endanger several species of birds and seals and contracts to set up wind farms has been bought for political favor both at the state and federal level.

As someone who supports wind energy in my own state I took with a grain of salt the conspiracy plot.  Still, I recognize that wind power does have an environmental downside, and is not appropriate in every state’s plan to diversify energy resources.  Bond argues that solar power makes more sense in a state like Hawaii, and he may well be right.  It is also true that sweetheart deals have been worked out between the alternative energy companies and Washington and certain states, but Bond has probably heightened the conspiracy theory in order to make for good book copy.

In the end I enjoyed “Saving Paradise” as a very well written, fast-paced and exciting thriller, even though the conspiracy plot left me a little skeptical.

Reviewed from a supplied copy.

Liz Nichols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” is an environmental thriller set in the Hawaiian Islands.

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