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3 Works 81 Members 7 Reviews


Works by Debra Bokur


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Kali is a young Hawaiian police officer who teams up with her uncle Walter for another very strange case along with what they thought would be merely pedestrian police work. Soon they find that their puzzling investigation involves a very strange cult. Some tourists have discovered a refrigerator containing a headless skeleton with the head having been replaced with a carved pineapple. Strange hardly covers this case. When more bodies are uncovered, they have to work even harder to figure out how they are all connected, who the killer could be and how this weird cult fits into it all. Although I found the head being replaced with the carved pineapple a bit over the top, I found it to be a fun read with equally as many red herrings as real clues to keep you guessing.… (more)
Carol420 | 2 other reviews | May 5, 2022 |
Hawai'i, law-enforcement, murder, murder-investigation, torture, procedural, cultural-exploration, cultural-heritage, spiritual-leader, legend, family, friendship*****

Talk about plot twists! And lots of information about Hawai'ian indigenous history/culture most of us mainlanders can only read about. The publisher's blurb is well done and certainly had ME hooked! It's a fast moving and engrossing story that I found hard to put down. I count this one as another win for the author! Police detective Kali Mahoe is a degreed cultural anthropologist/spiritual leader of her people. I loved the imagery of the island lore as well as the personalities of the characters. Sometimes I'd get lost in the lore and have to go back to catch a thread of the investigation, but then I'm a history geek.
This is not an unbiased review because I enjoyed the first ones so much and eagerly awaited this one.
You don't need to read the other books first, but you'll probably want to read them afterward. I got mine in audio so I could hear the unfamiliar words pronounced correctly.
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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jetangen4571 | Mar 29, 2022 |
The Fire Thief is set on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It begins with the discovery of the dead body of a surfer who had washed up on shore. The first few pages are about the murder. However, the story quickly switches to a ghost story and then a theft story. Hawaiian lore is used to tie them all together.

The publisher's summary:

"Under a promising morning sky, police captain Walter Alaka’i makes a tragic discovery: the body of a teenage surfer bobbing among the lava rocks of Maui’s southeastern shore. It appears to be an ill-fated accident, but closer inspection reveals something far more sinister than the results of a savage wave gone wrong. Now that Alaka’i is looking at a homicide, he solicits the help of his niece, Detective Kali Māhoe.

The granddaughter of one of Hawaii’s most respected spiritual leaders, and on the transcendent path to becoming a kahu herself, Kali sees evidence of a strange ritual murder. The suspicion is reinforced by a rash of sightings of a noppera-bō—a faceless and malicious spirit many believe to be more than superstition. When a grisly sacrifice is left on the doorstep of a local, and another body washes ashore, Kali fears that the deadly secret ceremonies on Maui are just beginning.

To uncover a motive and find the killer, Kali leans on her skills at logic and detection. But she must also draw on her own personal history with the uncanny legends of the islands. Now, as the skies above Maui grow darker, and as she balances reason and superstition, Kali can only wonder: Who’ll be the next to die? And who—or what—is she even on the trail of?"
While I enjoy reading about my favorite state, the book did not have a cohesive plot. The author should have decided what type of story she wanted to tell. I thought the murder would have been the best storyline to go with as the body was found with a shark's tooth imbedded in the head but no signs of a shark attack. The howdunnit and whodunnit would have been an interesting read. We don't really learn how the murder was done. The identity of the killer is revealed at the end but with no twists, turns, or red herrings. Nothing. The ghost storyline carried most of the pages and was minimally related to the murder. The theft of solar panels was not connected to the murder other than the thief being related to the killer.

The Walter and Kali detective team are a great pair. They both have distinctive personalities that the author fleshed out well and I can see them investigating crimes together in the future. However, the author needs to come up with a better plotline if she wants to have a series to write. This is her first book so perhaps she will surprise us in years to come.
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Violette62 | 2 other reviews | Mar 5, 2022 |
A very good mystery, set in Hawaii. The plot is believable, the main characters relatable and well fleshed out. I enjoyed the setting, the short forays into the history of Hawaii, and the action.
I understand that this is the second book in the series. I wish I would have read the first one prior to this one, but it doesn't really affect the reading much. I will be going back to read the first book, and look forward to reading more in the series.
And although the book stands well based on the plot and characters, how could you possibly go wrong in setting it in the paradise of Hawaii. I just cannot wait until we can travel there again!… (more)
1Randal | 2 other reviews | Jun 2, 2021 |



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