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Bones of Hilo

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From Hawaii's Big Island to the wilds of Washington's North Cascades, a novice detective uncovers a hoard of ancient secrets at the heart of a grisly murder. A young, inexperienced detective from the wet, working-class side of Hawaii's Big Island, Kawika Wong faces an uphill battle to gain the respect of his more seasoned colleagues. And he has the chance of a lifetime From Hawaii's Big Island to the wilds of Washington's North Cascades, a novice detective uncovers a hoard of ancient secrets at the heart of a grisly murder. A young, inexperienced detective from the wet, working-class side of Hawaii's Big Island, Kawika Wong faces an uphill battle to gain the respect of his more seasoned colleagues. And he has the chance of a lifetime when Ralph Fortunato, the Mainland developer of an unpopular resort on the island's tourist side, is found murdered on a luxury golf course, an ancient Hawaiian spear driven through his heart. With the other detectives desperately trying to solve another string of grisly killings, Captain Terry Tanaka has no choice but to send Kawika to investigate. As Kawika joins forces with his father and girlfriend to help read the signs and make sense of the ritualistic murder scene, they uncover a cache of secrets reaching far back to the Island's ancient past. And the journalist who found the body has her own theories about Fortunato's demise--but do they line up with the evidence? On a perilous journey that stretches from the Big Island to Washington State and back, Kawika finds danger at every turn. But he still has much to learn about Hawaii, and about the rugged terrain of the North Cascades. And he'd better learn it fast, because his instincts may not be enough to catch a killer who's closing in even faster.


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From Hawaii's Big Island to the wilds of Washington's North Cascades, a novice detective uncovers a hoard of ancient secrets at the heart of a grisly murder. A young, inexperienced detective from the wet, working-class side of Hawaii's Big Island, Kawika Wong faces an uphill battle to gain the respect of his more seasoned colleagues. And he has the chance of a lifetime From Hawaii's Big Island to the wilds of Washington's North Cascades, a novice detective uncovers a hoard of ancient secrets at the heart of a grisly murder. A young, inexperienced detective from the wet, working-class side of Hawaii's Big Island, Kawika Wong faces an uphill battle to gain the respect of his more seasoned colleagues. And he has the chance of a lifetime when Ralph Fortunato, the Mainland developer of an unpopular resort on the island's tourist side, is found murdered on a luxury golf course, an ancient Hawaiian spear driven through his heart. With the other detectives desperately trying to solve another string of grisly killings, Captain Terry Tanaka has no choice but to send Kawika to investigate. As Kawika joins forces with his father and girlfriend to help read the signs and make sense of the ritualistic murder scene, they uncover a cache of secrets reaching far back to the Island's ancient past. And the journalist who found the body has her own theories about Fortunato's demise--but do they line up with the evidence? On a perilous journey that stretches from the Big Island to Washington State and back, Kawika finds danger at every turn. But he still has much to learn about Hawaii, and about the rugged terrain of the North Cascades. And he'd better learn it fast, because his instincts may not be enough to catch a killer who's closing in even faster.

30 review for Bones of Hilo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This novel opens with the discovery of a body on the golf course, killed by an ancient Hawaiian spear through his chest. Detective Kawika Wong, part Hawaiian, part Chinese is sent to head the investigation, since someone with local Hawaiian cultural knowledge will be required to determine if this is a ritual killing by native Hawaiians or perhaps a killing designed to frame them. Although Kawika mostly grew up in Seattle with his mother after his parents separated, and has little cultural knowle This novel opens with the discovery of a body on the golf course, killed by an ancient Hawaiian spear through his chest. Detective Kawika Wong, part Hawaiian, part Chinese is sent to head the investigation, since someone with local Hawaiian cultural knowledge will be required to determine if this is a ritual killing by native Hawaiians or perhaps a killing designed to frame them. Although Kawika mostly grew up in Seattle with his mother after his parents separated, and has little cultural knowledge, his father is a long-time resident with extensive local knowledge and his girlfriend, Carolyn is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in Hawaiian history. The body belongs to Ralph Fortunato, a property developer planning to build a new resort on a lava field on Hawaii’s big island, with Japanese investment. The finding of a possible temple or altar on the land, brought him into dispute with a native Hawaiian group who wanted the development stopped. Fortunato has a history of failed property development on the US mainland following a similar dispute with native Indians over a cultural site and Kawika senses that something is not quite right with the new development which is not near a beach or any of the spectacular scenery that Hawaii has to offer. As accusations fly about cultural sensitivity and the bodies start to pile up, Kawika tries to get a handle on what Fortunato was really up to and who would most want to kill him. For the most part the pacing was good but did get a bit bogged down by the complexity of the plot. Hawaii makes for an interesting background to a murder mystery and the description of the various locations added to the exotic atmosphere. The cultural and political aspects seemed well researched and gave some indication of the issues facing the state. Kawika was an interesting character with his mixed heritage and upbringing and I could see him featuring in a series based in Hawaii. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for a copy to read

  2. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    Kawika Wong is a young detective in Hawaii, a place he partially grew up in, splitting his time with his mother in Seattle and his father on one of the islands. He’s given the opportunity to prove himself when a real estate developer is found dead with an historical Hawaiian spear through his heart and the other detectives are busy trying to uncover the connection between the bodies being thrown over a cliff and a local drug ring. Even though Kawika spent his summers here, he’s not that cultural Kawika Wong is a young detective in Hawaii, a place he partially grew up in, splitting his time with his mother in Seattle and his father on one of the islands. He’s given the opportunity to prove himself when a real estate developer is found dead with an historical Hawaiian spear through his heart and the other detectives are busy trying to uncover the connection between the bodies being thrown over a cliff and a local drug ring. Even though Kawika spent his summers here, he’s not that culturally literate about Native Hawaii, so he turns to his father and girlfriend for help. I enjoyed the mystery and the writing. I will warn you that a person is really grossly sexually abused and while the novel doesn’t detail something that happened in the past, it’s still gruesome. Also, in the book the characters talk about how many “K’s” Hawaiian’s use, and there are a lot of “T” names and “h” words. I had a little trouble having to re-read names and trying to remember what a term meant. Also, the author does a thing that I’ve noticed in other books like this: He gives the characters first and last names but then proceeds to call some people, like Kawika, by their first names, and other characters, like his captain, Tanaka, by their last. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES JUNE 8, 2021.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Blaine DeSantis

    Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this free Advance Copy in return for an honest review. Off we go to one of those other islands that comprise our lovely 50th state, but in this mystery by Eric Redman the beauty of Hawaii is hidden beneath the murder and mystery of Hilo, Waimea and other locations on “The Big Island”. What can look appealing at first blush, can many times hold deep secrets, angry indigenous people, fortune hunters and a whole lot more. And that is exactly what we ge Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this free Advance Copy in return for an honest review. Off we go to one of those other islands that comprise our lovely 50th state, but in this mystery by Eric Redman the beauty of Hawaii is hidden beneath the murder and mystery of Hilo, Waimea and other locations on “The Big Island”. What can look appealing at first blush, can many times hold deep secrets, angry indigenous people, fortune hunters and a whole lot more. And that is exactly what we get in this fast-paced book that grabs our attention from the very beginning when real estate developer, Ralph Fortunato, is found dead on a signature golf course and resort. We follow Detective Kawika Wong, who is half-Hawaiian, as he attempts to get to the bottom of this murder, a particularly gruesome one in that Fortunato is found with an ancient Hawaiian spear having impaled him. And despite Wong’s past issues when he was a detective in Seattle, his boss has no qualms in having him try and unravel this crime. Soon one murder becomes two, and then three, and bodies are piling up and despite quickly realizing that Fortunato is a shady developer now a whole lot of progress is made. But that is where angry indigenous people come in, as local native Hawaiian organizations are incensed that Wong seems to be focusing on one of their members as a prime suspect and we get to see the power of the press as, when Wong is made to appear responsible for these deaths. While nothing can be further from the truth, some strategically worded press releases turn Wong into a target. Sadly we see many throughout the book use “civic” organizations to pad their own agenda and how many of these groups are filled with bogus individuals. There are many native Hawaiians who have a dislike for what happened to their kingdom, but on the other hand many are also used by “haoles” to get their way when it comes to island developments. Wong will eventually travel back to Washington state, where he gets advice from his mother and step-father, and continues to look into the murky past of Fortunato who had a similar bogus resort in the Methow Valley region of Washington also blow up in his face. And quickly discovers that wherever Fortunato goes, so goes mysterious deaths, and that everyone is happy to find out that he is finally dead. A very interesting book, filled with lots of Hawaiian details and intrigue. “The Big Island” is a beautiful place, but also a very dangerous and deadly location, and one that we can only hope Redman will return to in future books. This review was previously published at www.mysteryandsuspense.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Young detective Kawika Wong struggles to gain the respect of colleagues on Big Island, Hawaii. His inexperience is cause for concern when he’s chosen to investigate the death of Ralph Fortunato, a Mainland developer found murdered on a swanky golf course with an ancient Hawaiian spear piercing his heart. Kawika needs the help of his father and girlfriend to understand the meaning behind the ritualistic murder scene containing many elements of native Hawaiian culture while he follows up on leads p Young detective Kawika Wong struggles to gain the respect of colleagues on Big Island, Hawaii. His inexperience is cause for concern when he’s chosen to investigate the death of Ralph Fortunato, a Mainland developer found murdered on a swanky golf course with an ancient Hawaiian spear piercing his heart. Kawika needs the help of his father and girlfriend to understand the meaning behind the ritualistic murder scene containing many elements of native Hawaiian culture while he follows up on leads pertaining to Fortunato’s business dealings and his ongoing battle with a Hawaiian organization opposed to a luxury development. Fortunato’s past is littered with shady land dealings and now in the wake of his murder, the body count is rising as Kawika uncovers corruption in surprising places. I thought Bones of Hilo would be an exciting read for me! I was fortunate enough to spend a significant amount of time on the Big Island in my twenties so I’m familiar with the locations discussed in this book and was looking forward to an atmospheric mystery. Unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me. I struggled to make it to the half way point; there is a lot of history explained that, while certainly necessary for the plot, was delivered in a dry way that had me nodding off more than once. There are a couple of brief sex scenes that were also boringly detailed in the same way each time. There is little action to propel the story or create any urgency; it's all telling instead of showing. There’s also a visit back to Washington state at the end of the novel that just felt random and did nothing to pick up the pace and felt awkward for the story arc. The most interesting aspect of the novel for me personally was Kawika’s lack of acceptance. He split his time between Hilo and Seattle while growing up and the locals treat him as an outsider that shouldn’t be trusted. Bogged down in dry details and an excruciatingly slow pace, I skimmed the last half of Bones of Hilo and don’t feel I missed anything compelling. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Bones of Hilo is scheduled for release on June 8, 2021. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Toni Osborne

    I love stories set in Hawaii they bring back fond memories of my time vacationing there. Eric Redman story transports us to the Big Island and plunges us deep into a murder mystery in Hilo and other locations on the island as we follow Detective Kawika Wong in his attempts to get at the bottom of the gruesome murder of real estate developer Ralph Fortunato found with an ancient Hawaiian spear having impaled him, the mogul was found dead on a signature golf course and resort. This fast-paced story I love stories set in Hawaii they bring back fond memories of my time vacationing there. Eric Redman story transports us to the Big Island and plunges us deep into a murder mystery in Hilo and other locations on the island as we follow Detective Kawika Wong in his attempts to get at the bottom of the gruesome murder of real estate developer Ralph Fortunato found with an ancient Hawaiian spear having impaled him, the mogul was found dead on a signature golf course and resort. This fast-paced story grabs the attention from the start. When one murder becomes two then three and angry indigenous people come into play as well as the power of the press you have a compelling story filled with lots of Hawaiian details and mostly intrigue....Kawika finds danger at every turn on his perilous journey that stretches from the Big Island to Washington State and back. Along the way he uncovers a cache of secrets reaching far back. I was on pins and needles from start to finish, not wanting any harm coming to this loveable protagonist. What a great story that held my attention from the opening words and held me captive till the very end. Mr. Redman’s imagery is outstanding, the cultural and history is well researched not only both are informative but they are expertly blended into the plot. Kawika is an excellent although flawed protagonist I found it hard not to love him, he really entertains. This is a good book, hopefully a start of a series. If so I am looking forward to reading more. I was given the opportunity to read this ARC from Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott Nickels

    I was (more than usually) excited to receive the “Bones of Hilo” by Eric Redman. It was a gift from NetGalley and from the great Hawaiian gods because it is a murder mystery set (mostly) on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Island is my wife and my favorite place on earth so we were excited by some murders (in fiction world) taking place while we mainlanders are unable to travel to paradise! All that is preamble to say that I enjoyed Mr. Redman’s writing style and storyline; and I oftentimes fel I was (more than usually) excited to receive the “Bones of Hilo” by Eric Redman. It was a gift from NetGalley and from the great Hawaiian gods because it is a murder mystery set (mostly) on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Island is my wife and my favorite place on earth so we were excited by some murders (in fiction world) taking place while we mainlanders are unable to travel to paradise! All that is preamble to say that I enjoyed Mr. Redman’s writing style and storyline; and I oftentimes felt that I was back in some of the small towns —and fancy resorts— that makes the Big Island such a great place to visit. The plot: a local land developer is murdered is murdered on a resort golf course that sends Hawaiian investigator Detective Kawika Wong on an involved investigation that peels away the layers of corruption that result in more than a single homicide. Betwixt and between the nasty stuff is well researched cultural and social history that is both informative and integral to the plot. Perhaps at times these sub contexts deviated a bit too much a2ay from driving the narrative. Also, a trip to the state of Washington later in the book did little to propel the plot and would not have been missed if edited out before the final edition of the book is released. Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend to all!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    While Eric Redman’s Bones of Hilo is a police procedural, it’s actually a novel that highlights the history and culture of Hawaii, and the opposition to ongoing development. All of those points can be covered in the mystery because the young, inexperienced police detective, Kawika Wong, knows very little about Hawaii’s background. When the division chief on the Big Island requests a “Real Hawaiian” for a murder investigation, Captain Tanaka sends his protege, Kawika Wong. But Kawika only spent su While Eric Redman’s Bones of Hilo is a police procedural, it’s actually a novel that highlights the history and culture of Hawaii, and the opposition to ongoing development. All of those points can be covered in the mystery because the young, inexperienced police detective, Kawika Wong, knows very little about Hawaii’s background. When the division chief on the Big Island requests a “Real Hawaiian” for a murder investigation, Captain Tanaka sends his protege, Kawika Wong. But Kawika only spent summers in Hawaii. He lived with his mother in Seattle for most of the year. And, he joined the police department in Seattle until he made headlines for his fumbled handling of a case. Captain Tanaka gave Kawika a position on the police force as a favor for his old fishing buddy, Jarvis Wong, Kawika’s father. A journalist who lives at the Mauna Lani resort saw a body on the first tee, and reported it. The victim is Ralph Fortunato, a controversial resort developer, who was stabbed through the heart with an old Hawaiian spear. The police expect that Kawika will understand the cultural implications and the political issues of Hawaiian opposition to development. Wong isn’t familiar with the politics, so he turns to the journalist, who becomes his lover. For cultural background, he reaches out to a PhD candidate, his girlfriend. And, then the ethical young man spends time dithering about his choices and his morals. That’s time he should be spending on the case, and he misses several important phone calls. First, Kawika becomes the target of a PR campaign, then of an assassin. After he’s injured, he’s sent to Seattle for his own safety, but it’s there that he tracks down the victim’s history. Ralph Fortunato was a scoundrel, a cheat, and a murderer, who left grievances behind in Washington state. Kawika Wong really isn’t up to this investigation. The young man became a police officer because he grew up on detective stories, and he tries to see himself in them. His greatest flaw, though, is his distaste for loose ends. Captain Tanaka looks out for Kawika, but tells him it isn’t always possible to know why something happened. Just find the solution. That doesn’t always work for Kawika Wong. While Kawika Wong is a likable detective, the mystery itself almost becomes background for the setting and story of Hawaii’s history. Redman enjoys telling those stories, and includes maps to ground the reader. If you try, and enjoy, Bones of Hilo for the setting, you might also want to try Naomi Hirahara’s Iced in Paradise.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Detective Kawika Wong is picked, despite his junior status, to investigate the murder of real estate developer Ralph Forunato, who was killed with a Hawaiian spear. His superiors think he can bring the needed cultural understanding to the case but here's the thing- he was raised on the Mainland. This teeters on the knife edge of cozy procedural in the sense that many people wanted Fortunato gone but it does go deeper with looking at the tensions between Native Hawaiians and haoles. Great atmosph Detective Kawika Wong is picked, despite his junior status, to investigate the murder of real estate developer Ralph Forunato, who was killed with a Hawaiian spear. His superiors think he can bring the needed cultural understanding to the case but here's the thing- he was raised on the Mainland. This teeters on the knife edge of cozy procedural in the sense that many people wanted Fortunato gone but it does go deeper with looking at the tensions between Native Hawaiians and haoles. Great atmospherics and I learned a bit (always a plus). Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is set in 2002, which leaves room for the more in series (I'm hoping).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Lynch

    This is a police procedural with a difference, set mainly on the Big Island of Hawai’i, with a (three-eighths) Native Hawai’ian protagonist in Detective Kawika Wong. When a resort developer is found impaled through the heart on a tee box at a major tourist resort, and a local group fighting against his latest project is implicated, it’s important to have a Native detective on the case, so Kawika gets the job. It’s a really complicated case with a lot of different moving parts and a lot of suspect This is a police procedural with a difference, set mainly on the Big Island of Hawai’i, with a (three-eighths) Native Hawai’ian protagonist in Detective Kawika Wong. When a resort developer is found impaled through the heart on a tee box at a major tourist resort, and a local group fighting against his latest project is implicated, it’s important to have a Native detective on the case, so Kawika gets the job. It’s a really complicated case with a lot of different moving parts and a lot of suspects, as the developer turns out to be a corrupt type with a string of victims in his wake… some of them dead under suspicious circumstances. Every string Kawika pulls on seems to drag up yet another tangle, and his own complicated love life isn’t helping him keep a clear head. There’s a lot to like about this story; there are complex issues of morality and the nature of justice and vengeance considered and I liked learning about the cultural issues, which were presented in an engaging way as Kawika himself learned about them. The book does, however, fall into the shocking trap too often found in the writing of men; literally every female character is someone’s wife, girlfriend or mistress. Not one of Kawika’s work colleagues, or the experts or officers from other agencies he consults, is a woman, with the sole exception of one of his two girlfriends, who fortunately for him happens to be an expert in Native Hawai’iana he can consult. Every woman in the story is defined by her relationship to a man in it - it definitely doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, indeed, I can only think of one occasion in the book where two women were present in a room at the same time. The audience for mystery thrillers and police procedurals has a high proportion of women, and it’s disappointing for us to see our entire gender reduced to being window dressing this way. Despite being intrigued by the case and enjoying the cultural aspects of the story, I wouldn’t read another book by this author because of these failures. I’ll give it three stars. Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    A strong grasp of the Hawaiian language and cultural history would be a plus for anyone who reads this mystery. Detective Kawika Wong was born in Hawaii but was raised in Seattle after his parents divorced. He did spent summers with his father in Hawaii but built his career in Seattle. That is, he built it until he was overzealous and fired by the police force there. Kawika got a job with the police force in Hilo partly because his boss is a friend of his father who becomes his mentor. When a dev A strong grasp of the Hawaiian language and cultural history would be a plus for anyone who reads this mystery. Detective Kawika Wong was born in Hawaii but was raised in Seattle after his parents divorced. He did spent summers with his father in Hawaii but built his career in Seattle. That is, he built it until he was overzealous and fired by the police force there. Kawika got a job with the police force in Hilo partly because his boss is a friend of his father who becomes his mentor. When a developer is found murdered on the fifteenth tee at a golf course on a popular resort, Kawika is given the case in part because the other case occupying the force has to do with drug dealers throwing people off a cliff for the sharks to feed on them. The developer is Ralph Fortunato who had a previous failed career as a developer in Washington State. He was killed with an authentic historic spear which was left in his body. The body was discovered by Patience Quinn who is a journalist who is trying to get over her recent divorce. They soon learn that there fathers were friends and they had played together as children. Now they are beginning a romantic relationship which wouldn't be a problem except for the fact the Kawika already had a girlfriend who is getting her Ph.D. and plans to write her thesis in Hawaiian. She has a goal of restoring some decimated landscape. She is also Kawika's expert on all things Hawaiian as is his father. There are lots of suspects including pro-Hawaiian groups that are angry that Fortunato destroyed a historic site in his quest to develop the land he bought. There are also concerns about his business practices. His second in command is also coming to realize that Fortunato may not be on the up and up and has been busy hatching plots of his own. Between Kawika's juggling two different women and trying to find his place in two different cultures, he manages to explore and uncover all sorts of secrets on his way to solving the murder. I was a little disappointed about the resolution of the mystery though.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frosta Wings It

    4.33 stars When Ralph Fortunato, an unpopular and controversial Mainland developer, is murdered with an ancient Hawaiian spear driven in a golf course, new detective Kawika Wong finds his chance to prove himself. I read Bones of Hilo as an audiobook produced by Dreamscape Media and narrated by Kurt Kanazawa. His narration was terrific. He kept a good pace, and I appreciate learning the pronunciation of words I did not know. It helped with the imagery, and it drew me in. I usually prefer two narra 4.33 stars When Ralph Fortunato, an unpopular and controversial Mainland developer, is murdered with an ancient Hawaiian spear driven in a golf course, new detective Kawika Wong finds his chance to prove himself. I read Bones of Hilo as an audiobook produced by Dreamscape Media and narrated by Kurt Kanazawa. His narration was terrific. He kept a good pace, and I appreciate learning the pronunciation of words I did not know. It helped with the imagery, and it drew me in. I usually prefer two narrators or more, but Kurt brought it in, and I was satisfied with the way the story was told. Bones of Hilo is a great thriller that feels fresh, compelling, and original. I have never read a book that had murders based on Hawaiian folklore. This book didn’t shy away from grittiness at times, and it didn’t try to sugarcoat acts of violence, prejudice, and racism that happen off-page. At the same time, Redman brought in a work of fiction that is fast-paced and filled with fleshed-out, multidimensional characters. I loved Kawika’s ARC. He is a half Chinese, half Hawaiian man who spent most of his life in the mainland. Even though his dad has never left the islands and Kawika is familiar with parts of the culture, there is a lot he doesn’t know. Being an outsider policeman in Hawaii means he has a lot to learn and a lot to prove. The author did a great job using his journey to organically explain concepts and parts of the culture to the reader that are relevant to the mystery. The mystery itself was entertaining. To me, it felt like a cross between Law and Order Criminal Intent and Death in Paradise. The crime is gruesome, but the characters were so likable. There is an inviting lightness to them, especially Kawika, his parents, and girlfriends. I hope Redman continues to write because I would love to continue to follow Kawika in his Hawaiian journey. Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to NetGalley, Eric Redman, and Dreamscape Media for providing me with a copy of Bones of Hilo.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Bones of Hilo by Eric Redman is a fascinating mystery which takes place on the Island of Hawai’i. Detective Kawika Wong grew up on the Mainland but he is now a detective on the Big Island. He is  inexperienced and wants to prove himself so he is to solve the case his boss just assigned him to. Ralph Fortunato is an American real estate developer who was murdered with an ancient Hawai’ian weapon. Kawika has sharp instincts but sometimes has trouble finding evidence to back up his theories. He becom Bones of Hilo by Eric Redman is a fascinating mystery which takes place on the Island of Hawai’i. Detective Kawika Wong grew up on the Mainland but he is now a detective on the Big Island. He is  inexperienced and wants to prove himself so he is to solve the case his boss just assigned him to. Ralph Fortunato is an American real estate developer who was murdered with an ancient Hawai’ian weapon. Kawika has sharp instincts but sometimes has trouble finding evidence to back up his theories. He becomes intimately involved with the woman who found Fortunato’s body. This decision complicates his personal life and Kawika hopes it does not lead to professional trouble as well. Just as he is a little headway in the investigation, Kawika barely escapes death at the hands of an unknown person. In an effort to protect him, his boss sends him to the Mainland where Kawika finds unexpected information about the deceased. But will these new details help identify Fortunato’s killer? Kawika is a personable young man who is working hard earn his co-worker's respect. He is intuitive and follows his hunches. He is not making a lot of progress in finding out who killed Fortunato, but he is tracking down every lead. Fortunato’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Cushing appears to genuinely shocked when Kawika informs him of Ralph’s death so he is not high on the suspect list.. A Native Hawai’ian group wants to stop the development from proceeding, but do they have anything to do with the murder? And are Kawika’s discoveries about Fortunato’s business dealings on the mainland relevant to his death on the Big Island? Bones of Hilo is an engrossing mystery that is rife with interesting Hawai’ian information. Kawika is a multi-faceted character whose flaws do not lessen his appeal. The murder investigation moves at a steady pace as Kawika hunts for Fortunato’s killer. The Big Island springs vibrantly to life and provides an beautiful backdrop for the novel. With unanticipated plot twists, Eric Redman brings this intriguing mystery to a surprising conclusion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Mensing

    Kawika Wong is a fledgling detective in Hawaii, having made some cultural mistakes in his first job in Seattle. The issues with cultural understanding resonate throughout the book, as Kawika struggles with his ancestry: part Chinese, part Hawaiian, and part Caucasian. His boss, a Japanese man, has taken him under his wing and the relationship between the two plays a critical role in the plot. His longstanding Hawaiian girlfriend and a new lover from the mainland further complicate his search for Kawika Wong is a fledgling detective in Hawaii, having made some cultural mistakes in his first job in Seattle. The issues with cultural understanding resonate throughout the book, as Kawika struggles with his ancestry: part Chinese, part Hawaiian, and part Caucasian. His boss, a Japanese man, has taken him under his wing and the relationship between the two plays a critical role in the plot. His longstanding Hawaiian girlfriend and a new lover from the mainland further complicate his search for identity. As he deals with trying to figure out who he is at his core, Kawika is given the lead role investigating the murder of a wealthy real estate developer in Hawaii, which further complicates cultural issues as the man was killed using an ancient Hawaiian spear in what appears to be a ritual killing. The author, Redman, does a great job of describing the conflicts Kawika uncovers: cultural, personal, financial, and moral. The characters are well developed and the landscapes are beautifully rendered. In most cases, I expect that listening to a book with culturally diverse characters will be an advantage over simply reading the book. In this case, however, I'm not sure the reader's rendition was a positive addition. The voices that he used for the various characters were distracting rather than helpful and when a native Hawaiian was speaking, the narrator almost always gave him or her a sort of angry tone. I liked the book very much, and there was certainly no trouble following who was speaking with the different voices assumed by the narrator, but I would have better enjoyed a less strident tone for the native Hawaiians. All in all, the book was entertaining, keeping my interest well into the night as I stayed up to find out how it all ended,

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Bones of Hilo is a modern police procedural set in Hawaii by Eric Redman. Released 8th June 2021 by Crooked Lane Books, it's 336 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. This is a well written procedural with a stately moving plot, lots (and lots) of cultural and scenic background intertwined with an intricate murder and fraud on a large scale complete with subplots which reverberate back to the time of Hawaiian cultural inde Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Bones of Hilo is a modern police procedural set in Hawaii by Eric Redman. Released 8th June 2021 by Crooked Lane Books, it's 336 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. This is a well written procedural with a stately moving plot, lots (and lots) of cultural and scenic background intertwined with an intricate murder and fraud on a large scale complete with subplots which reverberate back to the time of Hawaiian cultural independence. There are a large number of characters, but the author does a skillful job of keeping them distinct from one another. The dialogue and characterization are much better than average and I enjoyed reading Detective Kawika's challenges both personal and professional. He's an intelligent and likable guy and importantly, a believable character who sometimes lets his actions get the best of his better nature, which gets him in trouble. The denouement was satisfying and mostly believable. The language throughout is about average for a modern procedural (R-rated) and it includes some potentially triggering non-consensual sex and some light body horror with ritualistic overtones and a spot of mutilation at the very end of the book. The author is a fine writer and writes deftly and intelligently. Four stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  15. 5 out of 5

    The Reading Raccoon

    Book Review: Bones of Hilo By Eric Redman Bones of Hilo is a mystery novel about a young Hawaiian detective and a troubling case involving a dead real estate developer. Kawika Wong is given the Fortunato murder case while the rest of the department is working on solving another high profile series of murders. His commanding officer is hoping his status as a resident native Hawaiian will help give him the edge on this touchy case of a real estate developer murdered with an ancient Hawaiian relic. I Book Review: Bones of Hilo By Eric Redman Bones of Hilo is a mystery novel about a young Hawaiian detective and a troubling case involving a dead real estate developer. Kawika Wong is given the Fortunato murder case while the rest of the department is working on solving another high profile series of murders. His commanding officer is hoping his status as a resident native Hawaiian will help give him the edge on this touchy case of a real estate developer murdered with an ancient Hawaiian relic. Instead Detective Wong is dragged into a case complicated with sex, greed, corruption, heritage sites and native rights. What could have been a pretty straightforward police procedural novel with a lot of good information about Hawaii and it’s people is sadly weighed down by the main character’s love life. For some inexplicable reason he decides to start a sexual relationship with the woman who discovers the body. Her entire character and how she propositions him over dinner is the most “male wish fulfillment” plot device I’ve come across in a long time. If that’s not enough he’s two timing his pretty serious girlfriend while he also uses both women for help with the case. So, basically he’s gross. I wish I could have enjoyed this more but I found the case increasingly convoluted and the portrayal of the female characters off-putting. 3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  16. 5 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

    Detective Kawika Wong has just been pulled off a case where someone has been scattering body parts on an isolated beach on a Hawaiian island and asked to personally take over Ralph Fortunato, a mainland developer, whose been found murdered by a Hawaiian spear, on his unpopular resort. Kawika is a loner, a Native Hawaiian who led a brief career on the Mainland in Seattle that ended in disaster and whose come back to Hawai’i to revive his police career. As Kawika begins his investigation, he reali Detective Kawika Wong has just been pulled off a case where someone has been scattering body parts on an isolated beach on a Hawaiian island and asked to personally take over Ralph Fortunato, a mainland developer, whose been found murdered by a Hawaiian spear, on his unpopular resort. Kawika is a loner, a Native Hawaiian who led a brief career on the Mainland in Seattle that ended in disaster and whose come back to Hawai’i to revive his police career. As Kawika begins his investigation, he realizes just how hated Fortunato was, having sparked a serious controversy with a local Hawaiian cultural group, over building his resort on a culturally significant piece of land. Kawika must use all of his resources, his wits and the help of other people, to discover who murdered Fortunato quickly, before his career and the case blow up. The novels primary feature is explaining Hawaiian history and culture, which was honestly the highlight of the novel for me. There were a lot of references to old mystery books including Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown that was pretty fun to see being resurrected. This was a really decent mystery novel, with a tortured detective whose also a bit of a shit. Although it was a little slow and dragged in places, I did still end up enjoying myself.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cindi

    Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for providing a free e-audio ARC copy of this book in exchange for my review. I am one of very few who don't dream of living in or vacationing in Hawaii - it's a beautiful state to see photos of, but I've never had a desire to go there. But, I find books, movies & tv set in Hawaii very interesting. The overall attitude of people there, their way of life and just Hawaiians in media. I've read a few books about Hawaiian folk lore and mythology and r Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for providing a free e-audio ARC copy of this book in exchange for my review. I am one of very few who don't dream of living in or vacationing in Hawaii - it's a beautiful state to see photos of, but I've never had a desire to go there. But, I find books, movies & tv set in Hawaii very interesting. The overall attitude of people there, their way of life and just Hawaiians in media. I've read a few books about Hawaiian folk lore and mythology and really enjoyed them. So I was excited to get approved to listen to this book and review it. While I didn't find the main characters or the story development so much different than the other police procedural books, adding the Hawaiian angle was very enjoyable for me. And it was interesting to have a main character cop who didn't quite fit in, needing help and working to solve the crime. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a little different police procedural book or is just interesting in trying out something a little different. And the audio narration was well done. It added a nice touch to the overall story. Will certainly look for the author and narrator again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Detective Kawika Wong has a Hawaii cop for a father and a mother from Washington state married to a judge, which meant that he spent his school years on the mainland and summers in Hawaii. And he loves the old school mystery detectives and Poe. The imagery is to die for (sorry) but some of the gore and minimal erotica is disquieting. But the exceptional and quite realistic characters as well as the plot make it all to the good. I was riveted despite the length! I geek history and this one is jus Detective Kawika Wong has a Hawaii cop for a father and a mother from Washington state married to a judge, which meant that he spent his school years on the mainland and summers in Hawaii. And he loves the old school mystery detectives and Poe. The imagery is to die for (sorry) but some of the gore and minimal erotica is disquieting. But the exceptional and quite realistic characters as well as the plot make it all to the good. I was riveted despite the length! I geek history and this one is just full of well researched cultural and social history with a side order of the linguistics of the islands' language. I came for the mystery (and Hawaii) but stayed for the mystery, characters, history, and some intangibles. I requested and received a free temporary copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrea A

    My thanks to Net Galley and Dreamscape Media for allowing me to review this audio. Detective Kawika Wong is called upon to solve the murder of developer Ralph Fortunato by his boss, Captain Terry Tanaka. What's odd about it? The victim.has an old Hawaiian spear thru his heart! With assistance from his father and a witness to.the crime, he tries to solve the murder. I thought thought this was just ok.for me. The premise of the murder drew me in, but I felt I was getting too much information on the My thanks to Net Galley and Dreamscape Media for allowing me to review this audio. Detective Kawika Wong is called upon to solve the murder of developer Ralph Fortunato by his boss, Captain Terry Tanaka. What's odd about it? The victim.has an old Hawaiian spear thru his heart! With assistance from his father and a witness to.the crime, he tries to solve the murder. I thought thought this was just ok.for me. The premise of the murder drew me in, but I felt I was getting too much information on the personal life of the detective, which I didn't need, like him cheating on 2 women. Some of the Hawaiian back.history was interesting, but it lost me a bit to the story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gail Coffey

    This was a page turner, couldn’t put it down. Did not want it to end. Mr. Redman captures the spoken and unspoken nuances that convey the cultural and communication differences between Hawaiians and haoles, within the law enforcement community, within families. He captures the soul conflicts of those who are truly present to their own choices—and he does all of this while keeping the action flowing and the pages turning. If you like mysteries and the Big Island, don’t miss this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    It's a gripping and exciting police procedural, solid mystery and great descriptions of the places. I'm not a fan of the female characters as they're a sort of appendix to a man. I thoroughly enjoyed it but the female characters are a bit underdeveloped. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine It's a gripping and exciting police procedural, solid mystery and great descriptions of the places. I'm not a fan of the female characters as they're a sort of appendix to a man. I thoroughly enjoyed it but the female characters are a bit underdeveloped. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Tadlock

    The description of this book had me super excited about this book. Unfortunately, I found it dry and a bit boring. I was able to finish it but it took me several days. For this being a legal thriller I was not thrilled.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Miss M

    Normally I wouldn’t bother to comment but I had high hopes for this one and was just amazed at how poor the writing is. Also, a very unconvincing portrayal of Hawaiian police procedures. At least I hope it’s inaccurate! I made it 35% through and feel two stars is generous.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    A page turning mystery that transports you to the Big Island. A fun summer read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I really liked these characters. Hopefully, a sequel is in the works?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Fun audiobook to listen to with the local pigeon, Hawaiian names and places. It was interesting learning some history & but I was saddened by the greed of mankind & various industries.

  27. 5 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    *received for free from netgalley for honest review* Not really sure how i feel about this book, it was pretty good but long.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charlsa

    This is a police procedural that focuses on a young and largely inexperienced Detective Kawika Wong. He is assigned a murder case specifically because he is "Hawaiian". He grew up splitting his time between Hawaii and the mainland. As a result, he is not accepted in either society. He struggles to solve the crime and gets involved with two women along the way. He relies on his father's knowledge of Hawaiian tradition which I found interesting. This story is less about the murder to be solved and This is a police procedural that focuses on a young and largely inexperienced Detective Kawika Wong. He is assigned a murder case specifically because he is "Hawaiian". He grew up splitting his time between Hawaii and the mainland. As a result, he is not accepted in either society. He struggles to solve the crime and gets involved with two women along the way. He relies on his father's knowledge of Hawaiian tradition which I found interesting. This story is less about the murder to be solved and more about the varying versions of societal prejudice and/or racism he faces as he tries to solve the case. He is likeable enough as a character. The story spends more time telling us rather than showing us via the plot that he faces this racism. It had the elements of a good story but needed better development. I read this as an audiobook, and the narration was quite good. Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Audio for the ALC of this book. My opinion is my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James

    A police procedural concerning Detective Kawika Wong of the Hilo police department. (It should be noted that Hawaiian police eat malasadas and not donuts). The story was interesting, the setting could not have been in a better place - the Island of Hawaii - and I thought it was a clever plot. Underlying the procedural are two themes - Wong's relationship with two women and racial tension between mainlanders and Native Hawaiians. I thought the author could have been more sensitive to both themes A police procedural concerning Detective Kawika Wong of the Hilo police department. (It should be noted that Hawaiian police eat malasadas and not donuts). The story was interesting, the setting could not have been in a better place - the Island of Hawaii - and I thought it was a clever plot. Underlying the procedural are two themes - Wong's relationship with two women and racial tension between mainlanders and Native Hawaiians. I thought the author could have been more sensitive to both themes and his discussion about them was distracting.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Keith Vient

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