Friday, August 16, 2013

SAVING PARADISE by Mike Bond (#Review & #Giveaway)

Author: Mike Bond 
Published November 20, 2012 by Mandevilla Press
Edition: paperback, 302 pages 
Genre: contemporary novel, suspense, thriller, crime fiction 
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Buy it on Amazon

"When tracking evil, follow the money."

As a former Special Forces soldier deployed in Afghanistan, Sam Hawkins (aka Pono) has witnessed death, loss, and horrendous tragedies aplenty. Convicted for the murder of Afghani civilians, Pono has served some jail time in a military prison, yet another dehumanizing experience. Now he is out on parole, surfing, writing, and teaching foster care kids how to ride the waves. There is probably no better place than Hawaii to keep the demons of those haunting memories at bay. Hawaii is home. Hawaii is paradise. Or is it? When Pono stumbles upon the lifeless body of a young and beautiful woman floating off the coast of Waikiki, he is stunned. For a man who has seen more war casualties than he would ever care to count, the drowning of Sylvia Gordon, investigative reporter for The Honolulu Post, strikes him as particularly heart-wrenching and odd. According to the initial police report, the journalist has been floating dead in the ocean for at least six hours (strangely without being devoured by the sharks) and her lungs are filled with fresh water (not ocean water). Nonetheless, the local police dismisses the case as accidental death. 
Pono lives his life in the pono way, the righteous way ('pono' is the Hawaiian word for righteousness), loving and protecting others: emotionally drawn by the haunting memory of the reporter's lifeless body, he sets out to investigate the truth behind her death, and what he finds out is bone-chilling. Sylvia was on the trail of a billion-dollar, taxpayer-subsidized scam, and she was ready to blow the whistle to the press. Governor, electric company, investment bankers, foreign developers, industrial wind companies, all masquerading as environmentalists, are trying to impose an industrial-wind and high-voltage undersea cable project ('Big Wind') on Molokai and Lanai, the most beautiful islands in the Pacific Ocean. Two major problems: Big Wind would have a terrible environmental, human health and social impact, without even producing any significant reduction of emissions and fossil fuel use. Moreover, the people involved in this project won't stop in front of anybody or anything (by means of lobbying, blackmail, bribery, intimidation, homicide) in order to get their money-making-machine running. For Pono is Kabul all over again: big western corporation and politicians are no better than Afghani drug lords. They're even worse, actually.

"...we've been given a pearl and [we] are crushing it into concrete.

Pono is morally committed to save the paradise of his fathers, even if that means having to use his military training, a few not-so-legal tricks, and all the help he can get from fellow veterans and questionable characters. His frenzied quest for justice will take him through an intricate web of conspiracy and corruption, misleading clues, unpredictable twists, and a list of possible suspects so long it made my head spin and threw me off-balance. The aspect of SAVING PARADISE that intrigued me the most is the thematic poignancy. There is, in fact, a strong connection between the facts narrated in this crime-story and the author's personal history. In 2012, Mike Bond, international energy expert, environmentalist, war correspondent and human rights advocate, exposed a very inconvenient truth about the use of wind as a source of renewable energy. Bond's environmental message is strongly delivered using the narrative formula of a hard-boiled detective story: the raw prose, the gritty dialogues, the pulse-racing action, and the unhinged avenger trope will certainly appeal to all fans of 'conspiracy theory' thriller novels.


"Let the truth be told." 

Mike Bond was called the "master of existential thriller" by BBC and "one of the 21st century's most exciting authors" by the Washington Times. He is a descendant of the Hawaiian people and its early missionaries, a bestselling novelist, international energy expert, war and human rights correspondent and award-winning poet who has lived ad worked in many remote, dangerous parts of the world. His critically acclaimed novels depict the innate hunger of the human heart for good, the intense joy of love, the terror and fury of battle, the vanishing beauty of the natural world, the sinister vagaries of international politics and multinational corporations.
His Aloha State thriller, SAVING PARADISE (Mandevilla Press, 2012), played a major role in stopping the Big Wind and the Inter-island Cable Project in Hawaii. This project would have destroyed major parts of Molokai, Lanai and Maui with more than 40 square miles of wind turbines 42 stories high, all connected by high voltage cables through the Hawaii National Humpback Whale Sanctuary. In addition to drastic environmental and social effects on all three islands, it would have had a catastrophic impact on whales, dolphins and other ocean species including endangered monk seals and turtles.

***Review copy graciously offered by the publicist in return of an unbiased and honest opinion.

The publicist is offering 1 complimentary copy of SAVING PARADISE to a follower (US resident) of this blog. Please leave a message in the comment section below for a chance to win. Good luck!


  1. What an interesting review of what I'm sure is a fabulous book! Thanks for sharing! I've been learning so much about Hawaii from our common friend, Sherry Gorman, lately. So much to learn!

    1. This novel will open your eyes, Maryellen...we, the people, always know only half of the story. Never. Stop. Digging. For. THE. Truth.

  2. Hi it's so nice to meet you! I just wanted to stop by to say THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE FOLLOW! KAKLFDJSAL >////< IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. I am so happy that your follow has led me to your blog because i will definitely be looking forward to more of your posts. ^^

    1. You're so sweet, Delaney! Thank you for the follow! I was on your blog just now...your latest post cracked me up :)

  3. Just when I was trying to narrow down my "to-read" list, I come up with reviews like this. I definitely have to get a copy of this one. Extremely tantalizing!

  4. ehehehe...sorry ;) so many books, so little time...a good problem to have!