Killing Maine (Pono Hawkins #2), by Mike Bond

Three stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mike Bond, and Mandevilla Press for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

In my first experience with a Bond novel, the premise seemed highly entertaining and I hoped the politics would juxtapose themselves nicely with a fast-paced story. Pono Hawkins is called away from his idyllic life in Hawaii to help a Special Forces comrade whose found himself in a load of trouble in the frigid backcountry of Maine. Bucky Franklin is accused of the murdering local politician Ronnie Dalt as Hawkins finds himself fighting two major battles for which he is ill-equipped: helping the man who sent him to a military prison and tackling the high-impact world of wind power politics. Pono reconnects with Bucky’s wife, Lexie, whom Hawkins stole during the aforementioned incarceration period, as they attempt to find Bucky an alibi. Pono crosses paths with an old flame who is now a fierce attorney and Dalt’s widow, Abigail, both of whom help the cause in their own way while sharing his bed and body. Pono becomes the new target of a set of mysterious killers who are dead-set against poking around into the Dalt murder. With his sordid past, Pono becomes the local authority’s new target for acts of vandalism and kidnapping, leaving yet another battle in his path as time is running out. With corruption rife and the authorities turning a deaf ear, Pono must use his love quadrangle to his advantage, as the truth comes to light. An interesting read, pitting politics and honesty against one another in a way the reader may not have seen before. Bond uses his soapbox throughout, which may help give the reader a better idea of corporate America’s domestic warring, with politicians as their soldiers.

The political aspects of the novel lured me in, at least when I read the summary. However, once I delved deeper and tried to match it up with the story, things fell flat. I cannot put my finger on it, but Bond did not utilise Pono in a way to pull me in and his flitting characteristics seemed more off-putting than alluring to me. Wind Power and its corrupt nature did little to keep me sated, as Pono pieced together the mystery behind a local murder and uncovered a deeper tale of corrupt politicians and greased palms. The premise could have made for an explosive novel, forcing page-turning well into the night. Instead, I am left thankful that I can close this book and hope to get the literary wind back in my sails, pun intended.

Interesting idea, Mr. Bond, though far from stellar in its presentation.

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