SILVERSWORD

Charles Knief, Author
Charles Knief, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-97058-1
Reviewed on: 05/07/2001
Release date: 05/01/2000
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-312-19866-4
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-2941-7
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PI John Caine's fourth adventure opens promisingly with a wild street shootout at a Triad funeral in San Francisco, but the brakes are stomped when the Vietnam-era Navy SEAL catches a round in his back and the medics take over. Many chapters of rest and rumination follow. All Caine wants to do is get back to his sailboat, berthed in Pearl Harbor, and heal his wounds, but a female cop charges him with murder for the death of an innocent bystander at the melee. The body counts racked up in his previous exploits, plus the new incident, may have given Caine a reservation at the gray bar hotel. Against this fairly realistic handling of legal maneuvering and recovery (including the realization that he experienced life-altering post-traumatic stress disorder after Nam) hovers the shadowy question of who ordered the sniper to open fire. Knief (Diamond Head; Sand Dollars; Emerald Flash) also offers his weakened hero a superbly romantic case back in Hawaii: the discovery of the underwater tomb of the legendary King Kamehameha, filled with treasure from a wrecked Spanish galleon (which proves the islands were visited before Cook)—all threatened by a newly erupting volcano. These plot lines never quite mesh but Knief keeps everything moving so that many readers may never notice—though fans of the sensitive warrior sub-genre might experience a vague wish for a little less sensitive and a lot more warrior before reaching the last page. (June 4)

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