cover image Retribution: A Koa Kāne Hawaiian Mystery

Retribution: A Koa Kāne Hawaiian Mystery

Robert McCaw. Oceanview, $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60809-556-8

McCaw’s fifth mystery featuring Hawaiian Police Chief Detective Koa (after 2022’s Treachery Times Two) is a labored misfire. Koa is in the crosshairs of the newly elected Hawaii Island mayor Bobbie Satō. During the mayoral campaign, Koa arrested Satō’s teenage son, who’d been stalking a former girlfriend, and Koa now fears that he’ll be ousted from his post. His position becomes more fraught after his younger brother, Ikaika, becomes the prime suspect in a fatal stabbing; despite Ikaika’s past history of violence and the presence of his fingerprints on the knife, Koa is certain he’s being framed. Koa intervenes in the inquiry to exonerate Ikaika, a decision that coincides with an attempt on the life of a friend and colleague who may be being targeted by terrorists she tangled with in a prior posting. The excessively busy plot isn’t helped by subpar prose (“Soon, he thought, he would feel the kick of the weapon as it sent revenge hurdling toward the object of his wrath”). Series fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Mel Parker, Mel Parker Books. (June)