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Fire and Vengeance (Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery) by Robert McCaw

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Disaster tends to bring out the best and worst in people. For Chief Detective Koa Kane of Hilo, Hawaii, it also happens at the most inconvenient time. His Police Chief is away in California, preparing for gall bladder surgery. Being the senior-most member of the local force means he is now in charge and has to deal with whatever issue falls upon his community and the media. As far as Koa is concerned, all that is above his pay grade.

Weather frequently causes chains of problems from a hurricane with winds, thunder with lightning, and torrential downpours causing flash flooding.

The fissures on volcanoes open due to the cold and immense amount of water mixing with the magma reservoir creating steam under pressure.

At KonaWili School on Hualalai Mountain, Koa, along with his colleagues and firefighters, discover the dead and injured children and teachers. What could cause this disaster? Was it a bomb, a terrorist, or what?

The school site resembles a war zone. Students and teachers are in front of the building, drenched and injured. Helicopters from above are not safe flying in this weather. What is causing the problem? What is happening?

Emergency crews arrive and begin to rescue whatever children and teachers encountered. Dirty yellow smoke engulfs the entire back of the building. Gases, possibly poisonous, are burning nostrils and eyes, creat a smell known to the community. The volcano was erupting under an elementary school.

Author Robert McCaw has masterfully created a realistic setting with authentic characters with his new novel, Fire and Vengeance. The characterization in creating Koa is phenomenal. Koa has to deal with his family to solve the problem of his criminal younger brother, who tends to hate him while also dealing effectively with his mother and siblings. of course, and the investigation is still ongoing. Added to that is the problem of dealing with powerful and political suspects keep showing up dead just before he questions them.

The novel, Fire and Vengeance, has so many elements of a masterful tale. A highly addictive plot, phenomenal characterization, a hook that immediately places the reader in the story, and easily relatable storyline, and education of living on a volcano and Hawaii all excel in Fire and Vengeance.
Robert McCaw, the author, has traveled the world since his childhood growing up in a military family and naturally joined the service himself, serving as a U.S. Army lieutenant. He earned his degree in law from the University of Virginia. He has lived on the island of Hawaii for over twenty-years while currently living in New York City.

Fire and Vengeance is the third book in Robert McCaw’s Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery Series. The previous two books are Off the Grid and Death Messenger. I found the novel as one of the best mysteries of the year. The story has elements making it both realistic and compelling.

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