☆☆☆☆ – Fantastic

Synopsis by Goodreads:

When a beautiful journalist drowns mysteriously off Waikiki, Hawaii, Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins, now a well-known surfer and international correspondent for surfing magazines, soon gets embroiled in trying to find out why she died. What he quickly learns makes him a target for murder or life in prison as a cabal of powerful corporations, foreign killers and crooked politicians places the blame on him. Haunted by memories of Afghanistan, and determined to protect the Hawaii he loves from dirty politics tied to huge destructive energy developments, Pono turns to Special Forces buddies and his own covert skills to fight his deadly enemies, trying to both save himself and find her killers. Alive with the sights, sounds and history of Hawaii, SAVING PARADISE is also a deeply rich portrait of what Pono calls the seamy side of paradise, and an exciting thriller of politics, lies and remorseless murder.


My Review

This is a book that looks at politics and global issues that affect everyone and the planet, and the greed of individuals to gain wealth at any cost. There are already questions about the cost effectiveness of wind farms, and although this is fiction it doesn’t take much imagination to see that the world runs on profits and personal gain. What Bond does is to suggest the complex web of corporations, countries and individuals that make up the players.

A sedate start leads into a fast paced and exciting journey, with several great characters helping him find the killer of Sylvia Gordon a beautiful journalist. The hunt turns into something much more complex and dangerous as he looks for the truth about the proposed Big Wind project and the connection to her death.

I love the way Bond explains the complexities of the plot within the novel itself

 You look for inconsistencies in the pattern. But was all inconsistencies. There was no pattern.

How on earth can anyone come up with something so complex and seemingly unconnected and still make the reader feel that they have a reasonable understanding of what is happening?

Pono Hawkins is the kind of guy a girl would like to know; strong, sensitive and a free spirit. He loves many women and they love him! The only character I was unsure of was Charity and whose side she was on, but this is something that Bond throws around: everybody has parts to them that are less likeable at times.  I like how he does not paint characters as evil or bad, but allows the reader their own opinion based on their own morals of behaviour, so that the ‘good’ guys are not necessarily ‘moral’.

Bond describes some great incidental characters that made me smile;

..six feet two with a Hawaiian barrel chest, a clan tattoo down his arm and a smile so big a boat could sink in it.

I also love how in amongst the fast paced action he takes time to offer the peace that Pono experiences:

The naked eye can see ten thousand stars in a true night sky. Not in a city or suburban sky, but in the sky the way God made it – vast and black afire with stars and planets, asteroids and galaxies……now hidden from Oahu’s glowing melanoma.

….Even in my present predicament I was thankful for this star-spangled night, its vision of eternal life and space in which we’ll probably be the tiniest of unremembered extinctions. And considering the likelihood of my own approaching extinction I took a last glance at the heavens and turned back to the wheel.

…The swells were long and easy the ocean green and lovely, the fragrance of the universe and the feeling of being there in the existential flow, was with me.

These are such deep personal observations and feelings. Bond describes the awe of a place not merely by words but through how it makes the main character feel.

Reading this I am struck by the wisdom of his writing, Sylvia, like so many journalists was killed because she was trying to find the truth, (which is relevant today with the recent barbaric act of the beheading of the reporter James Foley by IS).

It was fast, thrilling and exciting and I eagerly devoured every words to reach the conclusion and I was not disappointed.


To ask what makes this book different is the wrong is the question, most important is what makes this author different.

To me Mike Bond is a man who writes with his soul.  What makes a cracking good book for me is not just the plot, it can be the most exciting story in the world but if the words are not felt, then it doesn’t do it for me.

Imagine sitting in a room on a winters night, a log fire is burning in the grate, the light of the flames flickering a warm glow, you and Mike Bond are sitting comfortably with a hot drink and he is telling you how it is. You are focussed on his voice with the crackling of the fire in the background. It is pure liquid gold and the words are deep and meaningful, what he is saying touches you deep inside and you experience the understanding in what he is telling you. That’s how I feel when I read his books.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review


  • ebook, 302 pages
  • Published November 20th 2012( first published January 1st 2012)
  • Publisher:  Mandevilla Press 
  • ISBN 1627040056 (ISBN13: 9781627040051)