Book Review: Mike Bond's "Saving Paradise" a must read thriller

Bestselling author Mike Bond delivers a gripping tale of money, corruption and murder in Hawaii. Photo: Mike Bond's Hawaii-based thriller "Saving Paradise" is an action packed, must-read novel.

HONOLULU, April 5, 2013 – Taking readers behind the alluring façade of Hawaii’s pristine beaches and tourist traps into a festering underworld of murder, intrigue and corruption is bestselling author Mike Bond’s newest and must-read novel, Saving Paradise.  

Set against the backdrop of the present day Aloha State, Bond’s novel masterfully communicates through fiction what Hawaii residents know in real life but dare not say – that powerful tides of megacorporations, organized crime, unions and the politicians they control rule mercilessly in the shadows of palm trees.

Saving Paradise puts the reader in the shoes of Pono Hawkins, a surfer and combat veteran who struggles daily with inner demons from the Global War on Terror and the moral conflict of returning to a Hawaii rife with the same corruption America supposedly fought abroad. Accidentally discovering the body of a beautiful investigative journalist washed up on a beach, Pono embarks on a quest that implicates all and raises more questions than it answers.

Just who is at the center of the maelstrom of corruption in Hawaii? Banks? Energy firms? Chinese syndicates? Local public-private corporations? The governor? Perhaps even the president? Like so many modern scandals, everyone is potentially guilty yet no one is accountable. Saving Paradise is a work of fiction that forces the reader to ask real life questions about the structure of our world and true to life, just when you think you’ve figured it out – the story’s powerful ending proves you “dead” wrong.

As both a political scientist and a former Democratic committee staffer at the Hawaii State Legislature, I found myself captive to chill throughout my entire read of Saving Paradise. Though the names and organizations in Saving Paradise are purely fictitious, Bond’s storytelling displays an incredible perspicacity for real life insider workings that rivet the novel with kernels of truth.

Bond delivers a knockout story you won’t want to miss. Saving Paradise is available for purchase at your local bookstore and also online from and Barnes & Noble.

If you are in the Hawaiian Islands next month, Bond will be a featured speaker at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival on Sunday, May 18 at 3pm in the Mauka Author’s Pavilion. More information about Mike Bond and his other novels is available on his website.

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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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