Monday, October 05, 2015

Killing Maine

The first time I picked up Mike Bond’s Killing Maine all I really knew about the novel was that it is the second book in the author’s Pono Hawkins crime thriller series.  But because I had read and enjoyed Saving Paradise (the first book in the series) so much back in 2013, I thought I knew pretty much what to expect.  As it turns out, my assumptions were not even close because Killing Maine is a whole lot more than I figured on.

Killing Maine is an angry novel and Mike Bond is an angry author.  Bond is not happy about a segment of the energy industry that declares itself to be environmentally friendly, but in reality destroys the environment, slaughters wildlife, and drives people from their homes wherever it leaves its dirty footprints.  Let’s call it “Big Wind,” because those profiting from the construction of wind turbines to be used for the generation of electrical power are certainly full of exactly that according to Mike Bond and Pono Hawkins, the chief protagonist of Killing Maine. 

Pono Hawkins is a well-known surfer, not only in Hawaii where he lives, but all over the world.  As Killing Maine begins though, he is in Maine, a long way from the Hawaiian beaches he loves so dearly – and he is freezing his butt off.  But Pono is a Special Forces vet, and when any other Special Forces vet needs his help, Pono is going to answer that call.  And that’s why someone is shooting at him today in a remote Maine forest where he is almost as likely to freeze to death as to die from the shooter’s aim. 

Like something out of The War of the Worlds, Maine has been invaded and conquered by the hundreds of gigantic wind turbines that are lined up in rows that make them appear to be marching across the clear-cut countryside.  They are, in reality, spreading so fast that no homeowner in the area is free from their threat – and the turbines are so environmentally unfriendly that no human being, and very few animals, can live comfortably anywhere around them because of the irritating sound tones they almost constantly produce.  Now a man who once saved Pono’s life in combat is in prison, charged with the murder of a Big Wind promoter.  Pono knows that Bucky has to be innocent, so even though he really can’t stand the guy, when Bucky’s wife (a one-time lover of Pono’s) explains the situation to him, he knows he has to help.  His personal honor code leaves him no choice.

Author Mike Bond
Thus begins the second round of Pono’s battle to expose Big Wind for what it is.  But even though he survived his first round with them in Saving Paradise, Pono is going to find it very difficult to repeat that success.  And even if he does survive, chances are good that he will spend most of the rest of his life in prison because Maine’s corrupt cops and politicians are trying to hang every new felony in the state on him while he is there working to free Bucky.

Like the first book in this series, Killing Maine is quite a ride for those who love good crime thrillers.  But, too, like its predecessor, it is much more than just another rousing crime thriller.  This is another of Mike Bond’s environmental eye-openers that will leave readers a lot wiser about alternative energy plans, state and federal politics, and the huge profits that are being stolen from the pockets of American taxpayers by the scam artists who often surround an industry like this one.  I can’t recommend this one strongly enough.  

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