Silversword (John Caine Mysteries)

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9780312273026: Silversword (John Caine Mysteries)
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In previous accounts, Charles Knief's hero, John Caine, seemed indestructible. But in this fourth adventure of the man whom the Boston Globe described as the heir apparent to Travis McGee, we find that even he can't take a gunshot in the back and escape with a few bruises. We meet him far from his beloved Hawaii protecting his friend Chawlie, the Honolulu gangster, at the funeral of a rival Triad leader in San Francisco. Just as the coffin is placed in the hearse, a not totally unexpected shooting breaks out.

Caine succeeds in keeping Chawlie intact and saving the life of Chawlie's number one son, and his reward is a long stay in a San Francisco hospital and the enmity of a female police detective with her own agenda. It isn't long before Caine learns that he is her prime suspect in a murder case.

Back home, convalescing in Waikiki, Caine finds that there are better ways to pass the time than watching daytime TV when his old friend Hawaiian Police chief Kimo presents him with a new case. Donna Wong, a young scientist, has made an important discovery under the waters of the Pacific--one that could turn the history of Hawaii upside down--but her faculty advisor is planning to steal it from her. Can Caine look into the man's background to find out if he's ever done this before?

"Of course," says Caine. "It's easy."

But nothing is easy for John Caine. The California detective arrives in Hawaii to take him back to the mainland for trial. Dodging her, he learns that his friend is threatened with charges of extortion, kidnapping, and murder. And the imminent eruption of a new volcano threatens the site of Ms. Wong's discovery. Despite his still weakened condition, Caine must run to the rescue, battered but still dangerous. And another bunch of bad guys learn an important lesson: Never count John Caine out.

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About the Author:

Charles Knief is a former airborne soldier, pilot, and engineer. he has traveled widely and lived in Hawaii for a number of years. His first John Caine adventure, Diamond Head, won the SMP/ PWA contest for Best First Private Eye novel in 1995. He and his wife currently live in Irvine, California. His web site is www.charlesknife.com.

From Publishers Weekly:

PI John Caine's fourth adventure opens promisingly with a wild street shootout at a Triad funeral in San Francisco, but the brakes are stomped when the Vietnam-era Navy SEAL catches a round in his back and the medics take over. Many chapters of rest and rumination follow. All Caine wants to do is get back to his sailboat, berthed in Pearl Harbor, and heal his wounds, but a female cop charges him with murder for the death of an innocent bystander at the melee. The body counts racked up in his previous exploits, plus the new incident, may have given Caine a reservation at the gray bar hotel. Against this fairly realistic handling of legal maneuvering and recovery (including the realization that he experienced life-altering post-traumatic stress disorder after Nam) hovers the shadowy question of who ordered the sniper to open fire. Knief (Diamond Head; Sand Dollars; Emerald Flash) also offers his weakened hero a superbly romantic case back in Hawaii: the discovery of the underwater tomb of the legendary King Kamehameha, filled with treasure from a wrecked Spanish galleon (which proves the islands were visited before Cook) all threatened by a newly erupting volcano. These plot lines never quite mesh but Knief keeps everything moving so that many readers may never notice though fans of the sensitive warrior sub-genre might experience a vague wish for a little less sensitive and a lot more warrior before reaching the last page.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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