Death of a Messenger by Robert McCaw

Title: Death of a Messenger (Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery #1)

Author: Robert McCaw

Published on: 5 January 2021

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Death of a Messenger is the first book Robert McCaw’s Koa Kãne Hawaiian Mystery series.

An anonymous 911 caller reports a body at one of the lava tubes in Pohakuloa, the army’s live-fire training area. Koa reaches the scene of crime and discovers the body’s been mutilated – something to resemble a ritualistic killing. An ancient relic is found near the body – the murder weapon.

No mispers report is filed and the body’s decomposed beyond recognition; Koa wonders if the victim wasn’t an islander. Days later, someone from Alice Observatory reports one of their colleagues missing – the victim. Koa stumbles upon a gang of high-tech archeological thieves – they are trying to sell the ancient relics of the islanders to the highest bidder. Torn between the sovereignty advocates, lies and grave diggers, will Koa be able to solve this mystery before the killer strikes again?

What a fantastic mystery! Set in the beautiful islands of Hawaii, this book is the perfect mix of culture, language – and crime. Be it the character portrayal or the setting, Robert McCaw has done an excellent job in keeping the readers hooked onto the story until the end.


First things first, the mystery behind the murder – can I say, it is simply mind-blowing? Who would have wanted to kill the victim in a gruesome manner – similar to depict a ritualistic killer? The victim was a Hawaiian native, so what went wrong? An ancient relic as a murder weapon and a cave that was once an adze workshop – be ready for a historical trip to the past.

I really love the way Koa unravels the mystery – one step at a time. The grave digger certainly knows how to make full use of the technology – making Koa and his team’s job tougher. Keep mystery aside and we have a dash of romance – Koa and Nalani. Nalani also appears in the other books of this series – in spite of a significant age difference, the two get along really well and we have Nalani supporting Koa in times of need. (An Open secret: Koa killed his father’s killer and destroyed the evidence.)

The suspects list is long and the reason behind the brutal murder is sinister enough; the identity of the killer becomes obvious when Koa finds the missing piece of the puzzle. I really loved the action-movie-like ending.

Death of a Messenger is an engrossing and mind-blowing police procedural. I highly recommend mystery lovers to give this book a read – you won’t be disappointed.

Many thanks to Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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