The Fire Thief by Debra Bokur

This book is a cross between a police procedural and a cozy mystery. It is supposed to be at least; however, it works better as an immersive experience of Hawaiian culture. It has a dual person narrative which could have been tapered to a single person if the focus was only on the mystery, but that is where this book differs.
One of the narrations, the smaller part, is done by Walter. He is an older member of the community as well as law enforcement. It’s through his eyes that we see the changes on the islands, the hierarchy and the interactional differences by people of a younger, more hip type (like his second in command). He provides context and introduces us to the case, but the story is all about his niece, Kali.
Kali is a contradiction that depicts the new age in Hawaii. She is part of the old as well as the new. With this distinction, she can show us a lot about the culture, the practices and the undercurrents in the people. It is more about her finding her footing in her roles. The mystery itself I will not go into because multiple parts may or may not come together towards the end. I liked visiting a whole new place and will come back for the next book. There is a lot of promise, but my rating reflects more about the lack of investment I had in the plot of the mystery. When the end was revealed, I did not feel anything for it. I was more interested in Kali’s personal life and the possibilities for the next installment.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishes but the review is entirely based only on my own reading experience.

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