Death of a Messenger opens with an anonymous call to 911 reporting a body in a hollow lava flow at Pohakuloa, the army’s live training area. When Detective Koa Kane arrives on the scene, he sees a grizzly site, the deceased man has been mutilated.
As Koa investigates with help from a local archaeologist, they locate several more caves. And in one such cave find a large room with ancient carvings including a dark obsidian bird-human hybrid statue. What does this have to do with the mutilated corpse and could he be an archaeologist?
As his investigation continues Koa sorts through many suspects including grave robbers, native Hawaiian activists, thieves, and astronomers.
As I read book I liked McCaw’s ability to mix the history and culture of Hawaii into the mystery. He also weaves in astronomy facts and gives Koa something to struggle with physically a pinched nerve in his neck.
I didn’t think this aspect of the novel was necessary but perhaps the author felt he needed to add something else to the character besides a relationship with his astronomer girlfriend. Overall, it’s a good first book to a new mystery series and I will patiently wait for book two to come out.