Trouble in paradise: La Jollan Robert McCaw’s tale ‘Treachery Times Two’ delves into mystery in Hawaii
Combining a love of Hawaii, a knowledge of law and order and an affinity for mysteries, part-time La Jolla resident Robert McCaw published his fourth book, “Treachery Times Two,” on Jan. 6.
“Treachery Times Two,” the fourth in the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery series, is about Hawaii’s chief detective Koa Kane, “an unusual detective,” according to the author, in that when he was a teenager, Kane killed the man he believed killed his father and covered up the crime, making it look like a suicide. In “Treachery Times Two,” the grandson of the man Kane killed goes to Hawaii and starts asking questions.
At the same time, a volcanic earthquake disrupts an abandoned cemetery, unearthing the body of a woman mutilated by her killer to conceal her identity. The search for her identity leads Kane to a mysterious defense contractor with a politically connected board of directors. Defying his chief of police, Kane pursues the killer, only to become entangled in an FBI espionage investigation of Deimos, a powerful secret military weapon.
The book also is a love letter to Hawaii, which “is kind of a character in the book,” McCaw said.
“Part of my love of Hawaii is in what I describe as the ‘real’ Hawaii, which is an extraordinarily complicated, multiethnic society with a very strange history with the United States,” he said. “It was an independent kingdom for decades before the Americans took it over by force and made it a territory to make it a state in the union. That has created quite a backlash among the native Hawaiian population, so it is a very complex place. It is also complex geographically and geologically — which the book gets into — but it is different from what I call the ‘tourist’ Hawaii. … My Hawaii is more gritty, more real, it has the same problems of drugs and poverty that you see in the rest of the United States. They all paint a picture of something more complex than what you see in postcards.”
McCaw, who has practiced law on the East Coast for the past 40 years, visited the Big Island of Hawaii in the 1980s. “I fell in love with the place … and felt this compulsion to share it with others,” he said. McCaw had residences in Hawaii and New York for years and now shares his time between La Jolla and New York.
With knowledge of “a lot of cops and robbers stuff” from his professional life and a love of mysteries, he decided to tell his tale as a mystery. Each book in the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery series is a standalone story, and the fifth book in the series is already drafted.
McCaw said one of the things that’s fun about being an author is getting the opportunity to interact with readers, which he was scheduled to do Jan. 23 at Warwick’s bookstore in La Jolla. But the appearance has been postponed due to the current coronavirus surge. A new date is to be announced.
The book is available for purchase at Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Ave., and online. Learn more at warwicks.com. ◆
3:11 p.m. Jan. 11, 2022: This article has been updated to reflect that Robert McCaw’s Jan. 23 appearance at Warwick’s bookstore has been postponed.
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