Title: Killing Maine
Author: Mike Bond
Published: Aug. 1, 2015
Publisher: Mandevilla Press
Buy links: Amazon, Amazon.uk
Surfer and Special Forces vet Pono Hawkins quits sunny Hawaii for Maine’s brutal winter to help former SF buddy Bucky Franklin beat a murder rap. The same Bucky who once sent Pono to military prison then married his girlfriend Lexie. But in Special Forces you never leave a buddy behind no matter what they’ve done. Especially if they once saved your life. An unknown sniper has shot environmental exec Ronnie Dalt, and the police say it was Bucky. So Pono finds himself hooked up with Bucky’s wife Lexie trying to find Bucky an alibi. And meets an old flame, the fierce and beautiful attorney Erica, and then the dead man’s wife Abigail, who has never met a man she couldn’t devour alive. Unknown killers stalk Pono as he tries to unravel Ronnie’s death. Nothing is certain, no one can be trusted, no place is safe. There’s a million square miles of wildlands out there to hide a man’s body. And with a rap sheet that includes two jail sentences, Pono is the number one target of every cop in the state. Sadly Maine turns out to be as politically corrupt as Hawaii, with huge energy corporations gobbling up the state’s beautiful mountains and purchasing its politicians at bargain prices. Once again Pono finds himself hunted, shot at, betrayed, stalked by knife-wielding assassins, and in love with three women. Second in the Pono Hawkins series after the critically-acclaimed, best-seller SAVING PARADISE, KILLING MAINE is an insider’s view of crooked Maine politics, the state’s magical and fast-disappearing natural beauty, and how a lone commando hunts down those who hunt him, and is based on the author’s own experiences in Maine, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Called "master of the existential thriller" by BBC, "one of America's best thriller writers" by Culture Buzz, and "one of the 21st century's most exciting authors" by the Washington Times, Mike Bond is a best-selling novelist, war and human rights journalist, and environmental activist. He has covered guerrilla wars, death squads, and military dictatorships in Latin America and Africa, Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, and ivory poaching and other environmental battles in East Africa and Asia.
His critically acclaimed novels take the reader into intense situations in the world's most perilous places, into wars, revolutions, dangerous love affairs and political and corporate conspiracies, making "readers sweat with [their] relentless pace." (Kirkus) and drawing them "into a land and a time I had not known but left me with my senses reeling." (NetGalley Reviews)
His books have been named among the best of the year by reviewers and readers alike. He speaks multiple languages, has climbed and trekked over 50,000 miles on every continent from the Antarctic to Siberia, and is at home in some of the most primitive and dangerous places on the planet.
1. You've written several popular thrillers. What made you decide to continue the Pono Hawkins storyline?
I've found in my own life that I like series with the same protagonist, such as Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon. One develops a relationship with the character over a number of books, which is like developing one with a friend over a variety of experiences. And Pono is someone trying to do good and take care of people in an increasingly chaotic and evil world. He has a lot of stories yet to come.
2. You are the master when it comes to the socially conscious thriller. While your characters are fictional, you've woven in real life figures such as Justine Alfond, president of the Maine Senate. Tell us what he has done.
Justin Alfond is the inheritor of a huge fortune, with which he has built himself a political career. He has caused great destruction in Maine by his allegiance to the corrupt and invasive wind industry, which is dynamiting and destroying Maine's mountains at a record pace. As the president of Maine's State Senate Democrats, he has introduced bills written entirely by the wind industry, in return for financial paybacks.
3. One of the most powerful flashbacks Pono has and is haunted by is when he killed the badly burned woman in Afghanistan. As a human rights journalist, you must have seen and heard a lot of stories during your travels around the world. Does this type of horrific killing happen frequently to women in Afghanistan?
The situation of women in Afghanistan, and in nearly all Muslim countries, is horrible. Women are covered head to toe in a burkha with a tiny grill in the face for them to look out of. They cannot leave their home without a male relative, cannot speak to or look at another man, must have sex with their husbands whenever the husband so desires, and are genitally mutilated at birth or even the night before their marriage so that they do not have sexual pleasure. It is a disgrace to humanity that such things occur, but they happen every day, every minute, to hundreds of million Muslim women. If their husbands and brothers decide that a woman is too forward (glances at another man, refuses her enslavement), they are free to stone or burn her to death if they so desire.
4. Is AC/DC's Highway to Hell the actual ringtone on your personal phone?
On one of them.