The Fire Thief
Under a promising morning sky, police captain Walter Alaka’i makes a tragic discovery: the body of a teenage surfer bobbing among the lava rocks of Maui’s southeastern shore. It appears to be an ill-fated accident, but closer inspection reveals something far more sinister than the results of a savage wave gone wrong. Now that Alaka’i is looking at a homicide, he solicits the help of his niece, Detective Kali Māhoe. The granddaughter of one of Hawaii’s most respected spiritual leaders, and on the transcendent path to becoming a kahu herself, Kali sees evidence of a strange ritual murder. The suspicion is reinforced by a rash of sightings of a noppera-bō—a faceless and malicious spirit many believe to be more than superstition. When a grisly sacrifice is left on the doorstep of a local, and another body washes ashore, Kali fears that the deadly secret ceremonies on Maui are just beginning. To uncover a motive and find the killer, Kali leans on her skills at logic and detection. But she must also draw on her own personal history with the uncanny legends of the islands. Now, as the skies above Maui grow darker, and as she balances reason and superstition, Kali can only wonder: Who’ll be the next to die? And who—or what—is she even on the trail of?
"This clever and addictive novel surprises at every turn, so grab your sunglasses and enjoy the ride."
— Edwin Hill, author of Little Comfort and The Missing Ones
"Debra Bokur’s The Fire Thief has all the elements of a great mystery—crackling tension, brisk pacing, a vibrant setting, and a flicker of paranormal . . . or is it?"
— Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author
“An exciting blend of Hawaiian folklore and mystery. From page one to a stirring finish, Debra Bokur delivers a real page turner here. And Kali Māhoe, wonderfully rich, complicated and compelling, is the real deal. I can’t wait for her next adventure.”
— Tracy Clark, author of the Cass Raines Chicago Mystery series
“The Fire Thief will make you an instant fan of its rock-solid protagonist, Kali Māhoe.”
— Lisa Black, New York Times bestselling author of the Gardiner and Renner novels
From Publisher's Weekly:
“Even paradise has a dark side as shown in Bokur’s welcome debut and series launch introducing Det. Kali Māhoe, of the Maui PD, who’s also a cultural anthropologist…Bokur nimbly contrasts the Hawaii of sun and golden beaches with its less well-known underbelly of poverty, discrimination, and crime. Fans of strong female cops will look forward to Kali’s further adventures.”