"Soldier Down" By Neil S. Plakcy: Review/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win an ebook copy of this book at the end of the review and a link to purchase it.

Honolulu Homicide Detective Kimo Kanapa`aka is off island and in Washington D.C. at the request of one of his Baby Mamas, Hawaii’s Representative Sandra Guarino. Sandra’s mentor, Indiana’s Representative Stacy O’Brien, needs Kimo’s help in investigating the 1968 unexplained death of her father while on leave in Honolulu. Neither the police nor the military provided Stacy’s mother with any information on how the soldier died, and Stacy wants answers that even her own political contacts can’t provide.

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After returning home to Oahu, Kimo discovers that Connor O’Brien’s death may be linked to the murders of other men during that same time. With the army unwilling to disclose its own findings and even giving alternative facts to the events, Kimo turns to his large extended family and their long memories to help him find the truth. Kimo’s investigations take him to his Auntie Pua’s protests against the Telescope being built on the Big Island, VFW meetings, and to the nightclubs catering to a then-discreet clientele. Sandra’s loss of her father has Kimo considering his own family and how he want to be as a father, especially in his non-traditional, very blended family.

This eleventh novel features a more mature, complicated Kimo Kanapa`aka. While he has learned to embrace his multi-racial ethnicity, his ties to his indigenous Hawaiian ancestors are something he wants to pass on to his children. That Kimo’s deputy fire chief partner is a blend of Korean and Italian further complicates their identity, and while he wants them to value their heritage, he also doesn’t want them to face the same conflict and confusion he faced growing up. How to represent themselves as a couple is another topic facing Kimo and Mike, with Kimo still somewhat uncomfortable with PDA but wanting to normalize their affections in front of their children. As Kimo investigates the life and death of a soldier he finds comfort and joy with his exuberant, varied, and very loving family who have grown to accept Kimo both as a gay man and as a law enforcement officer. The joy for locals and anyone who has ever visited – or wished to visit – the Islands will be in the delicious descriptions of passion-orange guava juice, chicken long rice, and of course, chocolate haupia cake. Until everyone can freely travel again readers will enjoy the vicarious thrills of living in the islands, which while beautiful hides more than its share of tragic secrets and dark pasts.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Soldier Down, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "soldier,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 19, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be at least 18 to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast featuring mystery short stories and first chapters read by actors. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. New author to me. Sounds like a great book.

  2. This sounds intriguing. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com


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