To Catch a Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine

Source: Free review copy via Pump Up Your Book Promotions.
Title: To Catch the Setting Sun
Author: Richard I. Levine
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 320
Genre: Suspense/Crime Thriller

Release Date: August 22, 2022
Soft Cover: ISBN:‎ 978-1509243297; 329 pages; $17.99; eBook $5.99
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Book Blurb:

There’s a killer loose on the island of Oahu. His targets? Young, native-Hawaiian women. But it also appears that he’s targeting and taunting Honolulu police detective Henry Benjamin who knew each victim and whose wife, Maya, had been the first name on that list. In addition to battling his personal demons, this New York transplant’s aggressive style didn’t sit well with his laid-back colleagues who viewed Henry’s uncharacteristic lack of progress in the investigation as evidence that fueled ongoing rumors that he could be the killer. Was he, or could it have been someone within the municipal hierarchy with a vendetta? As it was, after thirteen years on the job Henry had been disillusioned with paradise. His career choice long killed any fantasy of living in a grass hut on a wind-swept beach, being serenaded by the lazy sounds of the ocean and a slack key guitar. Instead, it had opened his eyes to a Hawaii that tourists will never see.

Book Excerpt:

The reflection from scattered tiki torches competed with the moonlight flickering across the black velvet lagoon. Gentle trade winds, carrying the sweet peach-like scent of plumeria, tickled the flames and the palm fronds. Clearly a welcomed reprieve from five straight days of stifling temperatures. A catamaran and a couple small outrigger canoes, their artfully painted fiberglass hulls made to look like the wood of ancient Koa trees, were pulled up along the sandy shoreline. The heavy beat of drums reverberated off the tall palms and set the rhythm for a half-dozen pair of grass-skirted hips dancing on the main stage while vacationers laughed, ogled, and stuffed their faces with shredded pork, scoops of macaroni salad, steaming flavored rice wrapped in Ti leaves, thick slices of pineapple, papaya, mango, and freshly roasted macadamia nuts that were all artfully displayed on wide banana leaf covered center pieces. They sat cross-legged in the sand, sipping Mai Tais from plastic cups made to look like hollowed out coconut shells, lost in a tropical fantasy that came complete with a souvenir snapshot taken with an authentic hula girl—the perfect paradise as portrayed on the website. The noise from the music, chanting, and laughter, drowned out the frantic noise of the nearby kitchen, and it drowned out the desperate pleas and painful cries of Makani Palahia from the far side of the beach at Auntie Lily’s Luau Cove and Hawaiian Barbecue.

My Thoughts:

To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine is a gritty crime thriller set on the beautiful island of Oahu. There’s a killer out there targeting women and detective Henry Benjamin’s wife was the first victim. Henry is from New York and now lives on the island and works for the Honolulu police department. He was cleared as a suspect and suspended from work but he’s still trying to find the killer while the body count rises. Henry knows all 5 victims and the killer has left him a note with each body. He starts to work with detective Kaelani Kanakina who is a local to the area and has some clues as to who the killer may be.

To Catch the Setting Sun is a dark noir crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing as I read. There was alot of shock factor here and the author continued to serve surprises pretty much until the final page. My jaw dropped more than once while reading. I had no idea who the killer was until the author revealed it and the action really got intense when the hunt for the killer was underway. I do have to mention that there is violence throughout, and some scenes are pretty graphic.

Each chapter starts off with a snippet from Henry’s wife’s journal, which I thought was a nice touch. The book alternates from the different character’s POV’s and at times I found it a little bit hard to follow so I had to go back and re-read but I was still able to enjoy the story.

Henry is a tough guy, and the type who just tells it like it is and takes no nonsense. His character reminded me of Ray Liotta from Goodfellas for some reason. And there’s an interesting cast of supporting characters such as Henry’s nosey landlord and neighbor Mrs. Coleman who was not playing around, I’ll leave it at that. One scene reminded me that it’s always good to keep your phone on a live stream or on Facetime with someone you know if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. That can save your life.

As the story came to its conclusion, the ending wrapped up nicely but also left it wide open for a sequel. I recommend To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine if you enjoy dark, twisty crime thrillers with a rough around the edges protagonist. On a sidenote, very cool that the author has been a background actor in more than 25 Hawaii 5-O and Magnum P.I episodes.

About the Author:
Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor. A twenty-three-year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, is published by The Wild Rose Press and was released in August 2022. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. He presently resides in Hawaii.
Visit Richard’s Amazon Page or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Special thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotions for my review copy of To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine.