Cover Image: Trail of the Hana K'ilo

Trail of the Hana K'ilo

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Member Reviews

Twists and turns. Good storyline filled with suspense. I liked the characters in the book. This is not a topical genre I usually read, but that book was a good experience. 
I will try to read her first in series soon.
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Russel is a crypto-zoologist (1 who studies mythical and unknown animals) hears about a mysterious water-creature in interior Alaska. He also finds out that several people disappeared in that same area over the last couple of years. So he goes there and guess what... He also goes missing. As a safety-procedure Russell send all his research to a colleague he doesn't get on with, but about whom he knows that he will persevere. Harlan (the unwilling rescuer) had planned a Christmas-holiday with his long-distance girlfriend, but not to Alaska. On top of that, he doesn't tell her the real reason for choosing this particular lodge and location. The other guests arrive and at least 2 of them have a connection with this Hana k'ilo myth and with the missing people. There's a mysterious blog that seems more designed to keep people away instead of a touristic ad. Some of the staff behave in a suspicious way. Is anyone who they say they are?
After the first chapter, I was thinking this was one of those silly monster-books; But luckily I was wrong! It's a cleverly disguised murder/missing persons mystery with a lot of clues hinting that there might just be some unknown creature roaming those rivers and forests. If someone finds it, you must find out yourself! Definetly intriguing. Lot of very nice visual descriptions of nature and night-sky.
I received a free ARC and this is my honest review. (less)
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Trail of the Hana K’ilo is a mystery crime story about Harlan, a professor who plans to go on a vacation with his girlfriend, however, changes it when a student gives him a letter, telling him that his colleague is missing.


Harlon is dedicated in his mission as this isn’t the first person who has gone missing at the destination. The wintery conditions do not help the situation, and as they discover the Hana K’ilo Cryptid, they realize secrets that they never thought existed. Trail of the Hana K’ilo is a mystery crime story about Harlan, a professor who plans to go on a vacation with his girlfriend, however, changes it when a student gives him a letter, telling him that his colleague is missing.


Harlon is dedicated in his mission as this isn’t the first person who has gone missing at the destination. The wintery conditions do not help the situation, and as they discover the Hana K’ilo Cryptid, they realize secrets that they never thought existed.



The literature was descriptive in its nature and explained the scenes in a very visual way. The suspense and tension embedded in the story were vital to the mystery side of the book, and I believe the author managed to pull that off splendidly.



I would have preferred a stronger bond between Harlan and Genevieve at first, but the characters grew on me, and so did their relationship.



I believe this story would suit people who like to read on supernatural thrillers and paranormal suspense books.
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this was a free NetGalley eBook

You decide that you've and your best girl have been working too hard and not spending enough time together.  Six months earlier a good friend of had gone to a beautiful rustic resort in Alaska and disappeared.  Harlan Holt and his friend Genevieve went up to the resort to find out what had happened to Dr. Bremer.  During the last year another man had come to the resort with his daughters and all three had not been heard from.

Those living in the area, believed that all these people had been the abducted by the local Yeti/Big Foot and would not be found.  Holt doesn't believe in reported mythical creatures, and is out to find out what really happened to these and other people.

That's the story and the rest is filling in time while all of the clues as to what happened have time to appear.  It's an interesting idea and Whitaker brings it off well.  There are just some amateur romance/sex sections that need to be excised or fixed.

zeb kantrowitz          zebsblog@gmail.com
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4 stars

I was really looking forward to reading this book, which is the second in Whitaker’s Skeptic Detective series, and it did not disappoint!

Whitaker paints a vivid picture of the settings of each of his books. This time round we are taken to Alaska in the depths of winter. Harlan and Vieve are staying in a lodge to investigate the disappearance of one of Harlan’s work colleagues who recently took a trip out there to investigate the possible existence of a cryptid known as the “Hano K’ilo”.

Some parts were a little slower than others (for instance there is a lot of description about the activities the guests get up to during the day) which didn’t add anything to the story. Overall, I enjoyed how the story developed and I think Whitaker tied everything up well.

I look forward to reading more of Whitaker’s work.
Thanks to NetGalley for a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
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I really enjoyed this book! 

Not only were the character so complex that I was suspecting anyone of anything at literally any time, but I also learnt a lot.

I never knew what a cryptid was. Now I do. I've always heard about strange legendary creatures, most of them African in origin so I learnt about new legends, or are they myths? The Hana K'ilo....

Did it kill all the people the blog says it did? Or is it merely a scary monster to keep kids safe?

As you read you will surely wonder who is a monster and who isn't - and don't forget to read how the author found the Hana K'ilo. It's right at the back of the book.

Excellent story! Thank you to Netgalley and he author for allowing me to read this book. I try to review every book I read.
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Mysterious And Fun!

Harlan Holt is a university professor and a skeptic of the paranormal and there happens to be an associate scientist who is also a renown cryptozoologist and has seemingly disappeared under mysterious circumstances while investigating the claims of the "Hana K'ilo" legend in rural Alaska.   Within recent years several people have gone missing and many of the community seem to believe that this cryptid predator may responsible for the disappearances.   Harlan and his girlfriend (Genevieve) book a trip to the beautiful vacation resort where his colleague had stayed before he went missing, hoping to find answers to why this man disappeared and why was this cryptid legend was so important that he would have carelessly traveled alone to research this unusual water predator.

I have now become a fan of Channing Whitaker and am looking forward to the first book in this series and I hope that there will be many more books to come.   Harlan Holt is a wonderful character to bases a series around and I am so glad I found this book on Netgalley.   The story was a great adventure into Alaska in the dead of winter and the writing was so wonderful that I could almost feel the icy wind and shivering cold that the characters would face.   The book is full of mystery, creepiness and also great tension.   I highly recommend this book and have given a rating of 4 Cryptid 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Stars!!

I want to thank the publisher Books Go Social and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrific book for an unbiased opinion!
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Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. While not a page turner this book is an engrossing read that keeps your interest. For most of the book the reader is pulled into the story of a possible cryptid in Alaska. As the story develops it becomes clearer that it is a who-dun-it but the twists keep you reading.
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This is one of those stories that creeps up on you until you discover you can't stop reading. It was a little slow at first, but picked up action on  number of plot threads. It has mystery, romance, academic conflict, and wild environments. There is much to scare the reader and much to enjoy. Everything is natural. The characters are diverse and interesting.  I went to Amazon and bought the first book in this series after reading this one.
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The story opens with the characters on the plane - it really helped to show the reader each character and their quirks and so by the time the main story started, I already knew who was who. Channing goes into detail about a video of Kamrar (the magician) and I genuinely felt like I was watching the magic show in my head with how descriptive it was and therefore how much imagery I gained from it. The video opened up so many possibilities to me and made the mystery even more mystifying.

I loved the fact the characters were in the 'haunted' mansion as part of a TV show - first book I've read where it's not just teenagers breaking inside of somewhere they shouldn't be, and I actually preferred it. It made for more realism for me.

I definitely connected with Harlan the most, who was the sceptic. I really didn't expect that as I myself believe in spirits, but he still has a way to draw you in with his kindness. Maybe it was the fact he was the one so interested in Vinton's journal. The others were interested too, but not to the point of Harlan. I, too, could imagine myself being the person to sit and read the entire journal.

Usually when a story flits between past and present, I find myself preferring one to the other, but in this case I genuinely was interested in learning about both. I got to excited when Harlan would read another passage from Vinton's journal, but I also wanted to know what was going on in the mansion.

A great read, I would definitely recommend it. The outcome is definitely one I didn't expect.
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Trail of the Hana K'ilo is the second book in the Sceptic Detective series by Channing Whitaker. Released 13th Aug 2019, it's 376 pages and available in ebook format.

This is an amateur detective series. The lead character is an academic who is also a truth-seeker who spends his spare time and effort debunking paranormal claims. In this case, an academic disagreement with another professor who claims that cryptids (bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Hana K'ilo and others) are based in reality. When the adversarial professor goes missing in the middle of rural Alaska in winter, Harlan and girlfriend Vieve, wind up helping to track him down.

I wanted to like this book very much. It ticked a lot of my favorite boxes: amateur detective, academic, isolated setting, unexplained disappearances, and more. The premise of the book and the narrative story arc are very good, and the author has a good technical grasp of narrative tension. My problems came from the lack of cohesive editing which made it very tough going for me. I was often yanked out of the narrative by misspellings, badly mixed metaphors ("As he prepared to speak, emotional conflict rose in Harlan’s throat"), and lack of clarity in scene and character shifts. There was an awful lot of 'telling' and very little 'showing' with long paragraphs of info dumping. The characters weren't very well delineated; I kept mixing up his girlfriend Genevieve, and the grad assistant of the other professor who goes missing in the middle of Alaska (Raina).

I hadn't read the first book in the series and followed the action well enough. The book is readable as a standalone. The language is PG (a few damns, not much worse).

For Kindle Unlimited subscribers; the first book in the series is available in the KU subscription to borrow and download for free.

The author is undeniably talented. The narrative is very cinematic, with solid scene descriptions and a good tension arc. It's not a surprise to find he's a scriptwriter. With a ruthless editor, this could be a very good series.

Three stars.
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This is the second book in the skeptic detective series. There is a summary of the previous book at the beginning so this could be read as a stand alone book. As always, however, it would be better to read the first book, “One Night in Drake Mansion” before reading this.

Out in the wilds of Alaska an explorer goes missing whilst looking for a mythical animal, the Hana K’ilo. Harlan Holt sets out to investigate his disappearance and finds a string of strange events around the Alaska Lodge where he is staying.

This is the sequel to “One Night in Drake Mansion” and, in my opinion, is not as good. I didn’t feel this book flowed as well and some of the storylines and explanations for strange events seemed a little contrived. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the book but just not as much as the first.

In this book two characters return from the first. Harlan Holt, the skeptic detective and Genevieve who grew up in the town around Drake Mansion. They now seem to be an item so you have the typical detective and sidekick pairing. Almost everyone in this book has an ulterior motive for being in the Alaskan Lodge in the middle of winter. There are plenty of night time searches with torches, strange footsteps, people disappearing and not wanting followed etc etc.

As a slightly light hearted detective book with a twist this book works well. The characters are not developed as much as they could have been and the plot is a little rough around the edges. However, I did enjoy this book and will be happy to read the next in the series when it comes out.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, it has a setting that you don't see in every novel. The characters were great and I liked the world that was built.
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The Trail of the Hana K'ilo is a interesting and unique story. It is well written and has well developed characters.
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While I really wanted to enjoy this series about a skeptic who  uses critical thinking to solve supposedly  paranormal mysteries, I just can’t kindle to the characters or writing style.
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5 stars

Harlan Holt a professor and skeptic of the paranormal and hoaxes is planning a surprise for his girlfriend Genevieve “Vieve” Freeman. It is a trip to Honolulu. However, when a teaching assistant of a Dr. Russell Bremer visits him saying that the professor hasn't returned from a weekend trip, and it's been some six weeks, Raina King begs him to help her. So...Harlan and Vieve instead wind up at a lodge in rural Alaska ( in the middle of winter), to track the missing professor down. 

Imagine their surprise when they get to the lodge and Raina is already there. There are only six guests and four staff, so the odds are astronomical. What is going on? I got a little frustrated here that Harlan didn't tell Vieve right away what was going on, but he came clean later in the story. 

Several people have disappeared and are presumed dead. The deaths are put down to the mysterious beast called Hana K'ilo. It is said to be a river beast and Dr. Bremer, a cryptozoologist, had a keen interest in finding the beast. Harlan, on the other hand believes it's all hokum. 

What follows is an exciting adventure (in the snow and ice), and an action filled mystery. What happened to the people and children who went missing? Does the Han K'ilo really exist? 

The lodge where Vieve, Harlan ans the others are staying is very nice. The owners are dedicated outdoors people, very kind and helpful and their helpers twin brother and sister who seem to love living there. The other guests are a mixed collection. From a couple who are celebrating their anniversary to a woman who seems to be traveling on her own. 

Most of these characters have secrets – something to hide. As the story goes along, the reader gets a few surprises, some of them nice and some of them deadly. 

What a wonderfully well written and plotted story - and a fun adventure. There were a couple of grammatical errors, but they passed by quickly. Mr. Whitaker writes a very good story with tension and drama, I enjoyed meeting the characters and was pleased to see the return of Harlan and Vieve. I enjoyed this book more than the last one and I heartily recommend it to anyone who likes adventure and mystery. 

I want to thank NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for forwarding to me a copy of this very fine book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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I read the first book in this series and it was very good. This one is also engrossing and entertaining.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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