Charles Knief is an Award-Winning American author well-known for his work about the adventures of the character John Caine. Besides being an accomplished author, he is also a former pilot, airborne soldier and engineer. He is especially worldly knowledgeable and accustomed to different cultures, having travelled to numerous countries around the world including, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Korea and also lived in Hawaii for a number of years before moving to California where he currently resides with his wife, Ildiko.
Charles Knief’s first novel actually came about as a personal challenge. After exhausting an array of books and historical research, Charles decided to take the next step and write a novel. The beginning steps were difficult and most definitely met his demands of a challenge. After two failed novel attempts and a long learning process, he finally completed in 1990 with his first novel in 1990 entitled “Kimo’s Rules”. The story follows Kimo Kahanamoku, a Honolulu police officer, his family of ten children, six of whom are adopted, and his ninety-one year old grandmother. We are familiarized with their way of life in the Hawaiian Homelands and see the way it interplays with his occupation.
Through complete, two years of unsuccessfully gaining any publisher’s attention resulted in it never being published. He eventually scrapped the whole idea and incorporated the main character, Kimo, into his John Caine novels, the first being Diamond Head.
Charles Knief would go on to incorporate many other experiences from his life into his books. In addition, to Kimo appearing in the John Caine series, the rest of the characters followed suit, and would also play an important role in the John Caine universe. He has noted Honolulu, Hawaii, as the best place he has ever lived where he spent three years of his life at Pearl Harbor. This is the same place where Caine lives in the novels
The Long-Awaited Breakthrough
After a total of five years with no luck at gaining any attention for “Kimo’s Rules” or “Diamond Head”, Charles Knief considered putting writing aside and taking up another profession. He made one last attempt by entering the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press Best First Novel contest in 1995.
The Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) is an organization dedicated to private-eye detective fiction and membership is open to fans, writers, and publishing professionals. In 1986, the PWA collaborated with St.Martin’s, and the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press Best First Novel contest followed. The aim of the contest is to honor contestants for exceptional novels not yet published. Recipients of the award may gain the attention of publishers, increasing the possibility of having their novel published and is a distinct and definite means for creating opportunities. If Charles Knief was going to have any chance of success, this was his last one.
While at his base Edwards Air Force base, he finally received the incredible news that “Diamond Head” had won the award. Charles Knief had finally been acknowledged and his rise to fame began.
Enter John Caine
John Caine is a retired Navy Seal who lives a quiet, peaceful life on the Duchess, a sailboat tethered in Pearl Harbor. He maintains a living as a Private Investigator doing favors for friends in need.
After making his debut in “Diamond Head”, Caine would be the focus of three more novels.
“Diamond Head” and John Caine’s Debut
Published in 1996, this page-turning milestone follows John Caine as he assists an old friend, Max, in assisting their former commander MacGruder, who is now an Admiral interested in entering the world of politics and whose daughter, Mary, was recently raped and murdered. If the murder is left unsolved, it could have adverse implications on MacGruber’s political ambitions. With the help of Chawlie, an affluent and well-connected Chinese friend, Caine acquires the police file on Mary’s murder which suggests possible involvement in pornography and that MacGruder’s daughter may have been the victim of a snuff film.
Positively received by critics and novel enthusiasts alike, the book remains the fundamental stepping stone from which Charles Knief’s career emerged. The suspense grips you from beginning to end and the story is extremely well-written. The character build up is fantastic as we gradually become acquainted with John Caine while being drawn into his adventure. With “Diamond Head”, Charles Knief dares to tread in areas where most would not, in order to deliver a truly unforgettable reading experience and exposing us to the true darkness and obscurity of the dangerous world of pornography and the unknown dangers of the darker side of society.
In 1998, two years after the success of “Diamond Head”, the second novel in the John Caine series, “Sand Dollars”, was published. This was a highly anticipated follow-up in the John Caine series and another one of Charles Knief’s novels was once again well received and profound example of his exceptional sills and rich imagination.
This time, John Caine is approached by a wealthy woman named Claire who hires him to investigate the murder of her husband, Paul, a software tycoon and the fortunes of money skimmed. Claine accepts the case, while still mourning the unfortunate loss of his girlfriend. From San Diego to Tijuana, Caine sets out to solve the murder by following the money trail which ultimately leads to Joe, Paul’s sly, untrustworthy lawyer, and Lorena, his oppressive partner, who happen to be involved in a shady real estate investment. Along the way, Caine encounters all the risks and dangers that his work entails, culminating in all the havoc, thrills and action needed for a great detective story.
Set in the style of the first novel, Sand Dollars” delivers another gripping and enduring piece of work and once again confirms the writing and creative talents of Charles Knief.
A great story in its own right
As with all demanding careers. Charles Knief’s had all the misfortunes and stumbling blocks that would deter most people from their achieving their goals. His immense determination and resilience lead to becoming one of the most noticeable authors of the detective genre and is visible in all of his work. Charles Knief’s career spans many years and, like his novels, is a truly amazing story.Book Series In Order » Authors » Charles Knief