The past comes disconcertingly alive for Doc Ford, in a series that continues to grow in popularity and acclaim.
Randy Wayne White's Ten Thousand Islands was "one of the most satisfying thrillers in recent memory" wrote the Chicago Tribune, and the starred review in Publishers Weekly said, "Of all the writers [in] the Florida mayhem boom, only White can claim to have created a series hero to match Hemingway's memorable outdoorsmen and John D. MacDonald's much-missed Travis McGee." And now White has created his most electrifying novel yet.
On a working vacation to Guava Key, marine biologist Doc Ford notices two female joggers who follow the same route at the same time every day. He can't help thinking how easy it would be for a predator to become aware of them, too. As it turns out, he isn't the only one. There seem to be more and more predators these days.
Forced to step in, Ford finds himself involved in a story of intrigue and revenge that becomes more dangerous with every turn-and some of them hit pretty close to home. Add to that a Bahamian relative he never knew he had, a letter leading to a treasure that may or may not exist, and some past history that becomes very alarmingly present, and his life has suddenly become very complicated. Not to mention the prospect of his death. . . .
Filled with crackling power and atmosphere, and some of the best suspense characters in fiction, Shark River is a triumph of storytelling.
At a relatively quiet moment in marine biologist/errant knight Doc Ford's eighth adventure, Ford sets a trawl net to collect a dazzling array of sea creatures for a Gulf of Mexico census. The elaborate passage might serve as a handy metaphor for the novel, with its shifty plot involving a motley selection of characters, some slippery and treacherous as a giant-size manta ray. White (Ten Thousand Islands) adds a few new wrinkles and scars to his intriguing protagonist every time the Doc ventures from his laid-back life corralling sharks and pickling horseshoe crabs at Dinkin's Bay Marina on Florida's subtropical west coast. When Ford tags along with his perpetually stoned but intelligent pal Tomlinson to a posh island resort where the latter is leading a workshop on Rinzai Zen, the two get tangled up in murder, kidnapping, drugs, revenge and, for good measure, the sudden appearance of a mysterious Bahamian woman who claims Doc is her brother and seeks his help in discovering whether the "X" on her treasure map really marks the spot. Meanwhile, some very bad Colombians want Ford dead, and a billionaire with political connections to die for (and someone may) drafts Doc to look after his beautiful, sexy and endangered daughter. The story doesn't move in a single forward direction. Rather, it is woven knot by knot, the work of a master net maker. Tense action scenes, skillful character development and an unerring eye for local flora and fauna make White a match for any Florida storyteller.
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Doc Ford is a believable character that people meet and think that they know; but not as well as they might think.