I am madly in love with deep south authors. Probably because I live here myself. This is a new author for me and one I will definitely start reading on a regular basis...plenty of suspense and information on his area and expertise.
I love this entire series about Doc Ford and the unusual characters at Dinkins Bay in Sanibel. The stories are fast paced and well-crafted. Doc Ford and his friends are people you can care about, and they develop further as the series progresses. The books also paint an accurate picture of the lovely island of Sanibel, which is well worth a visit. Randy Wayne White is part owner of a restaurant on the island called "Doc Ford's", great place to eat.
Set on Sanibel, this mystery is the first of a series of books about Doc Ford. this over the top mystery is fun and easy to read.the violence is graphic but kept to a minimum.
doc is called by an old friend for help getting back his kidnapped son in central america,now the "fun" begins.
This book has been compared to those of John D. MacDonald, which is why I got it. It is set in Florida and he goes after missing things. The similarity ends there. The writing is didactic making it hard to trudge through.
I was looking for a Jack Reacher substitute now that Lee Child has become so successful and lost his edge. Let's see, Reacher was ex-Army MP investigator....Doc Ford is ex-intelligence operative....Reacher left military service to lead a totally different life as a hobo and free-lance problem solver....Doc left government service to become a marine biologist and free-lance problem solver...and.....that's about where the similarities end.
Doc Ford leads a quieter life, uses his brains more than his fists, has a wide circle of quirky and endearing friends,and pretty much sticks to the Gulf Coast of Florida to have his adventures. Like Travis McGee, the hero of 23 John MacDonald stories, Doc abhors the assault of population growth and profit-oriented developers on his home state. But he keeps his tree hugging under control while dealing with the world as it is to help his friends and fight the evil-doers. He has an appeal all his own and makes an acceptable alternative, if not replacement, for Jack Reacher.
Someone recommended this series to me some time ago and I finally got around to reading this first Doc Ford novel. Doc is an ex-CIA agent and marine biologist who has retired on Sanibel Island on the west coast of Florida. (I remember visiting Sanibel a few years ago on a family vacation where we were amazed by the amount of beautiful seashells scattered along its beaches.)
In this novel, Doc is visited by his old friend Rafe Hollins, who tells him that his son has been abducted in the Central American country of Masagua and he wants Doc to help rescue him. Doc agrees to meet Rafe on another small island but when he goes there he finds Rafe hanging from a tree. Did Rafe commit suicide or was he murdered? Doc sets out to find the answer as well as to try and rescue Rafe's son in Masagua. Along the way, we meet the colorful characters who also live on Sanibel, including Tomlinson, a free-spirit hippie type, who agrees to go with Doc to Masagua on the rescue mission. The boy is being held by a group of radicals that have been smuggling Mayan artifacts and want to take over the Masaguan government. Overall, this was a good action thriller and included a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. In addition, White gives a good history lesson about the conquest of the Mayans in Central America and does an excellent job of describing how it feels to live among the boaters on Sanibel. I'll be reading more in this series.
Okay. The plot of this book, after reading the first chapter, seems very intriguing. I would have loved to finish it, because it seemed to be one of those books that would be a page turner. But, alas, I threw it down after one chapter as I just do not like to read novels laced with profanity. A little bit here and there, ok, but not multiple times on one page. As I am an avid reader of cozy mysteries this book does not fit in that category. I was on vacation in Florida a couple years ago and we went to Sanibel Island,(if you have never been there, I can tell you it is beautiful!), so the title of the book intrigued me. I know there are many, many people who enjoy Randy Wayne White's work, but this is just a personal opinion about book's contents I hold and certainly do not intend to offend anyone because of my personal interests.