Captiva (Doc Ford Series #4)

( 8 )

Overview

Featuring government agent turned marine biologist Doc Ford, White's wicked, suspenseful tales of Florida's west coast take social concerns, offbeat characters, crackling prose and a vivid sense of place, and toss them together to produce stories that snap like a whip. In Captiva, Doc Ford finds himself caught between warring bands, as Florida's sports fishermen and commercial fishermen battle over a net ban due to go into effect soon. With friends on both sides, Doc prefers to stay neutral, but when the war ...
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Overview

Featuring government agent turned marine biologist Doc Ford, White's wicked, suspenseful tales of Florida's west coast take social concerns, offbeat characters, crackling prose and a vivid sense of place, and toss them together to produce stories that snap like a whip. In Captiva, Doc Ford finds himself caught between warring bands, as Florida's sports fishermen and commercial fishermen battle over a net ban due to go into effect soon. With friends on both sides, Doc prefers to stay neutral, but when the war escalates to arson and murder in his own backyard, he has no choice but to become involved. With the help of his ex-hippie friend, Tomlinson, and an extraordinary island woman named Hannah, he sets out to calm the waters - only to find that they are much deeper than he ever could have imagined.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
White, who has always had the talent, moves firmly into the major leagues with his latest Doc Ford story (after Sanibel Flats) and its lavish panorama of cross-cultural and environmental issues played out passionately in south Florida. The Florida Keys uneasily contain rich pleasure seekers and subsistence-level fisherman; someplace in the turbulent middle, Doc, a biologist, and his existentialist buddy Tomlinson hang out. As a ban on net fishing engenders increasing debate, a man is blown apart when an explosion demolishes a jetty. The sultry voodoo-practicing widow soon has Doc and Tomlinson hopelessly spellbound; her host of admirers includes others with drug and land-development interests. By this point, the sweep of White's prose and the earnest intensity he brings to the ecological debate will likely blind readers to a story line with holes large enough for marlin to swim through. Tomlinson is fascinated by the socioeconomics of a small, insular key with nothing but fishing to support it, while Doc is more intrigued by the herbs the widow places in the hot tea they sip prior to bouts of strenuous lovemaking. The conclusion embraces some sinister business with drug smuggling and a minor miracle of modern medicine. While it isn't quite clear how White gets to drug cartels from the charred remains of a lazy brain-fried doper who liked hitting attractive, oversexed women, the whole weird trip, fueled by the author's thoroughly convincing re-creation of his chosen and much-loved world, is a blast. (Apr.)
Wes Lukowsky
The victim of an explosion at Dinkin's Bay Marina on Sanibel Island, commercial fisherman Jimmy Darroux mumbles, "Take care of Hannah" before he dies. Aging hippie Tomlinson, to whom Jimmy's words were addressed, enlists the aid of his best pal, Doc Ford, a former government agent turned seaside biologist. Burdened by a disconcerting tendency to see both sides of an issue, Doc recognizes that Jimmy's death is somehow tied to the friction between commercial and sport fishermen. He agrees to help find the mysterious Hannah, but his real motive is to derail a confrontation that could see many of his friends hurt. And hurt they are when the violence escalates. White's fourth Doc Ford novel gathers momentum slowly--its pace is not unlike the hypnotic rhythm of the surf--until the last 100 pages or so, when all hell breaks loose. Characters we have grown fond of meet bad ends, a truly evil villain is exposed, and Ford drops his intellectual guise: he's a born predator, and he exacts a horrible but just revenge. This is a top-shelf thriller written with poetic style and vision. Don't miss it.
Kirkus Reviews
In the seconds between touching off a homemade bomb in Dinkin's Bay and giving up the ghost, Jimmy Darroux asks "Doc" Ford's buddy Tomlinson to "take care of Hannah." But when Ford and Tomlinson make the trip to nearby Sulphur Wells to see Jimmy's salty widow, it turns out she hated him and his abuse and is delighted he's dead (and she's not the only one). So what did he mean, and how can they take care of her? At her invitation, spacey mystic Tomlinson settles in to help her work on a book about her family, while marine biologist Ford wonders why the invitation didn't go to him. He wonders too whether Jimmy was killed because he got in the middle of a battle over the banning of net fishing, or because he knew too much about a ring of boat thieves—or because of Hannah herself. As he treads a wary line between the equally untrusting camps of commercial fishers and sports fishers, Ford finds himself drawn more and more to Hannah Smith Darroux, and more and more threatened by the friends and admirers who've ringed themselves around her, till all three of them—Ford, Hannah, and Tomlinson—are in danger.

Having established his Carl Hiaasen credentials with The Man Who Invented Florida (1993), White sounds a more ruminative note in this mixture of James W. Hall and John D. MacDonald. Ford takes every chance to stop and smell the hibiscus, and fans of tangled Florida intrigue will want to join him.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425158548
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Series: Doc Ford Series, #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 98,482
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 10.98 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy Wayne White

Randy Wayne White is the author of seventeen previous Doc Ford novels and four collections of nonfiction. He lives in an old house built on an Indian mound in Pineland, Florida.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Captiva

    Randy Wayne White does it again with his fourth installment of the Doc Ford series. Each book raises the bar on his previous works and for those who enjoy reading in a chronological order White makes sure to drop a few references from previous editions to make you appreciate your self control. White's ability to weave the environmental, marine and geological details of Florida into his stories provides a dimension that few other writers can attain. Being a twenty-seven year resident of Florida I am amazed at how much I learn with each book from this great writer. The attention to detail and the smooth writing style makes White a favorate for those looking for suspense thrillers set in the sunshine state. Captiva will keep you turing the pages with anticipation and try as you may to figure out what happens next White drops another surprise twist on you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    I'm excited to have a great new series to read

    This is my second Doc Ford novel and I'm hooked. Randy Wayne White writes the best Florida thrillers since John D McDonald's Travis McGee series. I can't wait to read them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    This Author is one great read.

    I have read every book of White's and each one just gets better. Start with this one and have a great time going through them all. I am a big fan of John D. McDonalds and I believe Doc Ford beats out Travis McGee as heros go. White's knowledge of the enviornmental challenges in Florida and his knowledge of area add an additional dimension that makes his books educational as well as entertaining. JP Carter a former resident of SW Florida.

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