Marine Biologist Doc Ford is hot on the trail of a dead friend’s wife. Apparently, the woman vanished into the steaming jungles of South America guided by a truly disgusting specimen of humanity. From Florida to Columbia and Panama, Doc traces their path, but a shadowy figure is following him - and the violence left in the wake of this individual is terrifying.
©1998 Randy Wayne White (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
I had given up on Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford series. The later ones seemed to me to be more and more indistinguishable from any other action thriller, like Vince Flynn's. But I really liked the earlier ones. I was browsing through the titles in the series and thought this one looked unfamiliar, and it was early in the series. I looked at my list of books read and didn't see it. Huh. How did I miss this one, especially as it's done by one of my favorite narrators?
Well, 15 minutes into the book everything sounded real familiar. I checked my list again. There was no "Mangrove Coast" in the M section, but there sure was a "The Mangrove Coast" in the T section. I almost returned the book, but decided to listen a little bit more.
I'm really glad I did. Yeah, I knew the story line, but White's early Ford books were so darn well written that it was a pleasure to hear it all again. Especially as narrated by Ron McLarty. I presume Doc Ford is given McLarty's natural voice. If so it's almost made for the character that White has created. But better yet are McLarty's renderings of Tomlinson and Ford's uncle Tucker Gatrell. Tomlinson, a bit of a stoner, sounded like George Carlin's Hippy-Dippy Weatherman and Tucker was Foghorn Leghorn. Perfect characterizations.
Anyway, any book that can be enjoyed twice is usually a pretty good book, and this one is. Not much backstory required, so this one can be read out of order of the series.
Like the fact that the main character is based in Florida, and in my favorite part of the state.
I enjoyed how Doc Ford sees himself as a marine biologist first and a government operative second. Perhaps his way of keeping his humanity intact.
Ron McLarty gave each character a unique presence with his varying vocal styles. Especially with the characters Tomlinson and Ford's uncle.
The way the novel ended. But isn't that every authors objective, to get you to the climax and GET you with the ending.
A few of the locations were pronounced incorrectly. As a native of central Florida, this was very evident. However the quality of the story and the narrator made this not too big of an issue.
Believe you me...
The recording has distracting pauses, long enough to make me wonder each time if there was a problem with the program and cease my work to go check. The story is interesting and the narration overall good, but the writing gave the feeling of a dime store novel, something cheap and overly dramatic.
I imagine there will be a follow-up to tie up some loose ends, but I will not be reading/listening to it.
This book probably appeals to a different type of reader, someone who enjoys crime/mystery magazine stories and odd detectives. That's the odd thing about this book. I liked the main character, I liked his voice, his phrasing, and his personality and backstory, but that liking did not translate into a true enjoyment of the story, though I was intrigued enough to finish listening to the story.
I have read a couple of the Doc Ford Series books and have listened to over half of the ones I have purchased. I find myself skipping over some of the technical stuff in the print versions, but I listen to all of it when I have the audio version. So I think I get more out of the audio versions.
When the boat explodes.
I feel like Doc is actually telling me a story.
Yes I did have a reaction to the book and it made me both laugh and cry. Without giving too much away...............I'm just saying that Tucker was ALWAYS one of my favorite people in the books.
Try to read the series in order, it helps build the characters.
Woman of a million books
This is a great book, I love the Doc Ford character and his crazy, ecsentric friends. It makes you feel as if Florida is a better place than it really is.
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