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Deep Shadow (Doc Ford) Hardcover – March 9, 2010

158 customer reviews
Book 17 of 18 in the Doc Ford Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At the start of bestseller White's outstanding 17th Doc Ford thriller (after Dead Silence), two low-life ex-cons, King and Perry, are on the lam after killing a family of five in a burglary. They end up in Doc's neck of the woods, or rather his neck of the swamp, in central Florida. Doc; his boat-bum hipster pal, Tomlinson; troubled Indian teen Will Chaser, who played a key role in Dead Silence; and Arlis Futch, a crusty old fisherman, have arrived at a small lake, which they intend to search for Batista's treasure plane, which disappeared in 1958 while flying the ex-dictator's looted booty out of Cuba during the Castro takeover. King and Perry, who are as bad as they come, quickly take control of the others, forcing Doc and friends to continue diving in the lake, after which the pair plan to kill them all. Throw in a giant, mysterious swamp creature with an appetite for cattle, horses, and divers, and you've got a nail-biter that's virtually impossible to put down. Author tour. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Florida’s mystery heroes have been having a hard time this year. First, James W. Hall’s Thorn spent most of an entire novel trapped in a dry well (Silencer, 2010), and now, in Randy Wayne White’s latest Doc Ford thriller, the intrepid marine biologist goes underwater for a couple hundred pages. It starts innocently enough, with Ford, his hippie pal Tomlinson, teenager Will Chaser (from Dead Silence, 2009), and cranky old-timer Arlis Futch embarking on a treasure-hunting trip to an isolated lake, on the bottom of which is purported to be a mother lode of gold from Batista’s Cuba. Three problems quickly develop: a sort-of underwater avalanche that leaves all but Ford trapped under tons of limestone (a cave keeps the victims alive as their air supply dwindles); the arrival (on land) of two psycho killers right out of In Cold Blood (one is even named Perry); and, scariest of all, the lurking presence of, yes, a sea monster. Ford eventually surmounts all the obstacles before him, of course, but along the way, we are treated to a wonderful mix of hair-raising horror, grace under pressure, and fascinating natural history. There turns out to be a biologically sound explanation for the presence of the sea monster, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying for anyone who remembers Creature from the Black Lagoon (as Ford notes, “The universe beneath is alive—relentlessly alive”). It’s no surprise that White’s long-running, always-popular series has broken through to mainstream best-sellerdom; his novels appeal on so many levels: as portraits of a steadily evolving, tough-yet-introspective hero; as eco-friendly investigations of natural Florida; and as muscular, head-banging adventure thrillers. And, now, there are sea monsters, too! --Bill Ott

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Product Details

  • Series: Doc Ford (Book 17)
  • Hardcover: 353 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399156267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399156267
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #874,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Ms Discus on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a long time fan of the Doc Ford series by Randy Wayne White. Unfortunately, the last time I caught sight of him was in "Dark Light". Although not the typical Doc Ford tale, it was none the less interesting and showed a fasinating side of Doc and some of the Dinkin's Bay residents. "Hunter's Moon" was somewhat entertaining, but totally and completely implausible. Moreover, it seemed some flat, vacant secret agent man had replaced Doc, turning the whole book into a never ending action sequence with an ending too far-fetched and lame for words. "Black Widow" was so lacking in a cohesive plot I could not finish the book. A first for me with a RWW book.

When I read the synopsis for "Dead Silence" I believed that the Doc Ford I knew and loved had left the series for good. I saved my money and time, and began looking for another series that was as thoughtful and entertaining as the Doc Ford series had been. No such series existed.

I am thrilled to report that Doc Ford has returned to the series with this new installment. It has everything I loved about the earlier books and some interesting information on the so called bottomless lakes,underground rivers and sink-holes which are present in Florida. Add to that the discovery of an aircraft which departed Cuba and disappeared between Key West and Tampa and you have the beginning of a return to form for Doc.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First,let me say that I am a big Randy Wayne White fan. I eagerly wait for his next book to come
out. However I found this on lacking. It was a good yarn but not much of a story. Centering
about Doc Ford, his Friend Tomlinson, a lake in the middle of florida, A creature from the black
lagoon that wanted to eat them and a couple of bad guys with an IQ of 80 between themselves.
RWW seemed to fill in a lot of pauses in action with bacground history about the characters that
was not necessary and long before the book ended I knew what the outcome would be. No surprises
in this book. I hope your next book is a better one Randy
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gregory K. Brill on June 12, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having been a fan of the Doc Ford series for years, I was excited to get my hands on the latest installment. I was greatly disappointed by the time I was four chapters in, and the disappointment continues throughout the book. The vast majority of the story takes place along the shore or beneath the surface of a sink hole lake somewhere near Orlando. Unfortunately, this book lacks the character development of both antagonists and protagonists that one has come to expect from Randy Wayne White. White, who is known for his vivid and captivating descriptions of the Florida lifestyle, culture, and locations, simply falls flat in this book. Well over two thirds of the book take place along a linear timeline in and around the lake. What is even more surprising is that White spends a tedious amount of time trying to establish the dire straits that his friends Tomlinson and Will are in when trapped by an underwater landslide and then seems to forget that sense of urgency ( they only have 15 minutes worth of air lefft )over the next several CHAPTERS. The book lacks the character development, story line, or use of the qualities of Doc Ford that once made these books a "first buy". Bottom line for this story... this book does not fit into the Doc Ford series, and if you are a fan.. wait for this one to come out on the sale rack!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By maryzeus on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have loved most of his books and awaited the new ones with impatience. It seems that he was more interested in filling pages in this book and has not created the excitement and overwhelming interest that was in his previous ones. Many many superfluous paragraphs that made me just skim through them, many pages. How many of us are really that interested in the minute details of diving? Maybe he just needs a long vacation. I cannot recommend this latest offer to anyone.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Aggie M. Roland on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I lived in Pine Island and love reading all the Doc Ford novels- went out and got this for my uncle but read it first- boring!! It just dragged- I actually skimmed through most of the book- it seems that Randy Wayne is just pumping them out now- I love reading about the islands as he describes, the unique individuals- but please- an adolescent Indian boy from OK who was in foster care- where did he learn to dive???? The Nile Monitor has been a big story in Cape Coral and the west coast- but this was almost too easy for White. PLEASE- take a break if the flow isn't there- get back to the drinks, boats, sunsets and undercover work!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By 50 Magnums on July 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First things first...I have never rated a book in my life. The reason I am writing this review is because this happens to be the worst book I have read in recent memory...and believe me...I had to suck-it-up to finish it. I have read practically all of Randy Wayne White's Marion "Doc" Ford novels (I live in Naples, Fl. and frequently ride my motorcycle to Sanibel Island) and this one is just a real stinkeroo. He obviously is obsessed with scuba diving and he goes into mind-numbing detail about something that 99% of the adult population could care less about. Next, the characters seem non-authentic...Ford, Arlis, Tomlinson and Will. Heck, I was rooting for the protagonists King and Perry...or the Komoto monitor lizards to kill Ford just to get the book over just half way through it. The freaking plot has more holes in it than the underwater limestone caves that White bores me to death about. My strong suggestion is for Randy to go back to Cuba and begin to "polish" his writing skills all over again. I might suggest his starting in Havana at El Abije bar and restaurant for a Partagas Serie D #1 cigar (from La Casa del Habanos which he will find next door), while knocking down a few Havana Club ocho anos Cuban rums and invite his alter-ego Tomlinson to join him in a strategy session on how to be a compelling novelist again. Oh, and the pulled pork there is the best in all of Cuba.
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