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Ten Thousand Islands (Doc Ford) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2001

Book 7 of 22 in the A Doc Ford Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Of all the Travis McGee wannabes who've appeared on the mystery scene since the death of John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford, the marine biologist with an intentionally vague history of military espionage, comes closest to hitting the mark. In this seventh outing in a popular series that's never quite broken into bestsellerdom, Ford is finagled away from his beloved fish and his stilt house off Florida's Gulf Coast to investigate the grave robbing of a long-dead adolescent girl who had a remarkable gift for finding archaeological artifacts of a long-gone civilization of Calusa Indians. The centuries-old gold medallion that may have been buried with Dorothy Copeland has mysterious powers--at least, that's what a big Florida developer whose son is being groomed for high political office seems to believe. By the time Doc Ford starts investigating the incident, along with his oddly gifted friend Tomlinson (a druggie with a past as violent and mysterious as his own), more lives are at stake, including Doc's.

Ten Thousand Islands is based on a true story of multiple tragedies associated with the 1969 discovery of the medallion at the novel's center. But the complicated tale of mayhem and serial murder White weaves of it is all his own. Doc Ford is an increasingly interesting character whose love life takes up as many pages as the plot, but the community of Dinkin's Bay, with its fascinating and well-drawn minor characters, is as great a part of White's series as the denizens of Travis McGee's Fort Lauderdale marina were of MacDonald's. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Of all the writers currently exploiting the Florida mayhem boom, only White can claim to have created a series hero, marine biologist Marion "Doc" Ford, to match Hemingway's memorable outdoorsmen and John D. MacDonald's much-missed Travis McGee. Some of the Ford books have been unfocused, but White's seventh (after 1998's The Mangrove Coast) is one of the strongest, rich with not only evocative images ("I spooked a school of redfish that angled away as a herd, pushing an acre of waking water") but also with an unusually deep cast of characters. Ford himself is in top form, quickly convincing readers that he cares as much about his real job (capturing snook for a lab working to improve the breed) as he does about solving a mysteryDin this case, why the grave of a 15-year-old girl who had an uncanny ability to find things has been desecrated. Somebody is after a 400-year-old gold medallion that she unearthed, a relic of the Calusa Indians. Besides Ford's scene-stealing druggy sidekick, Tomlinson, there are some very interesting female characters: the dead girl herself, with whom Ford turns out to have a strange connection; her gutsy mother, a tough waitress working to keep her daughter's memory alive and unsullied; a young archeologist and an older local woman who take Ford's mind off his former lover. Even the obvious villains, a wealthy and politically powerful father-and-son team, are saved from being clich s by some original touches. But the real star is the seascape of Florida, something that FordDand WhiteDknow intimately. National tour. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Doc Ford (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425180433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425180433
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,419 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

A page turner and a good read.
Amy Capelle
Randy Wayne White's seventh Doc Ford book, TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS is one of the best.
James L. Woolridge
The characters are really quirky and memorable, very unique and interesting.
Marjorie A. Cooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Alan Jarrard on June 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Mr. White has the ability to capture the atmosphere of Southwest Florida as well, if not better than Jimmy Buffet does through his many songs.He is a master story teller that takes the reader along for a ride, with you being next to Doc Ford from Page to page. This book, was impossible to put down. Mr. White's ability to make the reader understand the effect of uncontrolled civilization on the barrier islands; to the fury of an approaching hurricane, leaves one, with a great admiration for the man, his imagination and intellect. I encourage all to read Ten Thousand Islands, and then continue the adventure with the entire Doc Ford series. I can hardly wait for his next work, fiction or non-fiction. Randy Wayne White truly loves Southwest Florida and his work shows it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mike Whaley on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This last installment in the Doc Ford series is the best. Slightly edges out "Sanibel Flats". By the way, I think it is imperative to have read "Sanibel Flats" prior to reading this one. This book is tightly plotted and has you going from the first chapter. Probably the most Travis McGee-like of all the Doc Ford novels. The characters are richly drawn and the Florida coast is written by White better than anyone.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Foster on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I started TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS on a Thursday afternoon andfinished it at 5 a.m. on Friday -- my first novel all-nighter sinceSILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Marine Biologist Doc Ford, Florida's most compelling, unromantic, anti-hero is at the top of his form. Nearly two decades ago, on Marco Island,FL, a brilliant 14-year old girl dug up an Indian grave and found a golden medallion once worn by the king of pre-Colombian Florida. A few months later, she's found dead, hanging from a tree. Now, 15-years later, someone's dug-up the grave and it's up to Ford and buddy Tomlinson to find out why. Based on a true story, the tale that follows is brilliant, compelling, terrifying and sometimes hilarious. I laughed and actually wept. Tomlinson steals the show as usual, but Ford is also elevated: He does psychedelic mushrooms and briefly re-meets his true soul mate -- two solitary islands among ten thousand in this touching, metaphorical tale. The real star, as usual, however, is the strange place called Florida and no one is better than White when it comes to capturing it on paper.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on February 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Randy Wayne White again skillfully weaves fact and fiction with his typically witty prose. Ten Thousand Islands is loosly based on the real-life discovery of an ancient indian artifact that White extrapolates into a tale of greed, deceit and the drug-induced ramblings of Ford's psychedelic side-kick, Tomlinson. I have read all of White's Doc Ford novels, and this is his best work since the Heat Islands. The story is imaginative, the book moves at a good pace, and of course White's musings on Florida are right on the money. ("Like a bus station, Florida attracts con men and predators. It always has. Florida always will.")
I recommend this book without reservation to Doc Ford fans, lovers of a good mystery, or those in the mood for an off-beat and unlikey hero in a wonderfully told story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on July 5, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Doc Ford is a Marine biologist living in Dinkin's Bay Marina on Sanibel Island down in the Florida wilderness. Before he'd stepped into that life, however, Ford had lived another life as a government agent--and maybe, according to his good friend Tomlinson, who experiments with recreational drugs and New Age philosophies, he'd had a life before that. Fifteen years ago, Dorothy Copeland was a child prodigy, a finder of lost things with an uncanny knack for discovering treasures from the Calusa Indians that had once lived in the Ten Thousand Islands. Several of the findings the young girl made ended up in museums, and they attracted the unwanted attentions of treasure hunters looking for gold. Then, mysteriously, Dorothy was found dead, hanging in a tree branch. No one knew if she was murdered or she accidentally took her own life while trying to get away from the voices she'd always heard in her head. A mutual friend of the girl's mother asks Doc to look into the situation after a break-in at the mother's house that is tied to the dead girl. Ford's investigation into the matter involves deadly lies, power, corruption, and the darkest evil in men's hearts amid the spectacular backdrop of the Florida Keys.
Randy Wayne White is the author of several Doc Ford novels, including TWELVE-MILE LIMIT, SHARK RIVER, SANIBEL FLATS, and NORTH OF HAVANA. He's also authored books on travel and fishing in Florida, BATFISHING IN THE RAIN FOREST, THE SHARKS OF NICARAGUA, and LAST FLIGHT OUT. He's also regularly contributed articles to OUTSIDE magazine and MEN'S HEALTH magazine.
Doc Ford is a deep and moving character. White's first-person narrative draws the reader in and makes him or her feel as though he or she is peering over Ford's shoulder during his adventures.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ted O'Brien on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This new Doc Ford novel is one of the best entries yet in the series, and is unmissable if you are already a fan; if you're new to White's novels, then this is a great way to start out. It combines the historical lore of "The Man Who Invented Florida" with the crisp style of "Captiva"; this novel is perhaps more "unputdownable" then some of the others. The action takes place in Southwest Florida and the Keys, and concerns an unscrupulous politican, a Calusa artifact, and a dangerous hurricane. White's characters are some of his sharpest yet, and the suspense kicks in from the first page. Mystery novels, and in particular Florida mystery novels, don't get much better than this one. If you are partial to that sort of thing, then don't miss "Ten Thousand Islands."
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