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Bone Deep (A Doc Ford Novel) Hardcover – March 4, 2014
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*Starred Review* There’s not a lot Doc Ford hasn’t done in the Florida wild, and there aren’t many predators he hasn’t squared off against, but up until now, he’s never done any bone hunting, and he’s never tangled with an angry elephant. That changes in this twenty-first installment in the series, which has lately become a staple on the New York Times best-seller list. It starts, as so many of Ford’s adventures do, with his hippie guru pal Tomlinson, who hooks Doc up with a Crow Indian from Montana called Dunk, who is in Florida searching for an ancient Native American artifact believed to be in the state’s legendary Bone Valley, where, millennia ago, mastodons and other pre-Columbian creatures roamed. Bone hunting is largely confined to a group of flourishing but distinctly unfriendly black marketers, making Doc’s attempt to help Dunk more than a little perilous. Complicating matters further is the location of the deep pond where the fossils are thought to be: on land owned by a phosphate miner who isn’t likely to share. White keeps the action churning forward as Doc encounters both human and animal foes (don’t forget that elephant), but the real interest here is the archaeological backdrop. Masterfully seeding the plot with information on Florida’s ancient natural history—and its contemporary environmental challenges—White delivers a novel that perfectly blends story and landscape. We often say that fine nonfiction has the narrative drive of a good thriller, but we rarely have occasion to say that a fine thriller has all the mind-boggling fascination of compelling nonfiction. White gives us that opportunity here. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Doc Ford has become a literary institution, with his own restaurant on Sanibel Island and now with a CBS television series in production. All that and a cracking good story will lift Ford’s latest to White’s familiar perch on best-seller lists. --Bill Ott
Praise for Bone Deep
“Doc Ford is back for his twenty-first appearance, and it’s right to say that he’s as good as he ever was . . . With hidden treasures galore, secret agent Doc Ford retains his cover of marine biologist very well, while tracking down some truly crooked relic hunters!”—Suspense Magazine
“White keeps the action churning forward as Doc encounters both human and animal foes, but the real interest here is the archaeological backdrop. Masterfully seeding the plot with information on Florida’s ancient natural history—and its contemporary environmental challenges—White delivers a novel that perfectly blends story and landscape. We often say that fine nonfiction has the narrative drive of a good thriller, but we rarely have occasion to say that a fine thriller has all the mind-boggling fascination of compelling nonfiction.”––Booklist (starred review)
“A descent into the world of overzealous and unethical fossil collectors leads to a boat-napping, stolen artifacts, and increasingly dire threats . . . White does a fine job detailing Florida’s unique history and geography.”––Publishers Weekly
Praise for Night Moves
“White weaves in and out of two mysteries, telling the story with the same tight, vivid prose his fans have come to expect. Another strong addition to one of crime fiction’s most consistent series.” —Associated Press
“Randy Wayne White takes one of Florida’s most iconic mysteries and turns it into a tailor-made story for his own icon, Doc Ford. Night Moves illustrates why, after twenty novels, Ford’s double life and White’s attention to the Florida scenery continue to intrigue readers.” —South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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This story is about crooks stealing and selling relics that they find in the swamps of central Florida. It is well written and holds your interest, but the ending is slightly more predictable than most of Mr. White's books.
But fans of Doc Ford and Tomlinson will not be disappointed with this one. And I confess, I am a huge fan.
In this release, Ford is back with the same thrill ride and information packed story that made him such an endearing character to begin with. Faced with both personal risk and risk to his clients and his sense of justice, Ford follows the trail left by the bad guys and navigates the turns with typical Doc Ford brains and brawn. While the cast of characters that makes up Dinkins Bay in his series plays a lesser part in this novel, they are present enough to add to the personal tensions Ford feels, adding depth to the background of the plot.
Seriously good reading.
The book is more character driven than plot driven. The supporting cast consists of Hannah, Doc Ford's on again off again girl friend, Tomlinson, a new age guru who teaches yoga, and Quirt, a psycho killer who is trying to poach the fossilized ivory on the property where Ford is working and Toby the elephant who is retired on this same plot of land and takes a dim view of the poachers.
The book is engaging and interesting because of the Florida ambience and atmosphere. Doc
Ford's Florida is a dangerous and exotic locale. It is the Florida of Key West, Captiva and Sanibel islands, mangrove jungles, and swamps and gators and snakes and Sunday night neighborhood shrimp roasts.
It is an action adventure thriller which I highly recommend.
But after a couple hundred pages of showing what horrible, unrepentant, cold blooded psychopaths Doc's adversaries are, Randy only gives us a hint of their ultimate demise. Doc also seems to be getting a little less amorous. Maybe its old age.
So I guess I'm hoping Randy/Doc will put all that physical fitness and deadly black ops training to better use and stomp the bad guys a little harder and love the ladies a little more. After all, these are great vacation reads and need just a little more pizzazz.