Author: Randy White
Original language: English
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!