Tampa Burn Hardcover – May 24 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
White churns out another title in the Doc Ford series, this one alternating between compelling action sequences and pointless digressions. At the start of the novel, Marion Ford has settled into the life of a gentleman marine biologist on Florida's Gulf coast, leaving behind his past as an assassin and spy. All this is upended when a pyromaniacal carnival freak kidnaps Ford's son, Lake. The boy's mother, Central American beauty Pilar, tries to overcome their estrangement and turns to Ford for help in rescuing the boy. Seduced by his ex-lover just long enough to be caught in a compromising situation by his current girlfriend, Dewey, Ford is distracted by the sight of Dewey's car as she storms away: "She'd sold her 'Vette and bought a new two-seater Lexus. I can never remember the model. The roadster showed impressive stability as she spun it around in the parking lot." Soon after, Ford finds himself in real trouble-and spouts more extraneous commentary. On the way to saving his son, he reflects on the fauna of Florida and Central America, skin transplants, electroshock therapy, port security and the winter residence of choice for circus people. These might have made great ingredients for another whimsical Carl Hiaasen/Elmore Leonardesque madcap novel, but White's meandering prose isn't tight enough to tie them into a convincing whole.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Now in its eleventh episode, White's Doc Ford series, starring Sanibel Island marine biologist and veteran special-ops agent Doc Ford, can always be counted on for an entertaining mix of character interplay and straight-ahead action adventure. This time the dial shifts a bit toward the character side of the scale, as Ford revisits various people and issues from his not-quite-past life as a covert operative. The catalyst for all this stock-taking is the kidnapping of the son Ford only recently learned he had and the resurfacing of Pilar, the boy's mother and the great love of Ford's life. The kidnapping plot, in which Ford, with the help of hippie pal Tomlinson, must rescue his son from a serious psycho who likes to burn people, keeps the suspense churning, but the real focus here--for longtime series followers, at least--is on what this latest crisis means to Ford's life with the people he cares about: his son, girlfriend Dewey, the troubled Pilar, and especially Tomlinson, who has his own dark past. As always in White's work, the various bodies of water that surround and intersect Florida take on the multidimensional qualities of fully developed characters, adding not only atmosphere but also context to Ford's ongoing struggle to achieve in his human relationships the sense of equilibrium he has found in the natural world. He's not there yet, but for the reader at least, that's good news: this story is a long way from over. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Inside This Book(Learn More)
THE morning that Pilar Santana Fuentes arrived at Dinkin's Bay and told me that our son had been kidnapped, I was in waist-deep water, a couple hundred yards down the mangrove shore from my rickety stilt house, wrestling with a sixty-pound tarpon. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Doc Ford is a marine biologist with a murky past as a government agent involved in some killings in foreign locales. He's living a quiet life around Tampa until he gets a call from Pilar Fuentes, the mother of his child and former wife of a corrupt Central American general who wants him dead. Their son has been kidnapped, and Pilar wants Ford's help. The kidnapper is a killer who is called Incindiaro, as he's fascinated by fire deaths and in fact is severly burned over most of his body. The kidnapper appears to want the kid's skin for a face transplant, and Ford isn't about to let that happen. To complicate everything, Pilar now wants nothing to do with Ford romantically, Ford's new love overhears his confession of love for Pilar and dumps him, and his sidekick Tomlinson may not be who Ford thinks he is...
Nice plot and pace, with some left-field (but reasonable) plot turns as the story comes down to the final pages. There was definitely the potential for an "everyone *doesn't* live happily ever after" ending, but it resolves without being overly sappy or abrupt. If I had read other books in the Doc Ford series first, I'd probably give this a top rating. Starting here, there's some character development that's left out (and I assume is covered in earlier books). Still, a very good read and well worth the time.
The only issue I had with an otherwise fantastic book was the way in which points would be made but the reader was given resolution only after hints and allusions. While it was effective in keeping me riveted to the story, it was a bit frustrating as the issues were not directly related to the main plot line.
Nonetheless, a really enjoyable read, and the best Ford book since Ten Thousand Islands. Randy Wayne White is certainly evolving into a first-rate writer, as _Tampa Burn_ demonstrates. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
Doc Ford is informed that his son with Pilar, the love of his life, has been kidnapped. The search is on with his friend Tomlinson and other of Doc's friends from his previous... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda Pfeiffer
Doc Ford is usually interesting and fun to follow. This time he seems to have left his brain at home. Great bad guy, but no conclusion. Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by John Bowes
RWW keeps the bar set high. Doc is getting more sensitive with age but he appears to be growing in a good direction. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by Gerald Layher
The title says it all,Tampa Burn is a burning thriller filled with excitement. The book will promise to keep you on the edge of your chair. Read morePublished on May 27 2004 by L. Hobson
My copy of Randy Wayne White's new novel "Tampa Burn" was delivered to my boat two days ago, and I burned through it in two late nights. Read morePublished on May 26 2004 by Jenny Blickman
My copy of Randy Wayne White's new novel "Tampa Burn" was delivered to my boat two days ago, and I burned through it in two late nights. Read morePublished on May 26 2004 by Tom Arnold