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Twelve Mile Limit [Mass Market Paperback]

Randy Wayne White
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 3 2003 Doc Ford (Book 9)

It starts out as a fun excursion for four divers off the Florida coast. Two days later only one is found alive-naked atop a light tower in the Gulf of Mexico. What happened during those 48 hours? Doc Ford thinks he's prepared for the truth. He isn't.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the Florida Gulf Coast marine biologist Doc Ford, White's swashbuckling Travis McGee-esque hero, will applaud this ninth Ford suspense novel (after Shark River), though the literati will likely complain that White continues to fall just short of his near-mythic forerunner, genius storyteller John D. McDonald. In this latest tale, based on a real-life 1994 incident, a boat of scuba divers sinks at a dive site off of Marco Island. When a woman who works in his lab turns up among the missing, Doc jumps into the investigation (though not before he takes time out for an amiable menage-a-trois with two local sirens). The accident's apparent lone survivor, a sexy redheaded Sarasota attorney who swam four miles to the safety of a beacon buoy, confides to Doc that she saw her three companions taken aboard a foul-smelling shrimp boat. Ex-covert agent Doc calls on highly placed government pals to retrieve photos from a surveillance satellite, and the high-resolution images not only confirm the rescue but identify the boat owners as having a history of running drugs and smuggling illegal aliens. Accompanied by the dazzling survivor, Doc tracks the villains to Cartagena, Colombia, where he mounts an operation to free the divers, whom they suspect are about to be sold into prostitution. While this isn't the strongest of the Doc Ford escapades there's some sloppy plotting and gimmicky narrative twists it's plenty entertaining, and White's ironic touches will have fans shouting "encore."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"We like small, brave people who find small, brave ways to endure and achieve." So says Doc Ford, marine biologist, about his fellow boat people at Dinkin's Bay Marina on Sanibel Island. Ford himself is plenty brave but only wishes he was small. In fact, he's a former dirty-tricks expert for the CIA who gamely tries to live a quiet life. This time the trouble comes when one of his marina pals is lost at sea during a diving trip off the Florida's Gulf Coast. With the help of the sole survivor, Ford attempts to learn what really happened after the divers' boat went down. To get the answers he needs, Ford must return to Colombia, scene of his former CIA dirty doings. White sticks closely to formula in this series: a small, brave person gets in trouble, and Ford, reluctantly shrugging off his Clark Kent disguise, does whatever it takes to rescue the imperiled soul, realizing in the process that violence still attracts him. Formula, yes, but White enlivens it with crisp action, thoughtful reflections on human relations, and some of the best writing about the sea by anyone in or out of the crime-fiction genre. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On the bright and blustery November afternoon when we first got word that our friend, Janet Mueller, was one of three people missing after a boating accident, I was working in the lab of my little wooden stilt house at Dinkin's Bay Marina, Sanibel Island, Florida. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Latest novel in the Doc Ford series Feb. 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Marion "Doc" Ford is a marine biologist who lives in a house on stilts, off the west coast of Florida, and makes a living harvesting and supplying labs and schools with ocean wildlife local to the area. However, he has a dark past, having worked as one of the "Negotiators," a shadowy organization that works for the U.S. Government. The Negotiators have a talk with people who are being unreasonable, and make them see the error of their ways. Typically, the individual involved is an international drug kingpin who won't see the error of his ways and donate all of his loot to charity, and the solution is killing him. Ford has left all of that behind because it bothered his conscience.
In this novel, a close friend and employee of Ford has been lost at sea. One of the three people on the boat with her was rescued, and provides an account of what happened, but no matter how hard the Coast Guard looks, the other three companions aren't found. When Ford is approached by the survivor, and told that there was a boat that perhaps picked up the other survivors, he uses his connections with people in the government to investigate, and dives into an adventure to rescue his friend.
I enjoyed this book, and especially enjoy the way the author makes things interesting and suspenseful without having a blazing shootout every thirty pages (though those are fun, too). Ford is almost disdainful of guns, and those who use them, but not stupid enough to walk into a gunfight carrying a knife or something. There's also a nice subplot involving an environmentalist vs. fisherman battle that sounds so real and familiar that it must either be true or based on truth. I really enjoyed this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doc's Flea Market Jan. 8 2003
If you like Doc Ford, you'll love this one, he is the absolute center of the novel. It includes an attractive lawyer, a disaster and rescue at sea, Dinkin's Bay parties, Coast Guard lore, drunken bigshot actors, dog fights, drug/people smugglers, wicked Columbians, a large Albino, mysterious mid-easterners, an I.R.A. bomber on the run, headhunters, paid (by some government) assasins, midnight raids, a jungle adventure and count em, four different women in the sack with Doc. Travis had nothing on Doc. This novel is like those Miami area flea markets in converted malls: something for everyone and everything for someone.
There is less interaction with Tomlinson than usual; and although she makes a token visit, White's newly introduced character of Doc's "sister" (cousin) is not as extensive a part of the plot as might be expected.
Despite this White manages to keep his plot moving. Part of the skill, as he admits in an epilogue, is the reliance on factual situations. Anyone who has written effective narrative has relied on a string of events, mixed and reattached, but derived some way from reality.
In the novel's climax, as Doc confronts/assists a special forces operative who has become a force in the jungle, echoes of Kurtz and Marlow appear. But the situation is like that in the classic film "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." Justification of extreme force to protect the innocent, even in the face of law, is and has been an important philosophical problem, closely akin to the place of evil in the world. White deliberately raises the point of EVIL. There is no doubt that such actions as Doc takes are requisite socially, but what are the personal consequences; what kind of man does such deeds?
Just in case this seems too dour, the concluding event will become a comic classic in the tales of surveillance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entry Sept. 21 2002
The author has another great entry in his "Doc Ford" series,
and this one is hard to put down.
He explores a complex set of factors in putting forth this
mystery, including his favorite, the environment, as well as
the more familiar man-woman emotional relationships, and the continuing US difficulty with illegal drugs. The interesting
story takes us from a warm home on the coast of Florida, to a
wreck 50 miles away, and then on to the brutal, harsh country
of Columbia.
The hero, Ford, meets the usual array of quirky and interesting
characters, and we know he is going to have a tough time
meeting his objectives.
The story, which the author says is based, loosely, on a true
story about some missing divers, concerns Ford's search for a
good friend who is first thought to be dead in a diving accident, but who Ford later, using some super-secret info from
friendly government operatives, concludes has been captured by
"white-slavers" and taken into captivity. Ford will spare no
effort, of course, and he encounters dangers almost too numerous
to list in his search.
And he has help from a couple interesting friends, and they
plunge headlong into an adventure most of us will like to share
only in book form.
The S. Florida boating and fishing scene is not presented
better by anyone, and a thoughtful reader will almost be swaying
to the breeze rocking a boat as this adventure is absorbed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic work of suspense June 8 2002
Dr. Marion Ford lives and works on Sanibel Island near Dinkin's Bay. His business Sanibel Biological Supply provides fresh or preserved specimens to schools and labs nationwide. His assistant and close friend Janet Mueller is reported lost at sea when their diving boat capsizes so it only natural that Doc and the people who live on or near the bay launch a full scale search that is coordinated with the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard picked up only one of the four people who got separated from the group the night of the dive. After she recovers, she comes to Dinkin's Bay to tell her version of the events that happened that night. She informs Doc that she saw a boat that stopped as if it was picking up survivors. Tapping his resources in the intelligence community, Doc finds proof positive that a ship operating on the dark side of the law picked up Janet and a companion. Now the hunt is on and Doc won't rest until he finds them and brings them home.

Randy Wayne White has written a fantastic work of suspense. The hero has previously, been portrayed as an enigma but in TWELVE MILE LIMIT the audience learns a bit more about Doc's deep and murky past. Readers will come to understand why the foot soldiers in the intelligence community have a different view of humanity than the rest of the world and act accordingly. With the humanization of his hero, Mr. White delivers a superior book, one that those who have followed this absorbing series will thoroughly enjoy.

Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but not White's best
Fans of Randy Wayne White will not be disappointed by Twelve Mile Limit, another of his "Doc Ford" series, although it is not his best work. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by doc peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars Reader from Kansas City
I picked up Twelve Mile Limit while vacationing on Sanibel Island, on the advise of the owner of a terrific book shop on the island. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by Carla Trainor
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Though Familiar
For Doc Ford fans, this is a familiar and entertaining tale. My only frustration was at the point that the plot jumped to South America and I had a flash of "same plot, different... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2003 by D. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars The places you'll go
The best Doc Ford yet, educates and inspires and the pages keep turning. A "Heart of Darkness" twist allows Ford some self-examination in the heart of the Colombian... Read more
Published on July 22 2002 by John Bowes
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing Doc Ford
This book is a "Formula Ford" - same old plot, and I'm beginning to think that Ford is really promiscuous. Read more
Published on July 21 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Doc Ford Novel!
This latest Doc Ford novel is exceptional. It combines a lost at sea survival story with a action packed adventure in Columbia. Read more
Published on July 5 2002 by Juan K
2.0 out of 5 stars His worst by far
... I used to love this series, but in the past few books, it's grown more outlandish, improbable and repetitive. Read more
Published on July 5 2002 by Robert I. Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Entry in the Series
Randy Wayne White returns to good form with this story from the Doc Ford series. I was somewhat disappointed by last year's Shark River and did not believe that it lived up the... Read more
Published on July 3 2002 by Norman Paperman
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve Mile Limit
One of White's best. I hated to finish the book. Great characters and locales. The research involved in all phases of constructing this novel must have been tremendous. Read more
Published on June 21 2002 by G. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hit
White has hit a home run again. This one is a well researched page turner that keeps the reader interested throughout. This is the one series that I really look forward to. Read more
Published on June 14 2002 by Jeff Stewart
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