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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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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 A good read, but not White's best Jan. 7 2004
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.
The plot revolves around the real-life mystery of a sinking of vessel over the Baja California, a 1940's wreck off the gulf coast of Florida and the disappearance of several of the tourists on board. White then weaves his familiar brand of mystery, political commentary and action in a thrilling story.
However Twelve Mile Limit is not White's best work. I was disappointed by his inclusion of a manage a tois and the somewhat familiar "drug-dealers and white slavers" in South America theme. The book would have been good - maybe better - without them. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable and fast-paced read, made all the more riveting by the true-mystery flavor to it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reader from Kansas City Aug. 4 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. It was my first Randy Wayne White book, and I had a very hard time putting it down. Since I was on Sanibel while reading, it was wonderful to eat at a particular restaurant and then see it included in the book. A terrific beach read and fully enjoyable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Though Familiar Feb. 26 2003
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 day." Evil drug-running bad guys snatch someone near and dear, Doc decides to singlehandedly make the rescue, reluctantly brings a tagalong, tragedy strikes but the bad guys ultimately pay.
I enjoy Doc Ford's adventures more when they stay close to home. Maybe a good anti-developer story is due...
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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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entry
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,... Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002 by bill runyon
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 6 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 15 2002 by Jeff Stewart
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