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Doc Ford is on a collision course with death in this extraordinary new novel from the New York Times bestselling author. Alot is going on in the trailer park known as Little Guadalajara, inhabited principally by illegal laborers. The park manager is the hired gun of a financial syndicate that wants to develop the property, and he's prepared to do whatever it takes-but he Doc Ford is on a collision course with death in this extraordinary new novel from the New York Times bestselling author. Alot is going on in the trailer park known as Little Guadalajara, inhabited principally by illegal laborers. The park manager is the hired gun of a financial syndicate that wants to develop the property, and he's prepared to do whatever it takes-but he can't figure out what to do about the teenage girl, the one the laborers believe has some sort of gift. When she witnesses him killing a man, though, and runs, there's nothing left to figure: He's got to find her fast and shut her up good. Her only hope for survival: a marine biologist (and sometimes more) named Doc Ford, who along with his friend Tomlinson, must undertake a search through an underground, invisible nation...and just hope he reaches her first.


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Doc Ford is on a collision course with death in this extraordinary new novel from the New York Times bestselling author. Alot is going on in the trailer park known as Little Guadalajara, inhabited principally by illegal laborers. The park manager is the hired gun of a financial syndicate that wants to develop the property, and he's prepared to do whatever it takes-but he Doc Ford is on a collision course with death in this extraordinary new novel from the New York Times bestselling author. Alot is going on in the trailer park known as Little Guadalajara, inhabited principally by illegal laborers. The park manager is the hired gun of a financial syndicate that wants to develop the property, and he's prepared to do whatever it takes-but he can't figure out what to do about the teenage girl, the one the laborers believe has some sort of gift. When she witnesses him killing a man, though, and runs, there's nothing left to figure: He's got to find her fast and shut her up good. Her only hope for survival: a marine biologist (and sometimes more) named Doc Ford, who along with his friend Tomlinson, must undertake a search through an underground, invisible nation...and just hope he reaches her first.

30 review for Night Vision

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I enjoyed a book that came after this one in series order, but this was pretty outlandish, disturbing, sick and exploitive of innocent Guatemalan girl who has the night visions and is guided by Saint Joan of Arc? And then there was the giant alligator. So much not to like. Maybe some day I will try a book earlier in the series. Maybe.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    A profound entry in a great series. The Amazon.com user reviews of the latest Doc Ford mystery have been overwhelmingly negative, for a classic ridiculous reason. Oh, you can read all the reasons contrary to what I'm going to say, but the reasons the reviews are negative is because Randy Wayne White expresses a religious faith through this narrative. The action is slow but steady, and when a Nicaraguan teen girl who idolizes Joan of Arc is kidnapped by a steroid-manufacturing bodybuilder, whom sh A profound entry in a great series. The Amazon.com user reviews of the latest Doc Ford mystery have been overwhelmingly negative, for a classic ridiculous reason. Oh, you can read all the reasons contrary to what I'm going to say, but the reasons the reviews are negative is because Randy Wayne White expresses a religious faith through this narrative. The action is slow but steady, and when a Nicaraguan teen girl who idolizes Joan of Arc is kidnapped by a steroid-manufacturing bodybuilder, whom she had witnessed an accidental killing, she overwhelms him with her religious convictions and her honest assessment that he is not an evil man, that there is goodness beneath. Nobody in this man's life has ever praised him. In a moment of crisis, he defies several dangers to become her protector. It's a wonderful literary transformation. And of course, this is a Doc Ford mystery, and Tomlinson has compelled Doc to use his secret skills to find the kidnapper and kidnapped girl, while remaining ignorant of the true situation. This is one of the very best of the series, even if it's not typical. Doc is shown in his darkest hour. The author nicely switches from 1st person Doc and third person subplot perspectives. And again, the character transformation is very satisfying. I only wish we lived in an era where religious beliefs expressed through fiction didn't blind people to seeing the merits of a good novel.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bonnieb

    I finished the book. I have problems NOT finishing books! Too bad. Night Vision felt like White wrote it under a tight deadline or had an apprentice writing it for/with him. I have always enjoyed his novels, but this one will be the last of the Doc Ford ones I read. It just did not rise to the level of previous writing of White’s, including the topic, the telling, and devices used. Doc Ford ‘fell in love’ too quickly. A 13 year old ‘saint’ felt too artificial. The details of ‘using’ illegal immi I finished the book. I have problems NOT finishing books! Too bad. Night Vision felt like White wrote it under a tight deadline or had an apprentice writing it for/with him. I have always enjoyed his novels, but this one will be the last of the Doc Ford ones I read. It just did not rise to the level of previous writing of White’s, including the topic, the telling, and devices used. Doc Ford ‘fell in love’ too quickly. A 13 year old ‘saint’ felt too artificial. The details of ‘using’ illegal immigrant women and girls for pornography and sex games was almost too much. And the ‘bad guys’ were too many and too shallow. Meanwhile Doc’s friend, Tomlinson, is portrayed more and more as a special person, moving him away from his drug-induced, hippie reality.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jay Connor

    "Night Vision" is a good, not great, Doc Ford story. It is more violent and sexually graphic than more recent entries in the series and that cost it a star from the benchmark of last year's "Deep Shadow," which received four stars. Why then, you might ask, did I give "Night Vision" a seemingly incongruous five stars? Context. Carol and I started listening to "Night Vision" as we were leaving Captiva / Sanibel after another fantastic visit. Great company for our 7 hour drive. Since Doc Ford and th "Night Vision" is a good, not great, Doc Ford story. It is more violent and sexually graphic than more recent entries in the series and that cost it a star from the benchmark of last year's "Deep Shadow," which received four stars. Why then, you might ask, did I give "Night Vision" a seemingly incongruous five stars? Context. Carol and I started listening to "Night Vision" as we were leaving Captiva / Sanibel after another fantastic visit. Great company for our 7 hour drive. Since Doc Ford and the author, Randy Wayne White feature many references to Captiva and Sanibel ... it allowed us to keep fresh the islands' powerful allure. Worth at least a star. As with other recent entries in the series -- most notably 2009's strong "Dead Silence" -- the reader for "Night Vision" is the incomparable, George Guidall. I have liked Guidall ever since my first Tony Hillerman cassette, which I listened to on a 1995 cross-country roadtrip from Ann Arbor to Lake Arrowhead. Worth another star. "Night Vision," by revolving the story around a spiritual young Guatemalan girl, Tula, helps us to understand the reality for illegal aliens ... not so much for what they gain in coming to America, but for what it makes them loose. Learning something new is never a bad thing. Another star. I'm already up to a possible six stars. Nuf said.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Phair

    Only two Doc Fords have truly disappointed me- I think one was The Man Who Invented Florida which if I recall correctly went on far too long about Florida real estate dealings and now this one. About 2/3 of the way through listening to this audio it occurred to me that there had been no Doc, no Tomlinson, no other Dinkin's Bay folk at all in the story since the opening bits. Tula was an OK character with that slight mystical touch that I enjoy (that's one of the main things I like about Tomlins Only two Doc Fords have truly disappointed me- I think one was The Man Who Invented Florida which if I recall correctly went on far too long about Florida real estate dealings and now this one. About 2/3 of the way through listening to this audio it occurred to me that there had been no Doc, no Tomlinson, no other Dinkin's Bay folk at all in the story since the opening bits. Tula was an OK character with that slight mystical touch that I enjoy (that's one of the main things I like about Tomlinson) but I got tired of her and her "giant" being constantly front and center. It was only when Doc reappeared and some ACTION finally began that the book got interesting again. Too much talking! And the ending was kind of fuzzy- it just petered out as if White got that far and lost interest- as I sort of did. Still love Doc but I'd prefer he got back to being the heart of the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Again a book I would probably give 3.5 to except for the last 100 pages when it deserved a 5. I couldn't put it down until I was done. This is the first book I've read by this author. He has written 18 books in the series and I just read the newest. I'm going to read the first one sometime soon. The main character and his sidekick seem to have very intriguing story lines. Doc Ford evidently has quite a background in something that was only touched on in this book. I want to find out more about h Again a book I would probably give 3.5 to except for the last 100 pages when it deserved a 5. I couldn't put it down until I was done. This is the first book I've read by this author. He has written 18 books in the series and I just read the newest. I'm going to read the first one sometime soon. The main character and his sidekick seem to have very intriguing story lines. Doc Ford evidently has quite a background in something that was only touched on in this book. I want to find out more about him.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Another Doc Ford novel. Less of the "marine biology for novices" that attracted me to his series in the first place, and a little weird with the middle 70% of the book. Not as entertaining as others of his that I've read. I skipped quickly through most of it without really reading it for effect. I wouldn't recommend it. Another Doc Ford novel. Less of the "marine biology for novices" that attracted me to his series in the first place, and a little weird with the middle 70% of the book. Not as entertaining as others of his that I've read. I skipped quickly through most of it without really reading it for effect. I wouldn't recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike French

    You can always expect a 4 or 5 star Doc Ford series book by Randy Wayne White and he didn't disappoint with "Night Vision"! Very enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish. I am looking forward to finding and reading books under the pen name Randy Striker. You can always expect a 4 or 5 star Doc Ford series book by Randy Wayne White and he didn't disappoint with "Night Vision"! Very enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish. I am looking forward to finding and reading books under the pen name Randy Striker.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I am a fan of Randy Wayne White and his Doc Ford novels but this one was strange to put it mildly. Wasn't sure if White even wrote this book. White writes about Florida. This book, he takes us to the dark, seedy, sick side with all the perverse criminal elements. shudder. I am a fan of Randy Wayne White and his Doc Ford novels but this one was strange to put it mildly. Wasn't sure if White even wrote this book. White writes about Florida. This book, he takes us to the dark, seedy, sick side with all the perverse criminal elements. shudder.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    This is a decent Doc Ford entry. But knowing what's coming, I could see the signs of the series' decline. Less about Doc Ford the marine biologist, more about Doc Ford the CIA (?) trained killer.More about Tomlinson as--well, I'm not sure what, but definitely less of Tomlinson as a stoned hippie psychic. Much more darkness, much less of the Florida background of the earlier novels. It is what it is, I guess, but I miss the early days. This is a decent Doc Ford entry. But knowing what's coming, I could see the signs of the series' decline. Less about Doc Ford the marine biologist, more about Doc Ford the CIA (?) trained killer.More about Tomlinson as--well, I'm not sure what, but definitely less of Tomlinson as a stoned hippie psychic. Much more darkness, much less of the Florida background of the earlier novels. It is what it is, I guess, but I miss the early days.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ray Bearfield

    Doc Ford goes all medieval in his own back yard. We are, by now, accustomed to the Superman-like quality of Randy Wayne White’s answer to Travis McGee. By day, Doc Ford is a mild-mannered, bespectacled marine biologist living a monk-like existence on an island on Florida’s southwest coast. At night, especially in some Third World hellhole infested with tyrants, perverts and their minions, he is a ninja in a linebacker’s body. You can’t read about his stilt house on Dinkins Bay, a gathering place f Doc Ford goes all medieval in his own back yard. We are, by now, accustomed to the Superman-like quality of Randy Wayne White’s answer to Travis McGee. By day, Doc Ford is a mild-mannered, bespectacled marine biologist living a monk-like existence on an island on Florida’s southwest coast. At night, especially in some Third World hellhole infested with tyrants, perverts and their minions, he is a ninja in a linebacker’s body. You can’t read about his stilt house on Dinkins Bay, a gathering place for fishing guides and sun-bronzed ladies within earshot of the Friday night parties at the nearby marina, without being reminded of Slip F-18 at Bahia Mar. The echoes, and White’s literary adoration of his Southwest Florida home, are what make him the acknowledged successor to the late John D. MacDonald. In truth, White’s best work is nothing like MacDonald’s. As a novelist, MacDonald built monsters from ordinary people asked to forego the deadly sins in order to remain part of the human tide McGee was all-too-happy to rescue. White’s monsters are more broadly drawn, as though a crack in the earth delivers a new batch of walking evil each time he plugs in his laptop and goes to work. The irony is that White the non-commercial writer, goes places MacDonald could never reach. His sense of place is impeccable. His essays and columns from Outside magazine display a gift for the language that’s as clear and bracing as the shallow flats that surround his Pine Island home. He is a keen observer of human nature, including his own, I suspect. He’s able to match MacDonald in capturing the glimmers of insight that only a careful observer can, but his styling and the elegance of his language lift him far beyond the model he so obviously has emulated. But . . . When it comes to sustaining a stream of commercial fiction, MacDonald remains the king. With each new success, White and cohort James W. Hall reveal themselves to be gifted challengers but nowhere near the master. That remains true, even as they work to inject more depth and substance into their growing string of hits. In Night Vision, Doc Ford is roped by his hippy-dippy buddy Tomlinson/Meyer into rescuing a 13-year-old Guatemalan refugee with a Joan of Arc complex. She disguises herself as a boy, but she can’t fool the twisted sister of a steroid-freak body builder with an insatiable appetite for sweet young bodies who lives with the manager of the trailer park where she’s staying. Add the harpy’s roid-raging boyfriend, a 12-foot gator, a Mexican gang-leader who shoots porn on his iPhone, and you have the ingredients for a perfect summer beach cocktail. Just sit back and watch Randy mix it up for you. What’s different about this tall drink? The action takes place in Fort Myers Beach and near the Everglades east of Immokalee. And Ford spends more time talking about Glocks and Sig Sauers and his new favorite, a palm-sized Kahr .380, than he does the biological specimens he collects as his day job. Would I buy this book and read it again? Nope. But I’m sure White knows that, too. He’s too fine a writer not to. He knows that selling specimens like Night Vision is just his day job.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sova

    Marion ‘Doc’ Ford, a marine biologist with a mysterious and somewhat checkered past, has been featured in nearly two dozen highly acclaimed Randy Wayne White novels. In Night Vision, Doc is called upon to help a young Guatemalan girl who is trying to find her mother. She lives in a trailer park run by a money hungry, steroid pumping manager and his grotesquely muscular and depraved girlfriend. One night, the girl witnesses the manager dumping a body in the swamp. He knows he’s been seen and kno Marion ‘Doc’ Ford, a marine biologist with a mysterious and somewhat checkered past, has been featured in nearly two dozen highly acclaimed Randy Wayne White novels. In Night Vision, Doc is called upon to help a young Guatemalan girl who is trying to find her mother. She lives in a trailer park run by a money hungry, steroid pumping manager and his grotesquely muscular and depraved girlfriend. One night, the girl witnesses the manager dumping a body in the swamp. He knows he’s been seen and knows that girl must be silenced at any cost. There’s only one problem. She speaks to Joan of Arc, or God, or both, and seems to have power and understanding far beyond her years. Like many other Randy Wayne White novels, Night Vision has a mystical, even spiritual quality totally at odds with the pragmatic protagonist. Ford’s best friend, Tomlinson, is a pot smoking hippy completely comfortable with oras, visions, intuition, karma and all the other intangibles Doc Ford would readily dismiss as so much hogwash. However, the better he understands Tomlinson and the closer he gets to the young Guatemalan, the more difficult it becomes to draw logical, scientific conclusions to the sometimes inexplicable events he’s been a part of. Randy Wayne White has been called “the rightful heir to John D. MacDonald. That’s incredibly high praise. In fact, for my money, I’m not sure an author can do any better. MacDonald, after all, created Travis McGee, one of the most beloved literary characters of all time. He was featured in twenty-one wonderful thriller novels, each one connected in some way to southern Florida and McGee’s home aboard the Busted Flush. Stephen King referred to MacDonald as “the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller.” Sadly, the great entertainer passed away nearly thirty years ago and, although plenty of authors have tried to fill his shoes, by my estimation, Randy Wayne White is the only one who’s even come close. I don’t mean this to be a tribute to John D. MacDonald and his myriad literary accomplishments. He’s an icon of the suspense genre and well deserving of praise. I think we all know that already. White and MacDonald are often connected because there are some clear similarities between their main characters and their books’ locales. For the most part, though, I think that’s where the parallels end. Randy Wayne White is not riding MacDonald’s coattails. He’s created something new and different, and Doc Ford’s character arc continues to grow. Never has that been more apparent than in Night Vision. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll definitely love this book. And if you haven’t yet encountered Doc Ford, it’s probably high time that changes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vic

    A solid offering in the on going Doc Ford series. The first half of the book establishes some great new characters and a timely and interesting story line involving a young girl from Guatemala living in a trailer park filled with Mayan Indians, a couple of nasty rednecks making and selling steroids out of said trailer park and a gang of Mexicans involved in drugs and prostitution and what amounts to slavery. Our young heroine is deeply religious and sophisticated well beyond her age with an unca A solid offering in the on going Doc Ford series. The first half of the book establishes some great new characters and a timely and interesting story line involving a young girl from Guatemala living in a trailer park filled with Mayan Indians, a couple of nasty rednecks making and selling steroids out of said trailer park and a gang of Mexicans involved in drugs and prostitution and what amounts to slavery. Our young heroine is deeply religious and sophisticated well beyond her age with an uncanny ability to influence those around her. In fact, some people believe she has a direct line to God, when it is really Joan of Arc she talks to. I am somewhat concerned about a shift in Randy White's writing style that has taken place over the last several books. Gone is a lot of the banter and familiarity that exists between Doc and Tomlinson, or the other members of Dinkin's Bay Marina. A new reader would hardly know anything about Doc's and Tomlinson's friendship and the degree of intimacy they have achieved over the years. The writing has lost some of the lightness, become almost clinical in a way, and most of Doc's personal life has been minimized. This story for instance focuses primarily on his past associations with the black op group he belonged to and very little else save a potential new romantic involvement. It makes Doc seem more one dimensional. This is not to say there aren't some great lines and a well developed plot. Doc admits to Tomlinson that he is the only one he would trust his life to but there is no context for this statement unless you have followed the series. I miss the older style of writing and would like to see some of the other characters continue to appear in the new stories. I think the potential exists to bring our young heroine, Tula, back for further adventures. She was a fantastic character and deserving of future involvement. I don't know what Randy White's plans are for future stories, but he is slightly off track in my opinion and might want to think about rereading some of his earlier work. In spite of these comments, Night Vison was a worthwhile read with a great finale.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    If you are a fan of well-written action-filled crime thrillers AND Southern Florida as a setting, you are guaranteed to enjoy Randy Wayne White. His recurring hero, Doc Ford, is a marine biologist who moonlights as private eye/commando/super-spy. "Night Vision", White's latest in the Doc Ford series (there are well over a dozen now), pits Ford against redneck trailer trash operating an illegal steroid lab in their trailer, a Mexican coyote who enjoys kidnapping young Mexican women in order to ma If you are a fan of well-written action-filled crime thrillers AND Southern Florida as a setting, you are guaranteed to enjoy Randy Wayne White. His recurring hero, Doc Ford, is a marine biologist who moonlights as private eye/commando/super-spy. "Night Vision", White's latest in the Doc Ford series (there are well over a dozen now), pits Ford against redneck trailer trash operating an illegal steroid lab in their trailer, a Mexican coyote who enjoys kidnapping young Mexican women in order to make porn and snuff films, and a crocodile named Fifi. When a young Guatemalan girl is kidnapped from the trailer park, Ford sets out to find her, but the young girl, raised by nuns and prone to visions that she claims to be from God, is much more resourceful than anyone thinks. White has a darker streak than fellow Floridian Carl Hiassen, and he avoids the big-city Miami troubles that Edna Buchanan tends to write about. White likes to stick to the wilds of the Everglades. If you've never read a Doc Ford book, you can probably pick this one up and start reading without feeling like you've missed a lot of back-story. I recommend, though, that you read some of his early ones. You'll most likely want to, anyway, after reading this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Once more we discover truly evil people up to truly evil deeds and we need the 13 year old Guatemalan girl, Tula, protected by Doc Ford, his hippy-dippy friend Tomlinson, and everyone she comes in contact with to overcome the bad with their good. Could she really be connected with Joan of Arc? What do all the Mexican and South American field workers see in her that they venerate. Can she succeed in her mission to get her people to return to the mountains of Guatemala? Full of action and mystery, t Once more we discover truly evil people up to truly evil deeds and we need the 13 year old Guatemalan girl, Tula, protected by Doc Ford, his hippy-dippy friend Tomlinson, and everyone she comes in contact with to overcome the bad with their good. Could she really be connected with Joan of Arc? What do all the Mexican and South American field workers see in her that they venerate. Can she succeed in her mission to get her people to return to the mountains of Guatemala? Full of action and mystery, this is a very explicit novel about trafficking in humans and all the mess that follows with drugs, prostitution, pornography and other evil that is fueled by greedy people. Mr. White has an eye for detail and the tropical locale and people come alive in this sordid tale. While this would make an exciting film, I would not go see it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Tonkinson

    This book doesn't follow quite the typical pattern I've seen in Doc Ford books, but he does help a helpless person in distress with his special skills. My main negative is the extremely unpleasant nature of the distress. It portrays in graphic detail horrific events that I'd prefer to be ignorant of. It left me feeling as dirty as the "jelly boy". Because the book dwells so long in the mire of this underworld I don't get enough of the thoughtful and almost poetic musings of this black-ops scient This book doesn't follow quite the typical pattern I've seen in Doc Ford books, but he does help a helpless person in distress with his special skills. My main negative is the extremely unpleasant nature of the distress. It portrays in graphic detail horrific events that I'd prefer to be ignorant of. It left me feeling as dirty as the "jelly boy". Because the book dwells so long in the mire of this underworld I don't get enough of the thoughtful and almost poetic musings of this black-ops scientist. There are glimpses of it, such as night time visitation by some dolphins, but not near enough for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    I do like this series, especially to listen to. Doc Ford has an unassuming appearance, but appearances deceive. He travels the world using his Sanibel Island home as his base. He is a marine biologist, but that's his cover. It allows him to travel the world and take care of business for a shadow agency. This gives him the abilities and training to help his friends when they need it. Here he helps his buddy Tomlinson rescue a young teen. There's drug running, human trafficking, thugs, a genuine t I do like this series, especially to listen to. Doc Ford has an unassuming appearance, but appearances deceive. He travels the world using his Sanibel Island home as his base. He is a marine biologist, but that's his cover. It allows him to travel the world and take care of business for a shadow agency. This gives him the abilities and training to help his friends when they need it. Here he helps his buddy Tomlinson rescue a young teen. There's drug running, human trafficking, thugs, a genuine thrill-ride. This is book 18 of this series and I'm not tired of it yet. I can recommend

  18. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    Doc Ford really isn't in this book very much, as it focuses on a young girl who believes she hears spirits like Joan of Arc, and a roided up criminal. The girl is an illegal immigrant, so we have to hear all about White's views on immigration. There's the usual Florida craziness, with a gator attack and all, but I didn't like it as much as the rest of the series. Doc Ford really isn't in this book very much, as it focuses on a young girl who believes she hears spirits like Joan of Arc, and a roided up criminal. The girl is an illegal immigrant, so we have to hear all about White's views on immigration. There's the usual Florida craziness, with a gator attack and all, but I didn't like it as much as the rest of the series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Beck

    An interesting story. Doc is up to his usual. Helping the good and punishing the bad.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Hood

    White’s latest defines ‘shadow society’ By John Hood Miami Herald 2/27/11 Apply the old adage “write what you know” to Randy Wayne White, and you’d have to say the author knows a thing or three about U.S. intelligence, especially the National Security Agency. Add the universally held belief that a novelist’s primary protagonist generally resembles its creator, and you might conclude that the crime scribe knows what he knows from the inside. Whether White was ever a spy like his main man Doc Ford ha White’s latest defines ‘shadow society’ By John Hood Miami Herald 2/27/11 Apply the old adage “write what you know” to Randy Wayne White, and you’d have to say the author knows a thing or three about U.S. intelligence, especially the National Security Agency. Add the universally held belief that a novelist’s primary protagonist generally resembles its creator, and you might conclude that the crime scribe knows what he knows from the inside. Whether White was ever a spy like his main man Doc Ford has never been confirmed — and neither of them are saying. What is certain is that White’s long-running suspense series captures the essence of his beloved Mangrove Coast with the alacrity of one who not only lives it, but loves it. And who is both eager and pleased to share its extraordinary charms. In Night Vision (Putnam $25.95), the 18th Doc Ford novel, White — who appears Wednesday at Books & Books — threads an immigrant song to the particularly Florida story and winds up delivering the thriller equivalent of an opera. We trekked across Alligator Alley to the writer’s Sanibel Island home on the morning of the launch of his Sunshine State onslaught and got him to expound a bit on the book, meeting Peter Matthiessen and the search for the Florida yeti. Q. Wow [noting the four bottles of Doc Ford’s hot sauce sitting on White’s dining room table], I never knew you had your own line of hot sauce. “Yes, I’ve been importing hot sauce from Colombia for 13 years now.” Q. So you got into the sauce before opening the Doc Ford Rum Bar & Grille? “Yeah, in fact that kinda led to it. I’m not a great business guy, but I learned early on that when people buy hot sauce they buy about a bottle a year so... it’s like selling cars except you only make three cents.” Q. How many eateries do you have now? “There are two Doc Fords — one’s on Sanibel, the other’s on Fort Myers Beach.” Q. Is Doc Ford’s Dinkins Bay an actual place? “Dinkin’s Bay Marina is actually Tarpon Bay, where I was a fishing guide for 13 years. I did more than 3,000 charters there. It’s right down the road.” Q. Do you still make it out fishing? “No, I stopped as a fishing guide back in 1990, and more than 3,000 charters was enough. I paddle surf and paddle board now.” Q. Your whole history with the Mangrove Coast springs from you working at The [Fort Myers] News-Press, right? Did you go there straight out of school? “Not straight out of high school; I traveled for five years prior to that. I was very lucky because I had no college or background in journalism, but the four years I spent at The News-Press were hugely educational. It was a very positive environment. The editors, rather than saying ‘No, don’t do this; no, don’t do that,’ they’d say ‘go ahead and give it a try,’ which is unusual.” Q. How did you meet Peter Matthiessen? “I had come up with this idea to go in search of the Swamp Ape, the Florida Yeti. So I sent out invitations to people. It was a joke; it was an excuse for me and my buddies to go out to the Glades and drink beer. Matthiessen called me and said, ‘I understand you’re going out in search of the yeti.’ And I said ‘uh, yeah...’ And he said ‘Well, my name’s Peter Matthiessen, and I’d really like to go along.’ So I asked, ‘Is this the writer?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is.’ And I said, ‘You don’t want anything to do with this; it’s complete bulls---.’ He came anyway, and we had a great time. From thereafter Peter and I did a trip one or two times a year down to the Ten Thousand Islands in one of my small boats. He’s just a marvelous, decent, funny man.” Q. The new book’s cast includes 13-year-old Tula, a trailer park landlord named Harris Squires, gangbanger Victorino and a particularly awful woman named Jackie. Are there any real-life parallels to any of the above? “In Florida, as well as the rest of the United States, there’s a growing demographic of people from Latin America who have come here both legally and illegally, so I find that both intellectually and emotionally interesting, that shadow society who come from foreign lands and work under the radar to send money home to their families.” Q. Have you noticed a marked increase even on the West Coast? “No, not a marked increase. But I’ve always been aware of their presence because I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Central and South America. I find it interesting that most of them are very hard workers, and most of them live under the radar, which means they don’t get in trouble with the law. It also means that they are very easy targets, potential victims, not only as workers but in the sex trade, and some of them are slaves, by any definition.” Q. Did Tula simply take over the story while you were writing? “She became one of my favorite female protagonists, without a doubt, and I was charmed by her and fascinated by her devotion to her family and also to her spiritual mandate, which was to come to the United States, find her family and take her safely home.” Q. How’d Joan of Arc come into play in the story? “Well, the character required divine guidance, and I found it quite interesting that Joan of Arc came into history as a teen, she too heard voices, she too had a spiritual mandate and calling.” Q. You continue to encourage others to write, whether it’s professionally or not. Is that something you’ve always done? “It’s generally within the last two years. Because I have been published I’m often contacted by people who want to write a story, and I find that touching, and it also motivates me to urge people to anchor their lives on paper.” Q. Did a personal event spark this practice? “No, quite the opposite. And it’s much to our family’s loss. My father, for instance, was in the 101st Airborne during WWII; not one word about what he experienced. My maternal family, who are all from the Deep South; not one written word, and they lived through unusual and fascinating times in history.” John Hood is a writer and correspondent in Miami. Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/27...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Doc Ford battles evil and wins again. His friend, Tomlinson, gets Doc Ford involved with trying to save a young girl from an abusive landlord at a trailer park. The residents of the trailers are primarily illegal immigrants who are too intimidated to complain or defend themselves. I usually enjoy the Doc Ford books. This one was disappointing, or maybe I've grown beyond the character who is unbelievably too prepared physically, mentally and morally for everything he does. A man who has no known Doc Ford battles evil and wins again. His friend, Tomlinson, gets Doc Ford involved with trying to save a young girl from an abusive landlord at a trailer park. The residents of the trailers are primarily illegal immigrants who are too intimidated to complain or defend themselves. I usually enjoy the Doc Ford books. This one was disappointing, or maybe I've grown beyond the character who is unbelievably too prepared physically, mentally and morally for everything he does. A man who has no known faults, yet questions himself constantly. Story involves illegal trade in drugs, women, pornography, several murders, gangs, and more. At least it was a fast read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    A very interesting read with a plot that will come under fire from the religious far right. Doc goes deep in this one but you will have to read to find out how deep. A new love surfaces, St Joan de Arc, of course Tomlinson is right in the middle of it with his mystic friend. A lot of bad dudes in this one but they don't compare to the murderous felon. The reader will find out that central Florida is cast with numerous run a way's from South America trapped in sex for hire, murder and the unspeak A very interesting read with a plot that will come under fire from the religious far right. Doc goes deep in this one but you will have to read to find out how deep. A new love surfaces, St Joan de Arc, of course Tomlinson is right in the middle of it with his mystic friend. A lot of bad dudes in this one but they don't compare to the murderous felon. The reader will find out that central Florida is cast with numerous run a way's from South America trapped in sex for hire, murder and the unspeakable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kris Hansen

    I'm a fan of the Doc Ford series, yet this one particularly stands out to me. White has created compelling characters in Tula, a 13-year-old Guatemalan girl searching for her mother with the aid of a legendary saint who speaks to her, and a brutal, steroid-dropping trailer park owner and body builder who may be her worst nightmare--or her best friend. Tomlinson is existential, Ford is ruthlessly efficient and his latest love interest has elements to her life that parallel my own. I couldn't put I'm a fan of the Doc Ford series, yet this one particularly stands out to me. White has created compelling characters in Tula, a 13-year-old Guatemalan girl searching for her mother with the aid of a legendary saint who speaks to her, and a brutal, steroid-dropping trailer park owner and body builder who may be her worst nightmare--or her best friend. Tomlinson is existential, Ford is ruthlessly efficient and his latest love interest has elements to her life that parallel my own. I couldn't put it down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Kay Ashley

    Great storyteller Mr White writes excellent suspense stories. I just discovered them a few months back, and I'm hooked. I just finished book 18 of the Doc Ford series. Love love them. My only complaint (aside from my impression that the last few have gotten darker), is that the profanity seems to consist exclusively of G/D, and J/C. I find this offensive to say the least, and the book i just finished (Night Vision ) had these extensively. This is why I have it a four rather than a five. Really wi Great storyteller Mr White writes excellent suspense stories. I just discovered them a few months back, and I'm hooked. I just finished book 18 of the Doc Ford series. Love love them. My only complaint (aside from my impression that the last few have gotten darker), is that the profanity seems to consist exclusively of G/D, and J/C. I find this offensive to say the least, and the book i just finished (Night Vision ) had these extensively. This is why I have it a four rather than a five. Really wish Mr. Wright would choose other words.. How about it Mr. Wright?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arizonagirl

    Doc Ford series, book #18. I didn't care for this one so much. Tomlinson befriends a naive Guatemalan teenage girl who believes she can speak to Joan of Arc. I didn't care for the subject matter of sex trafficking and pornography. I liked the moving thing Tula would say to others, something like, "Do you remember what it felt like when you were a child to have the love of God in your heart? Why do you fight him so?" Please let me know if you have the exact quote. Doc Ford series, book #18. I didn't care for this one so much. Tomlinson befriends a naive Guatemalan teenage girl who believes she can speak to Joan of Arc. I didn't care for the subject matter of sex trafficking and pornography. I liked the moving thing Tula would say to others, something like, "Do you remember what it felt like when you were a child to have the love of God in your heart? Why do you fight him so?" Please let me know if you have the exact quote.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark Wilson

    Not bad! I’ve been to Sanibel, and eaten at Doc Ford’s restaurant - named for the title character in this series, and owned/operated by the author. The book was better than expected, and a perfectly respectable example of Florida Contemporary Noir - if that’s not a thing, it should be!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    An illegal Guatemalan girl is posing as a boy, searching for her mother. She has visions, similar to those of her heroine, Joan of Arc. When her landlord realizes she saw him dump a body in the lake at the trailer park, he decides to kill her. Doc Ford and his sidekick Tomlinson set out to save the the young girl. Gator attack, graphic violence...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Another good Doc Ford adventure. How does he manage to get into so much trouble? An even bigger question is how does he manage to survive the big messes? Like James Bond and other action heroes, Doc and Tomlinson somehow manage to triumph against all odds and end up on their feet, usually with a beer in hand with a lovely woman heading off into the sunset! Good fun read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Kemp

    Another enjoyable tale in the Doc Ford series. I admire the author's ability to create new, fresh plots, and to introduce new characters. 18 books into the series and it remains fresh. All the books are entertaining, some a little more than others. This is one of the better ones, I thought. Looking forward to the next one! Another enjoyable tale in the Doc Ford series. I admire the author's ability to create new, fresh plots, and to introduce new characters. 18 books into the series and it remains fresh. All the books are entertaining, some a little more than others. This is one of the better ones, I thought. Looking forward to the next one!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shaaron K Cypher

    I think this was the worst of the Doc Ford novels. Too much Harris Squires, Frankie and Tula. Not enough Doc Ford. The plot was outlandish. I usually rate his books at least four stars. This one only got three. I will continue to read his books in hopes that they return to their former enjoyment.

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