Dark Light by Randy Wayne White



Dark light Dark LightRandy Wayne White; Berkley 2007WorldCatThe hurricane that hit Sanibel Island and western Florida is over. The area is devastated. It’s a great time for crooks at all levels. Marina owner Bern Heller claims all the boats and yachts in his marina as salvage. Then one of the Dinkin’s Bay residents finds the sunken wreck the hurricane uncovered. Heller had been looking for that wreck and immediately claimed it as well.

Marine biologist Doc Ford and Tomlinson help their friend Jeff to reclaim the newly discovered wreck. The first salvage brought up from the wreck includes a Nazi cross studded with diamonds. Chestra Engle, an older woman, offers to finance the salvage. She is certain it is the remains of the boat that killed her godmother, a German actress who came to Florida from Nazi Germany.

As they search, western Florida history from World War II is revealed. There had been a German POW camp on Sanibel Island. Luminaries of the time such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Edna St. Vincent Millay spent much of their time there. Chestra had been young when her godmother died, but she remembers. So does Arlis Futch, one of the Dinkin’s Bay old timers who also helps with the salvage of the wreck. In the meantime, Bern Heller is planning to steal the wreck and find Chestra Engle, the woman who could ruin his inheritance.

Bern Heller usually is too evil to believe, although there are enough flashes of past memories and humanity to almost make him a believable character. Chestra Engle, on the other hand, is a very convincing character. Randy Wayne White weaves a tense suspense novel around true history and present possibilities. The book gets violent, such is often the case with Doc Ford novels, but not graphic. There also is an interesting love story in the background that made me cheer. This time its the older woman with the younger man rather than the other way around.

I listened to the audio book, as I have with most of the Doc Ford stories. There is a new reader (to me) for this novel. He doesn’t fit the role. His voice is too soft for the fast suspense novel. It’s hard to realize that Doc is more than a marine biologist while listening. Despite Heller’s character and the audio reading, this is a book I can recommend. The suspense is edgy; the realness of history brings it together.

More books by Randy Wayne White
Doc Ford series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

Link to Amazon.com BooksLink to BetterWorld Books

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