Doc Ford returns to his stilt house on Dinkin's Bay to find an old friend and one-time lover waiting for him. Her real-estate developer husband has disappeared and been pronounced dead, and she's sure there's worse to follow-and she's right. Following the trail, Ford ends up deep in the Everglades, at the gates of a community presided over by a man named Bhagwan Shiva (formerly Jerry Singh). Shiva is big business, but that business has been a little shaky lately, and so he's come up with a scheme to enhance both his cash and his power. Of course, there's the possibility that some people could get hurt and the Everglades itself damaged, but Shiva smells a killing.
And if that should turn out to be literally, as well as figuratively, true...well, that's just too damned bad.
Replete with passion and rich, pungent prose and some of the best suspense characters anywhere in fiction, Everglades is the finest work yet from an extraordinary talent.
This 10th novel in the series featuring ex-CIA spook turned marine biologist Doc Ford (Twelve Mile Limit, etc.), finds Doc wallowing deep in his own doldrums. Out of shape, overweight, depressed and drinking heavily to escape from his turbulent past, Doc gets a surprise visit from Sally Minster, a former lover, whose real estate developer hubby, Geoff, is reported to have been drowned in a boating accident off Bimini six months ago. Soon to inherit his estate, Sally is being followed by an insurance investigator who may have evidence her husband is still alive. Accompanied by his hippie Zen master pal, Sighurdhr Tomlinson, Doc follows the insurance investigator deep into the Everglades, where Geoff turns out to have been in cahoots with a phony guru, Bhagwan Shiva, founder of the International Church of Ashram Meditation Inc. Geoff helped him build one of his new "theme" ashrams to attract rich South Floridians and jet setters, destroying precious Everglades forest in the process. The Bhagwan and his henchman, Izzy Kline, a Mossad-trained former Israeli soldier, are plotting to engineer a series of explosions, enacting the mythic Seminole Chief Tecumseh's earthquake prophecy of 1811. Free-love religious cults, ecological destruction, murder and kidnapping propel Doc and his band of quirky Florida Gulf Coast beach denizens on a dizzying airboat race across the Everglades, where Doc battles his own demons when he's not battling a real live bull shark. The busy plot gets a bit ragged in places, but while it's not White's career best, this satisfying, madcap fare could well go seismic on the regional bestseller lists.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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May 31, 2004
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