Deep Blue, by Randy Wayne White. Putnam. 336 pages. Hardcover $27.00.
Though we rarely see Doc Ford on one of his secret government assignments these days, one has come his way. He must, says his government handler, assassinate a madman who has reached the top of the most wanted terrorist list. A recent convert to Islam, Chicagoan David Abdel Cashmere, AKA Maximo Al-Amerikee, has been making a lot of trouble by heading people with his ruby-handled Persian knife and circulating videos of his slayings. A failed actor, he has now become a star. ISIS calls him its American Senior Operative and Video Advisor.
Sound a bit over-the-top? Yes, and you’ll love it. Surreal, whacky, but darn scary and suspenseful, too.
Our hero, now in Mr. White’s 23rd Doc Ford adventure, packs up his tool kit and heads for a swanky resort near the ruins of ancient Tulum, on the Yucatan peninsula. After some preliminary surveillance and study, he meets his supposed contact, an attractive woman named KAT. Somewhat suspicious of her behavior, he sends her a message that the mission has been scrubbed and assesses her reaction.
From here on, Doc knows that there’s a game on that involves manipulating him, perhaps even substituting his assigned target for another. More than that, he discovers that his community on Sanibel Island is in jeopardy.
Two unusual occurrences threaten the Dinkin’s Bay Marina. One is the appearance of Hello Dolly, a great white shark that is at once a source of fear and a possible source of increased or collapsed tourism. The other is the appearance of two drones. Extremely well designed, they do not seem to be under the control of government agencies.
Other odd things happen. Some force (or someone) invades and captures Sanibel area cyberspace, taking over computers and other electronic devices in a show of power.
Soon enough, readers get to know the main villains. More about David Cashmere is revealed, and a grotesque pair – an estranged father and son of great intellect, wealth, and criminal intent – come into play. The father is Winslow Shepherd, whom Doc had seen in the company of KAT (conceivably a traitor or double agent). The son, Julian, is a madman whose derangement and genius far exceeds that of the Muslim terrorist. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the March 16, 2016 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the March 17 Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte, and Palm Beach Gardens/Jupiter editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Deep Blue