Authors: Randy Wayne White
ALSO BY RANDY WAYNE WHITE
DOC FORD SERIES
The Heat Islands
The Man Who Invented Florida
North of Havana
The Mangrove Coast
Ten Thousand Islands
Twelve Mile Limit
Dead of Night
HANNAH SMITH SERIES
Randy Wayne White's Ultimate Tarpon Book
Batfishing in the Rainforest
The Sharks of Lake Nicaragua
Last Flight Out
An American Traveler
Gulf Coast Cookery (and recollections of Sanibel Island)
Tarpon Fishing in Mexico and Florida (An Introduction)
Available exclusively as an e-book:
Doc Ford Country (True Stories That Inspired Doc and Tomlinson)
FICTION AS RANDY STRIKER
Key West Connection
The Deep Six
The Deadlier Sex
Grand Cayman Slam
FICTION AS CARL RAMM
Deadly in New York
Terror in D.C.
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
375 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014
Copyright Â© 2016 by Randy Wayne White
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eBook ISBN 978-0-698-18686-6
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
To Ms. Emerson Elora White
with love and best wishes for a joyous, productive life well
An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep.
Sea of Cortez
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands are real places, faithfully described, but used fictitiously in this novel. The same is true of certain businesses, marinas, bars, and other places frequented by Doc Ford, Tomlinson, and pals.
In all other respects, however, this novel is a work of fiction. Names (unless used by permission), characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or locales is unintentional and coincidental.
Contact Mr. White at
In 1989, just for luck, I summoned my sons, Lee and Rogan, into the garage, where I wrote in those days, and asked them to type the last two words, respectively, of the final sentence of the first Doc Ford novel,
They did; banged the words out on my old Underwood typewriter, just like Dad.
Lee was nine; Rogan seven.
Talk about good luck! That was more than thirty books ago, and each book has gained a larger, more devoted audience. My sons have continued to humor me over the last twenty-six years. Every book I've written remains unfinished until they have typed (copied and pasted, these days) the final two words of the final sentence.
I shared this bit of family history to explain why the author's
notes always contain some variation of this line: “Finally, I would like to thank my sons for helping me finish another novel.”
Superstition isn't silly to those of us who fly in small planes and know their way around a baseball dugoutânot if it produces results.
Before acknowledging others who contributed their expertise or good humor during the writing of
, I want to make it clear that all errors, exaggerations, or misstatements of fact are entirely my fault, not theirs.
Thanks go to Jim Cutler, staff scientist, Mote Marine Laboratory, for his expertise (and an excellent video) on the Captiva Blue Hole. Others who provided technical information were Tom Renn, director of Government Sales for American Technologies Network, Ken Cope (formerly of ASP) for tactical advice, Kenneth Levin of TruGlo Optics, and Christopher Combs of JW Fishers Underwater Search Equipment.
Insights, ideas, and medical advice were provided by Brian Hummel, Judd Miller, my brother Dan White, and my nephew Justin White, Ph.D.
Pals, advisers, and/or teammates are always a help because they know firsthand that writing and writers are a pain in the ass. They are Gary Terwilliger, Ron Iossi, Jerry Rehfuss, Stu Johnson, Victor Candalaria, Gene Lamont, Nick Swartz, Kerry Griner, Mike Shevlin, Jon Warden, Davey Johnson, Barry Rubel, Mike Westhoff, and behavioral guru Don Carman.
Special thanks go to a pair of Iowa high school baseball coaches I much admire: Bill Freese (Davenport Central) and Tom Souchrada
(Davenport West). Bill and Helen Wundrum of Davenport have also been guiding forces.
Expertise on bushwhacking via a Maule seaplane was provided by my two fearless python expeditionary brethren, Captain Mark Futch and historian/writer Jeff Carter. (You'll learn more about our adventures via the next Hannah Smith novel,
, which I am working on now.) A special acknowledgment goes to Jeremy D. Carter, a fine man.
Bill Lee and his orbiting star, Diana, as always, have guided the author safely into the strange but fun and enlightened world of our mutual friend, the Reverend Sighurdhr M. Tomlinson. Equal thanks go to Donna Terwilliger; Wendy Webb, my wife and trusted friend; Rachael Ketterman; Stephen Grendon, my devoted SOB; the angelic Mrs. Iris Tanner; and my partners and pals, Mark Marinello, Marty and Brenda Harrity.
Much of this novel was written at corner tables before and after hours at Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille, where staff were tolerant beyond the call of duty. Elizabeth, Greg and Bryce Barker, Madonna Donna Butz, Capt. Jeffery Kelley, Chef Rene Ramirez, Amanda Rodriguez, Kim McGonnell, Ashley Rhoeheffer, the Amazing Cindy Porter, Desiree Olsen, Gabby Moschitta, Rachael Okerstrom, Rebecca Harris, Sarah Carnithian, Tyler Wussler, Tall Sean Lamont, Mowtown Rachel Songalewski, Boston Brian Cunningham, and Cardinals fan Justin Harris.
At Doc Ford's on Fort Myers Beach: Lovely Kandice Salvador, Charity Owen, Johnny Goetz, Brett Vermuel, Dan Howes, Dave Werner, Nora Billheimer, Melissa Alleva, Christa Case, Ali Pereira,
Daniel Troxell, Chris James, Molly Brewer, Taylor Recny, Justin Vokuhl, Nick Howes, Eric Hines, Dustin and Meredith Rickards, Tim Riggs, Sandy Rodriguez, Netta Kramb, Mark Hines, Astrid Cobble, Angi Chapman, Kelsey King, Brandon Patton, Stephen Hansman, Kylie Pyrll, Deon Schoeman, Lalo Contreras, Bronson Janey, Ethan Janey, and Reyes Ramon.
At Doc Ford's on Captiva Island: Big Papa Mario Zanolli, Lovely Julie Grzeszak, Shawn Scott, Joy Schawalder, Adam Traum, Alexandra Llanos, Chris Orr, Erica DeBacker, Heather Walk, Jon Economy, Josie Lombardo, Josh Kerschner, Katie Kovacs, Mary Head, Natalie Ramos, Patti Tesche, Ryan Body, Ryan Cook, Sarah Collins, Shelbi Muske, Scott Hamilton, Tony Foreman, Yamily Fernandez, Cheryl Erickson, Heather Hartford, Stephen Day, Anastasia Moiseyev, Taylor Erickson, Ashley Doyle, and Chelsea Bennett.
Finally, thanks to my sons Lee and Rogan for finishing another book.
âRandy Wayne White
Telegraph Creek Gun Club