THE HEAT ISLANDS by Randy Wayne White


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This time out, marine biologist ""Doc"" Ford (the stylish Sanibel Flats, 1990) is on hand when Marvin Rios--marina owner and spawner of the Tarpon Tournament ($80,000 first prize for biggest catch)--is found rotting in the water. When one of Doc's friends, fishing guide Jeth, is accused and seems willing, even satisfied, to die, Doc, not believing him capable of the crime, goes searching for alternatives. Helping him with his research is his spacey chum Tomlinson, who uncovers a murky, quasi-legal real-estate finagle engineered by Rios and a Florida state senator. Meanwhile, Doc concentrates on Rios's brother-in-law Frank Sutter, an inept fishing guide and a notoriously poor fisherman who, nonetheless, won the tarpon tourney. Sutter's past includes a slew of discarded lovers as well as aliases. Zeroing in on his prey, Doc and the deadly one confront each other at the home of Doc's almost-lover, nonplaying tennis pro Dewey Nye, where Doc opts for vigilante justice. Interesting love triangle (Doc, Dewey, and Dewey's best friend) and marine lab work, plus a decent mystery element, make White a comer in the hard-edged pantheon wherein Chandler, Lutz, et al. dwell.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1992
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's