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BLACK WIDOW by Randy Wayne White

BLACK WIDOW

By Randy Wayne White

Pub Date: March 18th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-15456-0
Publisher: Putnam

Blackmail overshadows Sanibel, Fla., in a way that poses a special set of challenges to marine biologist extraordinaire Doc Ford, making his 15th appearance (Hunter’s Moon, 2007, etc.).

The smarts of Einstein, the courage of Rambo, the sensitivity of Dr. Phil and the noblesse oblige of Galahad: Marion Ford, as his fans know well, is a man of parts. It’s the Galahad part that kick-starts him. Usually, the obligatory lady in distress is leggy, bosomy and a sucker for the Ford charm. This time, however, the lady happens to be Shay Money, his goddaughter. Just before her wedding to rich, handsome, socially prominent, politically ambitious Michael Jonquil, Shay and three of her bridesmaids-to-be decide they owe themselves a bachelorette party at Saint Arc in the Caribbean. As it turns out, Saint Arc is a terrible place to cut loose, and now there’s a videotape that demonstrates explicitly how out of hand things can get under tropical skies. Ford’s assignment is to persuade a covey of no-goods that extortion has a downside. In Saint Arc, he encounters the customary ration of leggy, bosomy, susceptible ladies, plus a macabre reason to view blackmail in a scary new light.

Starts intriguingly, then descends into a welter of aimless episodes, derivative characters and suspense-killing digressions. Fans will be put to the test.