Marine biologist Marion D. Ford interrupts his endless partying at Sanibel Island long enough to get involved in another round of international counterterrorism.
It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to eliminate David Abdel Cashmere, failed Chicago actor–turned–homegrown terrorist, whom Doc Ford watches on a slickly edited video executing three hostages. So Ford bids farewell to his beloved Sanibel—where some secret Santa has recently taken to showering the locals with $100 bills—packs his bags for Mexico, and quickly discovers that it’s a tougher job than he thought. One complication is that his encounter with Cashmere, aka Máximo Al-Amerikee, while his target is parasailing doesn’t go exactly as planned. Another is that Ford’s local contact, a woman he knows only as KAT, seems to be sleeping with the enemy. Still another is that the enemy is Winslow Shepherd, an Australian math professor Cashmere’s supposed to have beheaded. But the biggest of all is that Ford’s activities have brought him to the attention of Shepherd’s son, a computer prodigy who changed his name from Julian Caesar Winslow Shepherd to Julian Solo to show what he thinks of his father. Now Julian, who’s recently lost two drone aircraft in the waters off Sanibel, is determined to make Ford’s life miserable, along with the lives of all his friends. A ruthless hacker can easily find ways to bring Dr. Ava Lindstrom, the veterinarian who saved the life of Ford’s nameless dog after he went diving after one of those drones, close to suicide, and it’s obvious that Ford and his hipster friend Tomlinson will have to return to Mexico in response to Julian’s latest demands—and in hopes of neutralizing him more completely than Ford managed to do with Cashmere during his last visit.
The front-loading of the major surprises makes this adventure middling among Doc Ford’s recent Bond-like encounters with villains with political agendas (Cuba Straits, 2015, etc.).