A straight-shooting former president spends his dying days in search of his wife’s murderer.
Marine biologist Doc Ford, last seen in White’s Dark Light (2006), answers the call from one-term president Kal Wilson to assist him in the hunt for fiendish pyro-sadistic thrill-killer Praxcedes Lourdes, a grotesque villain who torched the former first lady’s plane in Central America. Ford can’t say no to the ex-president, who combines all the best qualities of predecessors Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I and Clinton, with none of their shortcomings. As if all those admirable qualities weren’t enough, the guy is dying of leukemia. But to pull off the mission, which the studly Ford most assuredly wants to do (the ultra-evil Lourdes nearly snuffed out Ford’s son), he and the president must first escape the Florida Keys, slipping from the clutches of the ultra-watchful Secret Service, a maneuver made possible by the sailing skills of Ford’s old pal Tomlinson, another presidential recruit. Tomlinson’s brains have been lightly sautéed by years of dope and electroshock, but he’s a great navigator. The little commando force, after a run-in with some high-powered journalists who fail to penetrate the president’s disguise, flies off to the banana republics and very nearly into the arms of Lourdes and a small army of terrorist mercenaries. The mission seems compromised and close to failure. The network journalists are hot on their trail, despite Wilson’s fanatically tight security and his insistence on an electronic blackout at all times. And then Tomlinson and the president’s bodyguard and soulmate are captured and, it seems, put to the torch. Ford, as series fans know, is a most resourceful and highly deadly marine biologist, but his skills may not be enough to put out Lourdes’s flames.
Lean, mean tropical thrills—something like Carl Hiaasen on a black day.