Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I'm beginning to get the jokes about Florida Man

Evidently I picked up Dark Light by Randy Wayne White at one of the many book sales I've hit over the past few years. As I was waiting on reserves to come in, I ended up grabbing it of of one of the unprocessed bags I have floating around full of used books.

Now the cover suggested supernatural, but but the prose itself is fairly grounded in reality, other than standard wish fulfillment, as our main character, Doc Ford, is a marine biologist who's also trained in 30 ways to kill a man.

Which will come in handy, as Sanibel Island, off the coast of Florida by Sarasota, has just undergone being in the eye of a Category 4. This sets up plot thread one, as the Indian Harbor Marina is currently defrauding customers by claiming all the boats were destroyed by the storm then keeping all the boats that weren't to either use or sell. Plot thread two involves one of the locals finding a ship that's been unearthed on the bottom of the Gulf that has some fairly valuable salvage.

Then Doc meets Chestra, a fairly young elderly woman living in an estate by the water with a story to tell about a relative of hers who died during a hurricane that passed through in the 1940's. Her story intersects with the story of Bern, who owns the Indian Harbor Marina, who's also been raping and killing young women on the island and back in Wisconsin.

All of which gets wrapped up in a story involving World War II escaped Nazi POWs who were in southern Florida, which explains the diamond encrusted Nazi emblem from the wreck of the Dark Light.

I will say the book kept my attention, made me seasick in a few points, and remained readable. But... it also was really odd in its resolution (whether or not Chestra was who she said she was), and the narration keeps switching from first to third person, which also means most of the bigger secrets are already revealled before other people know them. I may check out some of the other volumes at some point, but not right now.

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