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Dark Light (Doc Ford Mystery #13)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,543 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
In the aftermath of a massive hurricane off the coast of Florida, an elderly woman seeks Doc Ford's assistance in combing the reshaped ocean bottom for evidence that would exonerate a loved one for alleged activities during World War II. By the author of Dead of Night.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 16th 2006 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 2006)
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Nov 25, 2008 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first few "Doc Ford" adventure novels were extremely entertaining. However, since then they are sounding like "more of the same".
Doc Ford is a man I could easily have a crush on. And there's his buddy, Tomlinson, who is a free spirit with a wicked sense of humor. Both are smart and take care of themselves, each other and their friends.
There seem to be two stories going on, but they are intertwined. There are some Wisconsin mob guys down taking advantage of the last hurricane's destructive path. Doc wants to set them straight after the mob guys take on some of Doc's buds.
Then there's the the mystery woman Tomlinson intro
This book seems a bit better than the last couple of Doc Ford stories I have read, but still falls short of White's earlier goes. This one had a bit of of a metaphysical feel to it had me wondering just who the woman in the old grey house really was. The history of Florida during WWII was a nice touch, but you can always count on RWW to teach us something. A cut above his latest, but not his best IMHO.
Quick, decent mystery, with a little environmental awareness, land developer destruction and greed thrown into the mix. White always combines a decent mystery with environmental education. I always like Doc Ford as protagonist. You don’t see many fish biologists with both a side ‘job’ helping the CIA and having a 1970s hippie as his best friend. Just funny, quick, reminders of how messed up Florida is sometimes!
Apr 16, 2008 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I picked this up thinking it was going to be just a silly book, but it is another in a series that I have picked up before (Sanibel Flats) and really enjoyed. Many south Florida books are all silly and humorous, but White takes the setting in a much more serious direction. (And how weird is it that there is a South Florida mystery genre?)
Mark Giordano
May 19, 2017 Mark Giordano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm thoroughly enjoying this new author and I am amazed at his ability to come up with completely different plot lines with every story I read. This one has a bit of a mystical feel to it with ties to WWII and Captiva Island. Well worth the time. Gonna have to g back to the beginning and start reading his stories in chronological order.
Geoffrey Gelb
Jul 15, 2017 Geoffrey Gelb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic Doc Ford book. Leaves me waiting for the next in the series and, after all, isn't that the mark of an awesome book! Randy Wayne White is another Florida mystery writer in the same vein as Carl Hiaasen, Laurence Shames and Tim Dorsey and his Doc Ford character never disappoints the reader.
Thomas Nevins
good base story but slow, wandered abit and too many n9on significant characters
Richard Thompson
Mar 16, 2017 Richard Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My second outing with Doc Ford and the crew from Sanibel Island. This one predates the first one I read and comes after the one I am currently reading aloud to Maggee so things get a bit confused at times.

The island had been hit by a major hurricane and people are slowly crawling out from under the wreckage. A bunch of bad guys who own a newly developed marina are trying to take advantage of the chaos to claim salvage rights on boats that they had been storing for clients, boats that, in fact, h
Charles Dingman
A mystery of love and betrayal, limerence and madness; the inner life of a madman is disturbing.
Jun 19, 2015 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very different chapter in the Doc Ford series. I found it very interesting and entertaining at the same time. A hurricane hits Sanibel Island prior to the beginning of the story. Things are not the usual at Dinkin's Bay Marina. An old boat, named Dark Light is discovered after the hurricane. The boat is from the WW2 era and the mystery surrounding the boat begins to unfold. History comes alive. From Nazi prisoner camps in Florida, lost loves and artifacts from the German Nazis. We lea ...more
David Ward
Dark Light (Doc Ford Mystery #13) by Randy Wayne White (G.P.Putnam's Sons 2006) (Fiction - Mystery) is the first one I've tried by this author. I like him very much! He writes in the style of John D. MacDonald. His sleuth is Marion "Doc" Ford, who is a collector of marine specimens and who lives on Sanibel Island, Florida in a stilt house over the water. Doc Ford is also apparently a spy or a CIA operative of some type, but this book only hinted at that. This book featured Nazi relics recovered ...more
Donna Mcnab
Feb 27, 2011 Donna Mcnab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story takes place on the gulf coast of Florida, when a wreck appears due to a Category 4 hurricane which has reshaped the ocean bottom. Marine biologist Doc Ford, together with his rather unusual friends, try to solve the mystery of the wreck with very interesting artifacts that they rescue from the bottom, while they fight off some very bad men also interested in their find. Also involved is a mysterious "older" woman who wants to fund the retrieval of the objects, which seem to be connect ...more
Doc Ford just made it through a hurricane at his home on Sanibel Island. Doc's friend Jeff finds a shipwreck while chartering a boat for some unscrupulous people from Indian Harbor Marina. Doc and his pal Tomlinson agree to help Jeff salvage the shipwreck while dealing with the unsavory marina owner. I have read on previous book in this series and don't remember much about it. The book alternates between Ford's perspective and that of the evil marina owner and I found the marina owners to be mor ...more
Sep 08, 2011 Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Dark Light"By Randy Wayne White Takes place in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.Setting and Characters are very nicely done! This book was great!!! It had everything! It was set in the Florida Keys and told of ship wrecks,sunk German subs,Nazi emblems ect...It also told about a lot of famous people who came to the Keys for recreation. Also about the evil in some people. It kept me waiting to see what was going to happen next! It had a lot of history and a lot about the people good and b ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very intriguing mystery involving the history of a hurricane that struck Sansibel Island off the coast of Florida, due to the wave action many items were buried and many lost for years were uncovered. A beautiful woman met on a beach, a old mansion, a strange woman from years back, uncovered and located precious items and things that others would kill for, and did. The story is well written and constantly moving with new events happening as fast as one can read. This author is writing a series ...more
Although this book moved somewhat slowly, I enjoyed the story and the protagonist, Doc Ford, as he tries to solve the true identity of the newest resident of Sanibel Island, Chestra Engle. Or is Chestra actually a woman believed to have died many years ago? Why is Chestra so interested in a recently discovered shipwreck off the coast of the island, and why does her appearance / age seem to vary so much in different light and surroundings? This is an intriguing story, plus it's always to fun to g ...more
#13 in the Doc Ford series. Marine biologist Ford runs Sanibel Biological Supply Company from a stilt house in Dinkins Bay Marina, Sanibel Island, Florida.

Doc Ford is repairing his home and lab after a hurricane. A marina operator is stealing boats under the guise of storm damage and has found his grandfather's location of a sunken wreck. Doc and Jeth have retrieved Nazi related items and they seem to be of great importance to a woman who claims her godmother was killed on the wreck during the 1
Apr 14, 2014 Mimi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love this series, the more so because my husband enjoys them to and we can listen together when we travel. The history of Florida, the science of the ocean and the fish that Doc Ford studies are extra added attractions to a good story. The early books had a lot of back story and could be a little slow, but these later ones are right up there with action and interesting dialogue. Tomlinson is fabulous and weird, as always. You don't have to read these in order to enjoy each one. Lots of ...more
Florence Primrose
Once again Doc Ford tells us about the hurricane of 1944, a much more severe hurricane than that of 200? which hit Sanibel. A new development and marina near Sanibel has taken a hard hit by the hurricane and the unscrupulous owner is attempting to seize all boats. Elsewhere on Sanibel Tomlinson and Doc Ford meet a mysterious woman who "winters" there who somehow may be entangled with the marina owner.

His books tell us much about the development of this area of Florida as well as hurricanes.

A com
Jeff Tonkinson
This is about the 5th of the Doc Ford books I've read. While the others were exceptional I found this down a notch in 3 areas: 1) I find White's literary style very refined and enjoyable but this book was flat, 2) there's nothing to like about the antagonist and I have no wish to read about such people, 3) White's books have a profound sense of place but this only has a bit of weather, 4) there is no clear objective and Doc's investigation is all talking with a mysterious old woman which lacked ...more
Kathleen Crowley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Ah, Doc Ford, Tomlinson and Dinkins Bay. Always mysterious and action packed. I really like this series. In this book Doc tries to help a mysterious 'older' beauty investigate her aunt and a connection to WWII nazis. Lots of twists as the plot develops.

Story: The ghosts of the past haunt the present in Randy Wayne White's novel, when Doc Ford agrees to research a wreck uncovered by a hurricane.
Aug 21, 2014 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doc Ford and his gang of friends help a mysterious woman who wants to find out what really happened in the October 1944 hurricane, especially to a beloved godmother, her Jewish lover, and two German POWs. When Doc and the gang explore a sunken ship, Dark Light, mysterious and not-s0-mysterious mishaps occur.

Favorite line (from the ethereal Mildren Engel) Women are never forgiven for two things--aging and infidelity.
Dec 31, 2010 Bea rated it it was amazing
This is a new author for me and I chose to read this book because I am somewhat familiar with the setting, which made it fun to read. The story is set in modern day Fl but involves early history of the area at the time that Edison lived in the area. It involves history related to WW II and Nazi history in Fl. It is also the story of a woman and a man both in history and in present time. Well-written. Good read.
Sep 13, 2012 Wanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoy this series. Doc Ford always gets involved in happenings around the marina. Wants to help his friends and does get some romantic involvements along the way. How the people in the marina deal with the aftermath of a hurricane combines with the greed of a developer with a sunken boat and some elements from Nazi Germany. It's intriguing how an older woman captivates both Tomlinson and Doc Ford. Like how the other residents of the marina are concerned about Doc also.
Oct 08, 2013 Gramy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-completed
As a female resident in Lee County with a family member in the fishing charter business locally, I really thought this book would be interesting. The density of the language bewildered me. Unlike movies I turn off when my interest plummets, I usually try to complete a book to give the author the benefit of the doubt. The vulgarity, evil characters, and indecency were well outside my acceptable boundaries to even consider completing this book. I prefer lighter, entertaining reading.
Mary Sue
Aug 24, 2007 Mary Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love Florida and Doc Ford
Randy Wayne White paints characters and scenery with equal ease. I love his stories of Sanibel. I can almost feel the no-see-ems bite. This is RWW's post-hurricane novel. His characters must deal with the aftermath of a memeorable year of multiple hurricanes. Also in this novel, RWW calls up the history of Sanibel/Fort Myers area as the home to some of the nations greatest thinkers/industrialists and the WW II era of constant alert against Nazi spies and invaders.
Aug 17, 2007 Marc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a fun read for the evening/weekend.
This is the scond RWW book I read. I think it's a bit better than Shark Island, as the stroy twists faster and has a series of overlapping stories that mesh much better and arent't contrived.

In particular, RWW seems to have a real knack for describing some complete and utter bastards. And they aren't the villains in the stories! (See Shark River for more of this.)

(His villans are some pretty sick SOBs as well).
Jan 09, 2015 Mlg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-books
Not my favorite of the Randy Wayne White books, but interesting in it's details of German subs circling Sanibel in WWII. I had no idea that the airfield we often pass was a German POW camp. Also didn't realize that one of my favorite poets Edna St. Vincent Millay vacationed here. White always manages to slip in interesting information on SW Florida.
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Play Book Tag: Dark Light by Randy wayne White 3 stars 1 6 Jun 16, 2016 04:57PM  
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aka Carl Ramm, Randy Striker

Randy Wayne White (born 1950) is an American writer of crime fiction and non-fiction adventure tales. He has written best-selling novels and has received awards for his fiction and a television documentary. He is best known for his series of crime novels featuring the retired NSA agent Doc Ford, a marine biologist living on the Gulf Coast of southern Florida. White has
More about Randy Wayne White...

Other Books in the Series

Doc Ford Mystery (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Sanibel Flats (Doc Ford, #1)
  • The Heat Islands (Doc Ford, #2)
  • The Man Who Invented Florida (Doc Ford Mystery, #3)
  • Captiva (Doc Ford Mystery, #4)
  • North of Havana (Doc Ford Mystery, #5)
  • The Mangrove Coast (Doc Ford Mystery, #6)
  • Ten Thousand Islands
  • Shark River
  • Twelve Mile Limit (Doc Ford, #9)
  • Everglades (Doc Ford Mystery, #10)

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