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Twelve Mile Limit (Doc Ford Mystery #9)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,470 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
It starts out as a fun excursion for four divers off the Florida coast. Two days later only one is found alive-naked atop a light tower in the Gulf of Mexico. What happened during those 48 hours? Doc Ford thinks he's prepared for the truth. He isn't.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 3rd 2003 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2002)
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Stormy Weather by Carl HiaasenTourist Season by Carl HiaasenThe Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonaldBasket Case by Carl HiaasenSkinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
Florida Mystery/Thrillers
12th out of 146 books — 76 voters
Cape Fear by John D. MacDonaldThe Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonaldTen Thousand Islands by Randy Wayne WhiteThe Mayonnaise Affair by Frank LinnTampa Burn by Randy Wayne White
Sandman's Florida Authors List
10th out of 128 books — 26 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,183)
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Feb 16, 2016 Tom rated it it was amazing
This the fifth book I have read by this author. Randy Wayne White is a great story teller, his characters are interestingly quirky and the plot changes keep you reading. His stories are set in Florida and involve some aspect of the culture or history of the area. I can't wait to read another of his books. I'm so glad my brother-in-law recommended this author.

Jun 23, 2013 Chuck rated it it was ok
I have a real weakness for stories that take place, geographically, in areas with which I am familiar and this one happens, for the most part, on the Florida Gulf coast. Have you ever heard the characteristic, "If you ask him the time he will tell you how to make a watch?" You could characterize this author that way. His protagonist is a marine biologist who is hunting for three people lost on the Gulf. During the course of his search he teaches us much more than we need to know about marine lif ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Bonnieb rated it liked it
Good beach read...but not a fun one...too much potential reality of current world...even being written in 2002.

White, the former Outside Magazine columnist, fishing guide, and marine biologist, tells another believable tale of intrigue, murder, kidnapping, environmental and societal destruction, and Florida geography in this story. Janet, one of Dinkins’ Bays ‘regulars’, goes down in a diving boat off of Marco Island; one of her 3 companions, Amelia, is found on a buoy, but the others,alive or d
Chris Bauer
Aug 10, 2014 Chris Bauer rated it it was amazing
Cannot stand how GREAT this entire series is.

I can't explain why, but the author's writing style is directly in my wheelhouse. Everything from plot to description to setting to pace to tension to characterization is, to me, just spot on - every time.

White uses several surprising twists to really draw in the reader, punch 'em in the back of the head several times, before showing what was missed earlier in the book.

While his books never end "well" for the protag, there is always an inevitable, ju
Gary Lindsay
Aug 05, 2016 Gary Lindsay rated it really liked it
Reading this second book by Randy Wayne White convinced me that I want to read them all.
For those who don't know White's work, he is an outstanding writer of nonfiction, making his reputation from some outstanding writing for Outside magazine. That's where I first discovered him. When in Florida last year, we stumbled upon Doc Ford's restaurant in Sanibel, where the menus introduced me to his fictional writing and his action hero Doc Ford. I picked up a paperback copy of Captiva and I was hooked
Franklin Atherton
One of my favorite parts of a Randy Wayne White thriller is bar-hopping in a boat. I can't remember exactly which one it was that had this unique feature, but, being a fan of bar-hopping in any form, I thought it to be a brilliant idea.

Twelve Mile Limit had yet another different twist on the bar-hop. It was bar-hopping while wandering up and down the beach. Maybe this is a common theme in beach communities, but being a hopeless inlander, I found it different and charming. This bar-hop also had
Doc Ford faces a more personal quest in this outing from Florida author Randy Wayne White. Ford investigates the disappearance of four people, one of whom is marina neighbor Janet Mueller, from the Gulf after a wreck dive goes horribly wrong. Rumors begin to spread that the four were somehow involved in either drug trafficking or smuggling, murder, or fraud.

In his attempt to clear the reputations of Janet and the other three divers (Grace, Amelia, and Michael) he travels from Sanibel to South A
Feb 19, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
This novel brought Doc back to his roots. Friends go diving and their boat sinks. Everyone searches for them, however only one is found and she is located on a buoy not particularly close to where the sinking happened. They begin to search for evidence confirming (or denying) her story of what happened. Doc makes use of some of his friends (former compatriots) and learns that two of the other divers were taken aboard a boat and the third shot by the boat captain. It is also obvious that the boat ...more
Scott Rachui
May 31, 2013 Scott Rachui rated it it was amazing
I discovered Randy Wayne White in the late 90s and fell in love with his books. Having visited Florida many times on business, and having been infected with a deep love for the state and its many palm trees, beaches, inlets, natural springs and abundant fishing, I have tried to find every author of Florida fiction I can. Randy Wayne White is perhaps the best I've read (he has been compared to the late John D. MacDonald, in fact).

White has a wide range of interesting and quirky characters, and hi
Nancy H
Oct 03, 2016 Nancy H rated it it was ok
I really like this series, but this book was a little too far out, in my opinion. Not that all of these things can't and don't happen, but I thought there were just too many things crammed into one plot. The plot involves four people who were set adrift when their boat sank, one of whom survives and three of whom vanish without a trace. When Doc Ford attempts to re-create the accident and find out what happened to the other three, he stumbles into a morass of evil, including old CIA contacts, hu ...more
Andy Plonka
Feb 14, 2015 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it
An excellent fictional account of an event that actually took place off the coast of Florida. A boat capsizes and four people are lost. One is found clinging to a cement tower after having swum from the wreck, separated from her companions. She believes that the other three must still be alive, but there is no trace of them. Doc Ford becomes personally involved and uses all his resources to find out what really happened.
Nov 18, 2014 Donna rated it it was amazing
Randy Wayne White is becoming one of my favorite authors. Of the 3 I have read, this was the best. Very intricate story-seems far fetched at times, until you reflect on all that is going on in the world these days. Doc Ford is one of my favorite fictional characters. I have visited this area of Florida many times, and love his descriptions of the area. Definitely a page turner!
Kim F
Mar 24, 2012 Kim F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book after stopping at Doc Ford's bar and grill on Sanibel Island, not realizing why the name sounded familiar. The author own this place (nice) and has his books up front. White presents a colorful cast of island locals and his protagonist, Doc Ford, a retired government agent turned marine biologist, is an earnest man wrestling with his demons. In this book, he seeks to rescue a friend lost at sea who becomes the victim of a nefarious crime. Along the way, Doc the scientist ta ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
I see people complain about the pace and detail of these books, which have never been a problem for me. I live on the gulf coast and am intensely curious about most of what others see as filler. Heck, Doc could stay in Dinkin's Bay all the time and I don't think it would bother me. He'd get fewer people killed that way too.
Mar 04, 2014 Southern_man rated it it was ok
This was my first Doc Ford book after seeing all the glowing reviews I decided to try one. On the whole it wasn't a bad but way too much detail about everything and anything. I grew bored with the constant explanations. The story itself wasn't bad but then again it was inspired by actual events.

Nov 02, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, suspense
Story of 4 divers, boat sinks, one swims to a tower, 3 disappear.
Ford with one who swam to tower goes to find the other 3.
Human trafficking in Columbia.
Indigenous people.
Very good.
Story of boat sinking is true.
Much of the rest reflects what is happening today.
Chris Ehmig
Sep 17, 2014 Chris Ehmig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always a great read! RWW educates and entertains with a passion so often imitated but rarely achieved by others.

just great writing! fiction with facts and a little fantasy and I always love catching up with the host of characters in this series.
Oct 07, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#9 in the Doc Ford series.

Doc Ford series - When Doc Ford investigates a tragedy that claims the life of his close friend, diver Janet Mueller, he uncovers dark rumors about the case involving everything from fraud to smuggling to murder.
Jan 04, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
I've really been enjoying this series. Randy Wayne White fills each book with all kinds of interesting information - this one is no exception.

When a friend disappears on a dive trip, Doc investigates and uncovers evidence that sends him, once again, to Columbia in South America.

Doc is a well-developed and consistent character and he lives an interesting life as a marine biologist in tight-knit marina community in Florida. Occasionally the stories get bogged down by an abundance of the aforement
Terje Fokstuen
Feb 21, 2015 Terje Fokstuen rated it really liked it
Doc Ford investigates the disappearance of a friend whose diving expedition is mysteriously lost. Doc's secret agent background helps him solve the mystery and keep him alive as he searches in Colombia for what happened to his friend.
Kevin Beck
Apr 03, 2015 Kevin Beck rated it liked it
A good read. Any time Doc Ford gets serious with a woman she is history. Sort of like when Little Joe or Hoss had a girlfriend on the old western Bonanza. Can't have our hunky marine biologist, bad ass encumbered by a female.
Dana Stabenow
Mar 24, 2013 Dana Stabenow rated it liked it
Four people go out into the Gulf of Mexico to dive a wreck. Their boat sinks. One is found but three are lost. Or are they? And awaaay we go on a thrill ride with Doc Ford, full-time marine biologist and one-time black ops soldier, with a plot that alternates between learned disquisitions into Gulf of Mexico currents, warm water hypothermia, South American headhunters, Islamic terrorist groups way too close for comfort, and the white slave trade.

I enjoyed Sanibel Island; it reminds me a lot of T
Timothy V.
Dec 12, 2014 Timothy V. rated it really liked it
Came upon Randy Wayne White quite by accident while in Sanibel, Florida. Picked Twelve Mile Limit at random, and really liked it. Mr. White has a very relaxed, readable style. A good book to read on the beach.
Mary Fitchett
Oct 07, 2015 Mary Fitchett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twelve Mile Limit

This book just like the others by Randy Wayne White was excellent exactly as I expected. Great story .have Two more on hold. Thank you for a great read.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 20, 2016 Theodore Kinni rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
White went all Tom Clancy in this entry in the Doc Ford series. It didn't do much for me -- I always like the Captiva color, but Columbia and headhunters and all the wet work not so much.
Jan 03, 2015 Brad rated it liked it
... first book I have read by this author - well-written and tense throughout - my only criticism is that the plot line took a turn toward the absurd in the latter stages
Oct 07, 2016 Maureen rated it it was ok
I really love the doc Ford character and ll of the dinkin bay folks but this book isn't one of my favs. Can't really put my finger on why.
Jan 17, 2015 Bea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the Doc Ford series, partly because it is about a bunch of people I would like to know and partly because it is set on Sanibel (an island I am familiar with in FL). This particular book took Doc Ford to Colombia, which is outside of the usual FL territory. Still a wonderful tightly written story that kept me interested until the end. Oh, I did figure out the missing shellfish much earlier than Doc Ford!
Rich Boyett
Mar 15, 2014 Rich Boyett rated it really liked it

As far as these "Doc Ford" novels go I have never had so much fun reading in my life.
David Ward
Feb 02, 2016 David Ward rated it really liked it
Twelve Mile Limit (Doc Ford #9) by Randy Wayne White (Berkeley Books 2002)(Fiction - Mystery) is one of if not the best of the Doc Ford stories. This is a rollicking good tale of kidnapping, murder, and a crazed warlord in the jungles of Columbia. It discloses a great deal of information about the protagonist's quasi-governmental military service that is only alluded to in the other volumes. The author reveals that this book is based on the true tale of the sinking of a small boat in the Florida ...more
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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
  • Everglades (Doc Ford Mystery, #10)
  • Tampa Burn (Doc Ford Mystery, #11)

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