White’s ‘Silence’ anything but dead

  Doc Ford may be your basic international man of mystery, but hey, he’s a decent guy. Between his closely guarded missions for some obscure underground government agency — or, you know, not — Ford contributes to humanity in a wide variety of ways.
  There are his marine-research activities, which constitute his official day job and contribute to the better understanding and, hopefully, preservation of various ecosystems. There are his pseudo-vigilante activities — also for the good of humanity but a little more of the not-quite-legal type, such as the murder and serial rapist he takes out early in “Dead Silence,” the most recent novel by Florida author Randy Wayne White.
  But beyond all this Ford just can’t help himself when it comes to doing the right thing. So when, as he embarks on a date with a U.S. senator, Ford unwittingly contributes to the kidnapping of a visiting teenager, he dedicates himself to figuring out who took the kid and why, and trying to secure his safe recovery. Ford is accompanied on his quest by his wacky-but-brilliant-and-intuitive pot-smoking sidekick Tomlinson and, in an unlikely but entirely believable plot twist, finds that the kidnapping and Tomlinson’s family history are all tied up together. (Oh, and while all of this is going on, he’s dodging the investigation of the murder/rapist’s death.)
  White is a former Florida journalist who a couple of decades ago re-created himself as a fishing guide to get the time and solitude necessary to develop as a novelist (first as Randy Stryker and, later, under his own name), and it has paid off handsomely. As White has developed as a writer, so have his characters, most notably Ford — an alter ego that, rumor has it, is loosely based on former CIA Director Porter Goss. “Dead Silence” is a read I’d recommend to anyone.   

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