Cover image for Tampa burn
Tampa burn
White, Randy Wayne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2004]

Physical Description:
xi, 372 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Over the course of ten novels, Randy Wayne White's acclaim has taken extraordinary leaps. "White is willing to take risks," says the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "which is why he's one of the few deserving of the title writer." And in Tampa Burn, the risks have never been greater.

They've taken our son, Marion. In all his life, Marion "Doc" Ford has been passionately, irresponsibly in love with only one woman. Her name was Pilar, and she was married to a thuggish politico named Balserio in a country where Ford was working undercover.

When Ford had to run, it was with a bounty on his head and, unknown to him then, a legacy: Pilar was pregnant. Now, many years later, out of power and consumed with the desire for revenge, Balserio has kidnapped the boy and taken him to his new home base in Florida. Ford hoped he'd left his violent past behind him long ago, but he knows he has no choice. The man has his son. . . .

Filled with remarkable prose, rich atmosphere, knife-edge tension, and some of the best suspense characters anywhere in fiction, Tampa Burn is a brilliant work from a writer whose time has come.

Author Notes

Randy Wayne White was born in Ashland, Ohio in 1950. He is an outdoorsman, journalist, and novelist. He worked for the Fort Myers News-Press for four years before becoming a light-tackle fishing guide at Tarpon Bay Marina in Sanibel Island, Florida for thirteen years. His first articles on travel, natural history, archaeology, anthropology, and politics were published in Outside Magazine. He also writes a bimonthly column for Men's Health magazine.

His first novel, Sanibel Flats, was published in 1991. He writes the Doc Ford series as well as non-fiction books including Batfishing in the Rainforest: Strange Tales of Travel and Fishing, An American Traveler: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Sport, and Last Flight Out: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Fishing. He also writes under the names of Randy Striker and Carl Ramm. In 2015 his title Cuba Straits made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Now in its eleventh episode, White's Doc Ford series, starring Sanibel Island marine biologist and veteran special-ops agent Doc Ford, can always be counted on for an entertaining mix of character interplay and straight-ahead action adventure. This time the dial shifts a bit toward the character side of the scale, as Ford revisits various people and issues from his not-quite-past life as a covert operative. The catalyst for all this stock-taking is the kidnapping of the son Ford only recently learned he had and the resurfacing of Pilar, the boy's mother and the great love of Ford's life. The kidnapping plot, in which Ford, with the help of hippie pal Tomlinson, must rescue his son from a serious psycho who likes to burn people, keeps the suspense churning, but the real focus here--for longtime series followers, at least--is on what this latest crisis means to Ford's life with the people he cares about: his son, girlfriend Dewey, the troubled Pilar, and especially Tomlinson, who has his own dark past. As always in White's work, the various bodies of water that surround and intersect Florida take on the multidimensional qualities of fully developed characters, adding not only atmosphere but also context to Ford's ongoing struggle to achieve in his human relationships the sense of equilibrium he has found in the natural world. He's not there yet, but for the reader at least, that's good news: this story is a long way from over. --Bill Ott Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

White churns out another title in the Doc Ford series, this one alternating between compelling action sequences and pointless digressions. At the start of the novel, Marion Ford has settled into the life of a gentleman marine biologist on Florida's Gulf coast, leaving behind his past as an assassin and spy. All this is upended when a pyromaniacal carnival freak kidnaps Ford's son, Lake. The boy's mother, Central American beauty Pilar, tries to overcome their estrangement and turns to Ford for help in rescuing the boy. Seduced by his ex-lover just long enough to be caught in a compromising situation by his current girlfriend, Dewey, Ford is distracted by the sight of Dewey's car as she storms away: "She'd sold her 'Vette and bought a new two-seater Lexus. I can never remember the model. The roadster showed impressive stability as she spun it around in the parking lot." Soon after, Ford finds himself in real trouble-and spouts more extraneous commentary. On the way to saving his son, he reflects on the fauna of Florida and Central America, skin transplants, electroshock therapy, port security and the winter residence of choice for circus people. These might have made great ingredients for another whimsical Carl Hiaasen/Elmore Leonardesque madcap novel, but White's meandering prose isn't tight enough to tie them into a convincing whole. Agent, Esther Newberg. 75,000 first printing. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved