cover image The Heat Islands: A Doc Ford Mystery

The Heat Islands: A Doc Ford Mystery

Randy Wayne White. St. Martin's Press, $19.95 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-312-06993-3

Vivid descriptions of sportfishing and marine life off Florida's Sanibel Islands mix gratifyingly with the give-and-take of close-knit friends in the latest Marion ``Doc'' Ford tale (following Sanibel Flats ). When the body of marina owner Marvin Rios is found in the ocean after a storm, Doc's friend Jeth Nicholes is arrested. With his coterie of pals--aging hippie Tomlinson, former tennis star Dewey and another marina owner, Mac--likable marine researcher Doc attempts to piece together how Rios really died. Politics and land development are pivotal elements in this taut, suspenseful tale as White makes the lure of the sea understandable to landlubbers and presents a panoramic view of southwest Florida. (Feb.)