cover image DEAD OF NIGHT


Randy Wayne White, . . Putnam, $24.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-399-15244-3

Bioterrorist attacks on DisneyWorld, gun-toting Russians and flesh-eating worms aren't enough to stop spy-cum-biologist Marion "Doc" Ford in his 12th adventure. When Ford reluctantly agrees to check in on a friend's brother, Jobe Applebee, a reclusive hydrobiologist, the simple favor escalates to horrific proportions. Ford stumbles onto a brutal interrogation scene, scares off Applebee's attackers, returns to find Applebee has hung himself and later learns that Applebee was "host to a feeding, breathing, sub-community of parasites." White barrels on full throttle: pretty soon Ford's uncovered a madman's plot to unleash ravenous guinea worms into local waterways and piranhas into Texas lakes, which will send property values plummeting—and thus make them ready for a quick snapup once the threats have been taken care of. With the help of his sidekick Tomlinson and a slew of other returning characters, Ford must hunt down the bad guys and find the miracle cure before a statewide infestation begins. Meanwhile, he's fending off Stokes's security—the sexually deviant Russian Dasha, the slow-witted Alexis—and assuring his pregnant girlfriend he'll be home in time for Christmas. White's latest is deliciously addictive and nail-bitingly suspenseful. (Mar.)