cover image Chasing Midnight

Chasing Midnight

Randy Wayne White. Bantam, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-15831-5

Technology buffs will enjoy the cool gadgets in bestseller White’s 19th Doc Ford novel (after 2011’s Night Vision), but those looking for emotional depth should look elsewhere. Ford, a marine biologist and sometime investigator, infiltrates a gathering of black market caviar kings held on a private Florida island. Suspecting something illegal in the Russian host’s yacht, Ford slips out of the party for an underwater look. When he surfaces, the island’s power is cut and communications with the mainland are blocked by eco-terrorists with troubled personalities and murky motives. At first, Ford is alone, combating purely physical dangers. When victims and perpetrators finally appear, it’s difficult to care about any of them, except Ford’s old hipster friend, Tomlinson, while Doc’s inner life is supplanted by self-congratulation on his expertise, bravery, and physique. White always delivers intelligent writing and thought-provoking facts, but series fans may hope for a more character-driven story next time around. Agent: Esther Newberg, International Creative Management. (Mar.)