This is my second thrill-ride with Randy Wayne White. The first one I read and reviewed took place in and near a Florida lake and I was holding my breath half the time while I was reading it. This one is set on a private island just south of Sanibel Island, Florida. Doc Ford is White's hero, a marine biologist who manages to get into all kinds of scrapes.
This time he has wangled an invitation to a big party on Vanderbilt Island. A Russian billionaire has invited his peers from around the world to this party, apparently to sell them a new breed of sturgeon which would make them even richer. Caspian Sea sturgeon are being slaughtered indiscriminately and may soon disappear, so a breed that can produce caviar without the necessity of killing the fish to get the roe is in all their best interests. The party is a bore, especially when uninvited eco-warriors, we'll call them, show up ready to cause plenty of trouble. Ford escape to do a little diving; he's curious about the Russian's huge boat.
Thus it is that Ford is safely alone in the water when there is an explosion, all communication with the island is jammed, and hostages are taken. Soon someone comes gunning for Ford which begins this mystery in which you don't know whether ecologists or mobsters are the source of the problems. Ford's pal Tomlinson is, as usual, half stoned and doesn't recognize the danger until too late so he is one of the hostages and Ford fears he might be dead.
This is such an exciting story, well crafted and a page-turner. I love a book that insists you stay with it and to heck with everything else. That's Chasing Midnight. White has written a long list of Ford novels which I must make time for, as well as nonfiction books about fish and fishing. He also writes under the pen name Randy Striker.
I highly recommend Randy Wayne White's books and this one is a great example of his stories. I won the book from LibraryThing, and it was released for sale on March 6, 2012.