This is my second Randy Wayne White novel and coincidentally it introduces a new series. I'm anxious to go back through the Doc Ford series because I really enjoyed the characters and the mystery in the one I read, but this new one is a series I'm happy to in on the ground floor for.
The new heroine is Hannah Smith, a native of southern Florida whose family is as interesting as she is. Hannah was taught everything about fishing and being a fishing guide by her Uncle Jake who has died and left her a legacy of knowledge and skills to keep her going. She's 30 at this point, single, and still shy about a few acne scars hidden by her hair, but she's strong and is building a good business as a fishing guide to wealthy people. Jake had also insisted she get a private investigator's license. Now one of her clients wants her to use that license to find his missing niece.
Hannah's advantage in this search is that she knows so many people, and the ones she doesn't know remember her Uncle Jake with respect and friendship. She also has a gay friend who is a body builder and he gets around too; he's as loyal to Hannah as a hound dog.
The villain in the mix is known to us almost immediately but getting the goods on him involves Hannah in some pretty steamy and brutal stuff. She's tough, but deep down good. You count on her to do the right thing, no matter what. This is one of the scariest villains I've read about in quite a while.
You'll love some of the other characters in this book. Her mother for instance is just plain batty, but Hannah blames her quirky behavior on a stroke she's had. There are waterfront souls who are salt of the earth types. Others may look down on them, but these are real people with good common sense who see things others overlook.
I'm looking forward to the next volume in the adventures of Hannah Smith, and hoping White doesn't drop Doc Ford entirely.
Source: Won from LibraryThing