Book review: Mangrove Lightning

Mangrove Lightning

Author: Randy Wayne White

Conch Republic Prize for Literature, as well as the John D. Macdonald Award for Literary Excellency, Florida Literary Legend by the Florida Heritage Society; one of only four writers named as an Editor At Large by prestigious Outside magazine (Jon Krakauer, Hampton Sides and Tim Cahill are the others)

Almost 100 years ago, in 1925, The Fort Myers, Florida press announced the disappearance of Deputy Sheriff J.H. Cox, his wife and two young children in the area of a large mud hole type pond named China Hole filled today with tarpon on Marco Island, Florida. A witness against smugglers and bootleggers prevalent in the area, Fox and his family have never been found.

Doc Ford (a biologist) and his friend Tomlinson (an ordained Buddhist priest) are discussing the old Prohibition era murders on the phone because Tootsie Barlow, a famous Everglades/ Florida fishing guide, whose family was involved, believes that a curse has been placed on his family. Tootsie Barlow lives on the access road adjacent to China Hole in the Florida Everglades. Barlow’s relatives are suffering strange and lethal attacks and Tootsie is sure that it is the curse of what his previous relative has done. Perhaps even the multiple murder in 1925 of the Cox family.
As Ford and Tomlinson start to check out Tootsie’s case, and trailing the attacks on Tootsie Barlow’s family members leading from Key Largo to Tallahassee, they begin to know that something – or someone – is after them also. The deadly occurrences are getting Doc Ford and Tomlinson very worried that perhaps there is a curse but they are not sure. As they chase the clues, they discover an old Chinese myth, the Demon Crow, the evil Lambeth family, Chinamen bones, a load of old locked railcars, a brew named Mangrove Lightning and Tootsie’s grandniece Gracie and Ford’s old flame, Captain Hannah Smith.
When the Demon Crow starts stalking them as Ford and Tomlinson try to save Grace, Tootsie and Hannah from the curse, all hell breaks out and Mangrove Lightning strikes with lethal force.
As I opened this series, I was not aware of Randy Wayne White or the Doc Ford series but I can guarantee you that I will be going back to read the prior novels in the series; ummm, not read, let’s say devour! Strike paced, venom plot, crocodile lethal, Mangrove Lightning ignites in your hands.

We received this books from the publisher to review. All opinions are strictly our own.


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