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Publisher's Summary

Marine Biologist Doc Ford is hot on the trail of a dead friend’s wife. Apparently, the woman vanished into the steaming jungles of South America guided by a truly disgusting specimen of humanity. From Florida to Columbia and Panama, Doc traces their path, but a shadowy figure is following him - and the violence left in the wake of this individual is terrifying.

©1998 Randy Wayne White (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Mangrove Coast

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better the second time around

I had given up on Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford series. The later ones seemed to me to be more and more indistinguishable from any other action thriller, like Vince Flynn's. But I really liked the earlier ones. I was browsing through the titles in the series and thought this one looked unfamiliar, and it was early in the series. I looked at my list of books read and didn't see it. Huh. How did I miss this one, especially as it's done by one of my favorite narrators?

Well, 15 minutes into the book everything sounded real familiar. I checked my list again. There was no "Mangrove Coast" in the M section, but there sure was a "The Mangrove Coast" in the T section. I almost returned the book, but decided to listen a little bit more.

I'm really glad I did. Yeah, I knew the story line, but White's early Ford books were so darn well written that it was a pleasure to hear it all again. Especially as narrated by Ron McLarty. I presume Doc Ford is given McLarty's natural voice. If so it's almost made for the character that White has created. But better yet are McLarty's renderings of Tomlinson and Ford's uncle Tucker Gatrell. Tomlinson, a bit of a stoner, sounded like George Carlin's Hippy-Dippy Weatherman and Tucker was Foghorn Leghorn. Perfect characterizations.

Anyway, any book that can be enjoyed twice is usually a pretty good book, and this one is. Not much backstory required, so this one can be read out of order of the series.

14 people found this helpful

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Great story

Better ending detailed clots and sub cloths make this a number one book for Mr. Wayne and the character Doc.

2 people found this helpful

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Love this series except....

The only problem with the books in this series is that they are too short and sort-of expensive. That said, I keep coming back for more. I haven't read them in order, instead I've gone by the reviews and availability, and have really enjoyed every one very much so far. I'm always on the hunt for novels about archeology and or geology, they seem to be few and far between The Doc Ford series does a pretty good job of covering both of those areas with plenty of good story to go along.

2 people found this helpful

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Of all the Doc Ford stories...

I’ve read every one of the Doc Ford and Hannah Smith books, now I’m listening to them because my eyes aren’t what they were 10 years ago...

My favorite so far in my re-exposure! No offense to the latest narrator, but McLarty nails it, at least he comes much closer to my mind’s version of Doc and the other characters.

Because I am familiar with the characters, I need no introduction...I don’t know if this is absolutely the best first time forage into a Ford novel that you can get, but then which one is? Start at the beginning and run all the way through, I have not regretted one page, or one minute of the audios either!
- Jimmy

1 person found this helpful

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Okay - but slow start

Book is okay. Not my favorite genre, a detective type story. The book starts out a very slow but gets better about halfway through. A few interesting characters, good location and description make to book tolerable. The narration was probably the best part. There are a few pauses, but not so long as to bother me. I probably won’t listen to other books in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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Love Doc Ford

What did you love best about Mangrove Coast?

Like the fact that the main character is based in Florida, and in my favorite part of the state.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoyed how Doc Ford sees himself as a marine biologist first and a government operative second. Perhaps his way of keeping his humanity intact.

What about Ron McLarty’s performance did you like?

Ron McLarty gave each character a unique presence with his varying vocal styles. Especially with the characters Tomlinson and Ford's uncle.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The way the novel ended. But isn't that every authors objective, to get you to the climax and GET you with the ending.

Any additional comments?

A few of the locations were pronounced incorrectly. As a native of central Florida, this was very evident. However the quality of the story and the narrator made this not too big of an issue.

1 person found this helpful

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worst narrator ever. ruins the book

worst narrator ever. ruins the book bring back George' Guidell Too bad for the author

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thanks for writing this

really liked the book minus the ending. It's a modernized travis McGee novel. They are predictable and enjoyable novels with somewhat accurate rants about Florida's history and development. I like to use them in between nonfiction to keep things fun and simple. Thanks again great story.

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My first review of a Doc Ford book.

The best one I have read yet.

I started with Cuba Straights, several months ago, after discovering Doc Ford was more than just a restaurant... as we were leaving the eponymous eatery in Captiva, Florida. Little did I know the joyous rabbit hole I was peering, and would soon fall into.

We had been in Captiva less than 24 hours, there at the South Seas Resort for sailing school. After our first class, we stopped in for a late lunch and cocktails at DF’s, a place I presumed would be nothing more than a typical Florida eatery set on convincing Yankees that frozen seafood from Delaware was authentic Gulf seafood. As a New Orleans native and ambassador, food in other parts of the world usually disappoints and rarely amounts to more than sustenance. Let me tell you, nothing failed to measure less than perfect, and the four of us unanimously decided to return the next day before we had even asked for the check. Leaving our favorite South Florida restaurant the next day, equally satisfied, I stopped at the hostess station to marvel at the t-shirts and souvenirs offered... among them a library of paperbacks in every color. Writing a book myself about the Cuban Revolution, my eyes landed on Cuba Straights. A sack with a drink coozie and my next read accompanied me on the sailboat I would call home for the next week.

Little did I know the sailing instruction I would consume, along with copious rum and red wine at each South Florida sunset, left me in no shape to delve into a paperback before bed as intended. Cuba Straights would have to wait until the plane ride back to Louisiana. As a side note, Cabbage Key and it’s namesake culinary stop had provided me with one of my top five meals, ever. The dining experiences on our brief sojourn to the Captiva area had been an incredible and stunning surprise. I can’t say what a pleasant connection it is to share Marion Ford’s proclivity with this very real and excellent old Florida establishment.

I have to say that Cuba Straights started very slow, for me. Perhaps it was the baseball (not a devotee of the diamond) or the lack of knowledge of the Doc Ford universe. After several false starts, I finally got over my reader’s-block hump and finished the story. I was hooked on the writing and action, but also wanted to learn more about RWW’s obviously intimate knowledge of Cuba, for my own selfish reasons.

I researched RWW to discover two-plus decades of prolific storytelling, giddy with the prospects from which to choose my next journey. Deep Shadow was next and was finished in less than a day. Nothing short of a Stellar story with a light speed pace, I decided that evening I would start at the beginning, so I could learn more about Doc, Tomlinson, and the rest of the characters that live in a world I now yearned to live.

I plowed through the first four, relishing in every chapter the new world I was discovering. I felt like Columbus, and shared my experiences with my reader friends, several who are now on this same path.

The novel Captiva’s ending left me with chills and tears, literally. I cheered out loud at the final words, and could not wait to get my hands on the next book.

North of Havana was again so familiar, having paced Doc’s same steps in Havana. I felt like we were fraternity brothers.

It wasn’t until this afternoon that I finished The Mangrove Coast, this fine bit of storytelling that would certainly make an excellent Award winning season, in a vast Netflix series that should happen if there is a God.

Wonderful pacing, great villains you want to see die gruesome deaths, true introspection of Doc Ford’s merit and integrity, and an ending that gave a great finish that John Grisham has never seemed to grasp. I had goosebumps, tears, and let out a cheer my neighbor must have heard down the block. My favorite book so far, and I look forward to the next adventure with Doc Ford and Randy’s kick-ass story-telling. One day I hope to shake Mr. White’s hand and thank him for his gifts. You will feel the same if you take the first step of the Doc Ford path. You could end with this book, but why punish yourself?

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A must read

This book fills in A lot of the gaps in Doc Fords history. While it’s a little descriptive at times, it makes up for it awesomely in the end. Do not pass this book by. I wish I had read this one years ago.