Friday, April 10, 2009

Characters in Print: Doc Ford

Cover of "Tampa Burn"Cover of Tampa Burn

The first in a series of posts about some of my favorite characters from books. The last decade or so have found me gravitating more towards Mysteries as my choice of genre. In the second decade or so of my life I was enmeshed in the world of science fiction. So my first character I want to write about is from a series of Mysteries by Randy Wayne White.

The series take place mainly in Florida but wander the world. The main character is Doctor Marion Ford. Ford is a Marine biologist by trade and secretly a operative for a very clandestine government organization. As a Marine biologist he can be sent into other countries to investigate the flora and fauna of said country while in his other guise he can be doing other nastier things.

When the books start Ford is finished with his government past, or so he hopes. Somehow during the course of the series it keeps coming back to demand more from him. He is trying to come to terms with some of the things he has done while working for the government.

As a character I would place Ford up there with the ultimate in my book, Travis McGee. Ford is a man that lives by what he considers good and tries very hard not to veer from that path, but being human sometimes finds himself not living up to his hard goals. Like McGee with Meyer Ford has his own sometimes sidekick in his exact opposite Tomlinson, a hippie zen master that lives on a boat in the same marina with the Doc and is his best friend.

This is one of those series where while you can enjoy yourself reading about the action and adventure that take place you also learn something. As Ford is a scientist you might learn something about sharks or the state of Florida or even something about what it means to be human. In a lot of ways Ford is a very old fashioned man about some things.

There have been 16 books about Doc Ford and I consider this one of the best series currently being published. The novels are:

Sanibel Flats (1990, St. Martin's Press)

The Heat Islands (1992, St. Martin's Press)

The Man Who Invented Florida (1993, St. Martin's)

Captiva (1996, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

North of Havana (1997, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

The Mangrove Coast (1998, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Ten Thousand Islands (2000, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Shark River (2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Twelve Mile Limit (2002, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Everglades (2003, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Tampa Burn (2004, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Dead of Night (2005, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Dark Light (2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Hunter's Moon (2007, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Black Widow (2008, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

DEAD SILENCE (2009 G.P. Putnam's Sons)

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Travis said...

This is a great feature. I learned about the Dresden novels from you, which led me to Jim Butcher's fantasy series.

And you reminded me about Riverworld. I'm reading the first book in that series now and enjoying it.

So I'm looking forward to your character studies.

JohnH985 said...

Glad you like the new feature. I hope to update it as often as I can. Glad you like the Riverworld novels. The first couple are the best. I enjoyed them all but I really don't think he should have tried to explain the Riverworld, it was left better as a mystery.

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