MysteryPeople Pick of the Month: GONE by Randy Wayne White

MysteryPeople Pick for September: Gone by Randy Wayne White
Reviewed By: Scott M.

For over two decades Randy Wayne White has carried John D MacDonald’s torch of the Key West crime writer with his Doc Ford series, giving readers laid back, devil-may-care adventure, along with some great writing. With Gone, White promises a new series character who could be just as exciting, Hannah Smith.

Hannah is a fishing guide, in her early thirties, who comes from a line of hearty independent woman from the Keys. She’s likable, capable, and is getting used to her good looks that she has recently and awkwardly grown into. She recently bought a fast boat from a certain marine biologist and has reluctantly inherited her uncle’s investigation business.

To avoid a winter job, Hannah takes on a sort of missing persons case. Olivia Seasons left home with little notice, only contacting the executor of her trust every two weeks with the proper information to collect money. Hannah soon learns Olivia is with a horrific misogynist. He’s a man known for degrading women,and scarring them for life, and this looks like it might be the time he’s pushed to murder, making her search a race against time.

Hannah is what makes the book tick. Narrating in her voice, White delivers one of the best female characters created by a male writer I’ve ever read. Not scared by political correctness, he gives us a thoroughly complex and capable heroine. The banter between her and her mother, Loretta, recalls that of Jim Rockford and his dad.

Gone works as fresh take on the Florida regional novel. The characters are colorful, the setting pops, and, most of all, you have a lead character you’d like to hang out with. I hope Hannah has many more adventures.