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North of Havana

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Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford novels have been praised as "witty" (San Diego Union-Tribune), "must-reads" (Chicago Tribune) and "superb." (Denver Post) Now, White's newest thriller takes Doc Ford to Havana, where his friend is being held by the Cuban government.  Still haunted by his suspected involvement in a plot against Castro, Ford ventures to Cuba--where he finds himse Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford novels have been praised as "witty" (San Diego Union-Tribune), "must-reads" (Chicago Tribune) and "superb." (Denver Post) Now, White's newest thriller takes Doc Ford to Havana, where his friend is being held by the Cuban government.  Still haunted by his suspected involvement in a plot against Castro, Ford ventures to Cuba--where he finds himself entangled in a web of murder, revenge, and assassination.From the author of the critically acclaimed novel Captiva (Prime Crime, 5/97) Another mystery featuring Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford is on the way Will appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen and John D. Macdonald "We’ll drop anything we're doing to read a new Randy White novel and be glad we did."  --Denver Post


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Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford novels have been praised as "witty" (San Diego Union-Tribune), "must-reads" (Chicago Tribune) and "superb." (Denver Post) Now, White's newest thriller takes Doc Ford to Havana, where his friend is being held by the Cuban government.  Still haunted by his suspected involvement in a plot against Castro, Ford ventures to Cuba--where he finds himse Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford novels have been praised as "witty" (San Diego Union-Tribune), "must-reads" (Chicago Tribune) and "superb." (Denver Post) Now, White's newest thriller takes Doc Ford to Havana, where his friend is being held by the Cuban government.  Still haunted by his suspected involvement in a plot against Castro, Ford ventures to Cuba--where he finds himself entangled in a web of murder, revenge, and assassination.From the author of the critically acclaimed novel Captiva (Prime Crime, 5/97) Another mystery featuring Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford is on the way Will appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen and John D. Macdonald "We’ll drop anything we're doing to read a new Randy White novel and be glad we did."  --Denver Post

30 review for North of Havana

  1. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    Tomlinson, the hippie friend of Doc Ford's is being held in Cuba. Strangely enough, the hippie thinks Cuba is repressive, and wants to leave. Doc, having operated in Cuba before, wants no part of this, but has to rescue Tomlinson. Dewey, Doc's on-again off-again paramour goes with him. They get involved in a huge plot, voodoo, and meet Fidel. Very good entry in the series. Tomlinson, the hippie friend of Doc Ford's is being held in Cuba. Strangely enough, the hippie thinks Cuba is repressive, and wants to leave. Doc, having operated in Cuba before, wants no part of this, but has to rescue Tomlinson. Dewey, Doc's on-again off-again paramour goes with him. They get involved in a huge plot, voodoo, and meet Fidel. Very good entry in the series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Love

    The fifth Doc Ford novel. Doc returns to Cuba to help Tomlinson and ends up involved with a group of revolutionaries just as morally stunted as Castro and Guevara. Tomlinson's reaction to the reality of communism makes for some comic moments. The fifth Doc Ford novel. Doc returns to Cuba to help Tomlinson and ends up involved with a group of revolutionaries just as morally stunted as Castro and Guevara. Tomlinson's reaction to the reality of communism makes for some comic moments.

  3. 5 out of 5

    MisterLiberry Head

    A fairly unlikely scenario in NORTH OF HAVANA has the ever-logical “Doc” Ford illogically believing he can safely re-insert himself and an eye-catching sports-celebrity girlfriend into Castro’s Cuba despite his spook-work there many years before and his role in an exhibition baseball game that earned him the Maximum Leader’s personal animosity. Continuing as first-person narrator in No#5 of this series, Ford – who, when stalked through a ravine by someone he suspects is an elite Russian commando A fairly unlikely scenario in NORTH OF HAVANA has the ever-logical “Doc” Ford illogically believing he can safely re-insert himself and an eye-catching sports-celebrity girlfriend into Castro’s Cuba despite his spook-work there many years before and his role in an exhibition baseball game that earned him the Maximum Leader’s personal animosity. Continuing as first-person narrator in No#5 of this series, Ford – who, when stalked through a ravine by someone he suspects is an elite Russian commando, goes off on a mental soliloquy about man-as-predator and muses that “It is the predicament of our nature that is the imperative, not the nature of our predicament” (p169)– an aside that kind of set me to cheering-on the other guy to shoot Doc and stop his pop-stand philosophizing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary Anderson

    I like these Doc Ford books because they provide little mental vacations to Florida's Gulf Coast. This one is mostly set in Cuba, so it wasn't quite as satisfying. The characters and action are still appealing, and the dialogue still crackles, but I missed Florida. I like these Doc Ford books because they provide little mental vacations to Florida's Gulf Coast. This one is mostly set in Cuba, so it wasn't quite as satisfying. The characters and action are still appealing, and the dialogue still crackles, but I missed Florida.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    The fifth in the Doc Ford series. Doc travels to Cuba with Dewey to aid Tomlinson and finds himself in the middle of an anti-Castro dilemma.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    “North Of Havana” is probably a good story for most people but it took place mostly in Cuba and I guess I’m not that interested in Cuba or its history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Findley

    Whew! The author bounces his boy Doc, and us, all over Cuba. It's a fun ride that will certainly lead to kidnapping and murder, but (since this is Doc's world and not ours) will it lead to the execution of Fidel Castro? I'll let you find out for yourself. This one is early in the series, so folks who are expecting the Doc Ford of the most recent novels is going to be disappointed. This Doc is still very much fighting against his nature, not realizing that he has a place in the world that serves Whew! The author bounces his boy Doc, and us, all over Cuba. It's a fun ride that will certainly lead to kidnapping and murder, but (since this is Doc's world and not ours) will it lead to the execution of Fidel Castro? I'll let you find out for yourself. This one is early in the series, so folks who are expecting the Doc Ford of the most recent novels is going to be disappointed. This Doc is still very much fighting against his nature, not realizing that he has a place in the world that serves a purpose. One where he is badly needed as the same type of hero as Mack Bolan. The mystery resolution runs right into the last chapter, with it being mostly satisfactory (IMHO), but hard-core fans of Doc Ford will love it. Especially the last page which even choked me up a little bit. Excellent ending personally for Doc Ford. Find it! Buy it! Read it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim McCulloch

    Doc heads to Cuba to rescue Tomlinson, only to get himself into deep trouble. Dewey accompanies him, and what she learns of Doc's past threatens their relationship. This story also reveals an interesting relationship between the Castro regime and Caribbean voodoo-based religion of the black population who exist in grinding poverty and despair. Doc heads to Cuba to rescue Tomlinson, only to get himself into deep trouble. Dewey accompanies him, and what she learns of Doc's past threatens their relationship. This story also reveals an interesting relationship between the Castro regime and Caribbean voodoo-based religion of the black population who exist in grinding poverty and despair.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Morgan McGuire

    I read this on Sanibel during a rainstorm on Christmas weekend, which is the exact setting of the book. It definitely nailed the island feel. The spy stuff is ok, albeit convoluted. The earnestly researched tutorial on lesbians at the start of the book is godawful and embarrassing, as is every use of 'panties', 'pendulous', and 'like a charnel house' in the entire series. Doc should get laser eye surgery, since in every book he's undone at some point by losing his glasses. I read this on Sanibel during a rainstorm on Christmas weekend, which is the exact setting of the book. It definitely nailed the island feel. The spy stuff is ok, albeit convoluted. The earnestly researched tutorial on lesbians at the start of the book is godawful and embarrassing, as is every use of 'panties', 'pendulous', and 'like a charnel house' in the entire series. Doc should get laser eye surgery, since in every book he's undone at some point by losing his glasses.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    PLEASE NOTE: I "read" an audiobook but there was no audiobook edition. http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... NORTH OF HAVANA: Doc Ford in Cuba http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... A refresher course in Cuban-American relations with thrills and suspense to make it interesting. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this audiobook provided by the publisher. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. George Guidall is the perfect narrator for this series PLEASE NOTE: I "read" an audiobook but there was no audiobook edition. http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... NORTH OF HAVANA: Doc Ford in Cuba http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... A refresher course in Cuban-American relations with thrills and suspense to make it interesting. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this audiobook provided by the publisher. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. George Guidall is the perfect narrator for this series: capable of great range, he is emotive but “manly.” If that sounds sexist, well maybe it is, but there’s no “sensitive new-age guy” in Doc Ford from whose point of view we hear this tale of intrigue and action, so a “manly voice,” is de rigueur. My husband has always been the big Randy Wayne White fan in the house. I tend to read romance, historical, cozy mystery, and erotica, where he tends more to thriller, suspense and science/economic non-fiction. I do fancy myself a lover of history, but my love ends around the time Queen Victoria passed on. He’s more into the history of the century of our births, that 100 year stint called the Twentieth Century. It’s hard to think of stuff that happened when you were alive, but, most of what’s happening now, and what was happening in the 1990s seems to have its basis But one thing this book taught me is that my knowledge and understanding of this complex country and its relationships with the USA, where I live, is extremely lacking. The book seems to have been published in print in 1998. Since then attitudes about sexual orientation have changed. Here Dewey, a female tennis champ and now, a professional golfer, has to try to explain her bi-sexuality. But today, it would either be considered unnecessary or offensive. This story is complex, and I felt it depended a lot on backstory about some of the characters. One character, Tomlinson, has a medical condition and possible magical abilities. At first I thought the condition was entirely medical, but then maybe it seemed drug-based. I ended up believing it was both.Doc Ford has, apparently, a PhD in Marine Biology, and a past in the CIA. But, I guess I would have understood the history between the characters if I had read the first three books. The plot is not a straight line, But a twisty one. With the naiveté of every Non-Cuban character BUT Doc Ford, I think the assorted problems they experience in the novel are problems they bring on themselves. The remarkable thing is that Doc Ford, who could happily have been home for Christmas who but goes off to save a friend, and whose friend Dewey insists on accompanying him, takes the blame for much of it. The character has, I think, a hero complex rooted in compassion and love for his friends. He values loyalty to friends, the downtrodden, and children. He’s an atypical nice guy: decent to everyone, unless you’re not a nice guy in which case you should watch out. His decency is important, especially as White uses Doc to explore the issues faced by a Cuba without the Soviet Union and with a continuing embargo by the US. He describes the hunger of at least one child, and the medical issues of another. Are those features necessary to the plot? probably not, but they help establish Doc Ford as the guy you want on your side. While there are probably as many women as men who enjoy the Doc Ford series, I think of this as a series more enjoyed by guys. It’s a great idea for Father’s Day. And, then, when the guy in your life reads/listens to it, anyone who likes this kind of series can also pick it up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    Cuba is a crime-writer's dream, replete with mysticism, a fascinating history, and an exotic backdrop for any kind of story, especially one involving international espionage and murder. Randy Wayne White's "North of Havana" reunites his hero, Doc Ford, with his Cold War-era past. Ford, a marine biologist working in the Florida Everglades, was, unbeknownst to his friends and loved ones (a small group), once a top-secret government agent for the CIA. He doesn't talk about it, and he certainly does Cuba is a crime-writer's dream, replete with mysticism, a fascinating history, and an exotic backdrop for any kind of story, especially one involving international espionage and murder. Randy Wayne White's "North of Havana" reunites his hero, Doc Ford, with his Cold War-era past. Ford, a marine biologist working in the Florida Everglades, was, unbeknownst to his friends and loved ones (a small group), once a top-secret government agent for the CIA. He doesn't talk about it, and he certainly doesn't like to remember much of it, but when his hippy-friend Tomlinson enters Cuban waters in his sail-boat and is taken into custody by Cuban soldiers, Ford is forced to confront his past and, worse, return to the country where he has a price on his head. He arrives with a suitcase full of money (to pay off the police) and an ex-girlfriend who forced herself along for the ride. He expects a quick in-and-out, but when Tomlinson isn't where he's supposed to be, Ford ends up getting involved in an underground anti-Castro movement. With the aid of an ex-Soviet agent still living in Havana, Ford goes on a search through the back-alleys and jungles of Cuba to find and rescue his friends. Along the way, he may actually finish the mission he started years ago but never completed: to kill Castro. White is working in Robert Ludlum territory here, and for the most part, he does a good job of it. "North of Havana" is fast-paced, action-packed, and suspenseful. Fans of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen will enjoy White.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I have always been fascinated with Cuba, so this was a very interesting read from that aspect, as well as a good mystery. In each book, Mr. White reveals a bit more of the history of Doc Ford, and Tomlinson. Plenty of plot twists and turns, and danger throughout. And a quote I particularly liked - "There was a time in my life I was suspicious by profession. Now I am suspicious by nature." -Doc Ford. What better quote for a mystery! I have always been fascinated with Cuba, so this was a very interesting read from that aspect, as well as a good mystery. In each book, Mr. White reveals a bit more of the history of Doc Ford, and Tomlinson. Plenty of plot twists and turns, and danger throughout. And a quote I particularly liked - "There was a time in my life I was suspicious by profession. Now I am suspicious by nature." -Doc Ford. What better quote for a mystery!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Hood

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Liked the book. Love Dewey and love that her and Ford got together even if it was just for a minute. Sad about what happened to her and confused that she left with Rita...I was like HUH? Still confused by the ending. Not bad...got bored at the end. It was a nice twist...I just somehow missed it. If someone can explain where Dewey went and why that would be great.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Finzleft Garner

    You could tell from the beginning that this was another Doc Ford classic. Tomlinson's plea for help arrives and Doc is headed back to Cuba. I love the way that his back story is slowly delivered. You could tell from the beginning that this was another Doc Ford classic. Tomlinson's plea for help arrives and Doc is headed back to Cuba. I love the way that his back story is slowly delivered.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    This one is still good, although far fetched. Involves Castro and Santorini (voodoo) in Cuba. Doc goes to Cuba with Dewey reluctantly to rescue Tomlinson whose boat was captured. The last Russian in Cuba helps/hinders. Fast read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mhurst

    Faster paced than some of White's earlier Ford novels. North of Havana also gives the reader much more insight into Doc Ford's mysterious past. Faster paced than some of White's earlier Ford novels. North of Havana also gives the reader much more insight into Doc Ford's mysterious past.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    another great book by randy wayne white. im glad doc finally got to see pilar again but he has to leave. they cant be together. poor doc.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Frank Wilem

    I like the characters and setting in all of Randy's books. I hate that I lost all of my autographed copies during Hurricane Katrina. I like the characters and setting in all of Randy's books. I hate that I lost all of my autographed copies during Hurricane Katrina.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Doeckel todd

    Another good read in the Doc Ford series. You don't have to read them in order for them to make sense, but there are some references to previous books that are better understood if you do. Another good read in the Doc Ford series. You don't have to read them in order for them to make sense, but there are some references to previous books that are better understood if you do.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    #5 in the Doc Ford series. Doc Ford novel - Ford travels to Cuba to bail out Tomlinson (and his impounded sailboat) and gets involved with pro- and anti-Castro factions.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn (in SC) C234D

    I read this about eighteen years ago, and while I don't remember details, I noted that it was an "excellent Doc Ford story." I really like this series. I read this about eighteen years ago, and while I don't remember details, I noted that it was an "excellent Doc Ford story." I really like this series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    Just finished a nice journey “North of Havana;” well, at least through the pages of Randy Wayne White’s fifth installment of his Doc Ford Mystery series. White is a gifted storyteller who has created likeable and offbeat characters who live a bit wacky, lay back lifestyle. Our beloved protagonist is Doc Ford, a former government NSA agent and now a marine biologist, who lives in a house on stilts on Sanibel Island. In this book, Doc Ford's hippy friend, Tomlinson, sails to Cuba with a young lady Just finished a nice journey “North of Havana;” well, at least through the pages of Randy Wayne White’s fifth installment of his Doc Ford Mystery series. White is a gifted storyteller who has created likeable and offbeat characters who live a bit wacky, lay back lifestyle. Our beloved protagonist is Doc Ford, a former government NSA agent and now a marine biologist, who lives in a house on stilts on Sanibel Island. In this book, Doc Ford's hippy friend, Tomlinson, sails to Cuba with a young lady and they sail too close and get captured. Tomlinson needs money to get “bailed out” and get his boat. Of course, there is much more to this situation than meets the eye. “North of Havana” has a well-crafted plot, which also reveals that Doc had been there years ago and left under questionable circumstances. Although many of the Doc Ford books can be read as stand-alone books, this one does rely a bit on previous plots as several characters are introduced from prior novels. The usual menu includes revolutionaries, a great chase, and some wily characters with a brief appearance by Fidel Castro. Randy Wayne White has become one of my more enjoyable modern authors; thanks to Mike and Mary who started me reading this series by giving me the first four books! If you enjoy a well-crafted mystery with quirky characters, then the Doc Ford series could be for you! Give it a try!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Gleckler Clark

    Marine Biologist, Marian Ford known as Doc, is once again called upon by his good friend to come to Cuba. It seems his friend finds his live-on boat commandeered by the Cubans and himself held in captivity for ransom. After listening to Tomlinson explanation, Ford us initially hesitate, As he’d been in Cuba before while working for the military. But, off goes Ford with another of his good friends Dewey to the rescue. We must remember this novel takes place in the late 1980s in the time of Castro Marine Biologist, Marian Ford known as Doc, is once again called upon by his good friend to come to Cuba. It seems his friend finds his live-on boat commandeered by the Cubans and himself held in captivity for ransom. After listening to Tomlinson explanation, Ford us initially hesitate, As he’d been in Cuba before while working for the military. But, off goes Ford with another of his good friends Dewey to the rescue. We must remember this novel takes place in the late 1980s in the time of Castro’s dictatorship, so this along adds intrigue to the story line. Not only do I enjoy the characters, but Randy Wayne White knows the geography and the topography of Sanibel Island, Dinkins Bay, and the many smaller island and reefs in the area. Always a good story line, and always ends with a good bit of excitement.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard Thompson

    Just as Dewey Nye drops in unexpectedly on Doc at his Sanibel Island stilt house / lab, Doc a call from his weird friend Tomlinson. Tomlinson needs Doc to come and rescue him and his boat after an ill advised adventure ends him up in the hands of Cuban authorities. Doc has history in Cuba that makes him reluctant to undertake the journey. Dewey is not one of my favorite RWW characters and we spend a bit too much time sorting through her emotional baggage before the action starts. Once Doc and Dew Just as Dewey Nye drops in unexpectedly on Doc at his Sanibel Island stilt house / lab, Doc a call from his weird friend Tomlinson. Tomlinson needs Doc to come and rescue him and his boat after an ill advised adventure ends him up in the hands of Cuban authorities. Doc has history in Cuba that makes him reluctant to undertake the journey. Dewey is not one of my favorite RWW characters and we spend a bit too much time sorting through her emotional baggage before the action starts. Once Doc and Dewey are in Havana things get confusing and the confusion (for me at least) is never satisfactorily resolved. An enjoyable enough light read, but not a grabber. This was book #42 on our 2017 Read-alouds List.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    White's novels demonstrate an intimate grasp of Florida culture. This book extends that to Cuba. The modern day relationship between Cuba and Florida is intense and extends back to Batista and Castro. White manages to present quite a comprehensive survey of this history, and how and why Cuba and Florida (especially south Florida) are linked as ambivalent siblings. I really enjoyed reading this book, read it in 2 seatings, for that aspect. White is one hell of a Florida author. Definitely in a le White's novels demonstrate an intimate grasp of Florida culture. This book extends that to Cuba. The modern day relationship between Cuba and Florida is intense and extends back to Batista and Castro. White manages to present quite a comprehensive survey of this history, and how and why Cuba and Florida (especially south Florida) are linked as ambivalent siblings. I really enjoyed reading this book, read it in 2 seatings, for that aspect. White is one hell of a Florida author. Definitely in a league with Hiaasen and McDonald.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Thomlinson is in trouble. He got too close to Cuba and has been arrested and his boat impounded. So he called Ford to come bail him out, the one place Ford does not want to go back to. Just before he leaves for Cuba, Dewey comes for a visit with a special request of Ford. She’s had a break-up with her ‘friend’ Bets. And of course she decides to go with Ford on his mission not knowing what she’s getting in to. Loved the ending. Fave scenes: Ford’s conversation with General Rivera, Hemingway’s car, Thomlinson is in trouble. He got too close to Cuba and has been arrested and his boat impounded. So he called Ford to come bail him out, the one place Ford does not want to go back to. Just before he leaves for Cuba, Dewey comes for a visit with a special request of Ford. She’s had a break-up with her ‘friend’ Bets. And of course she decides to go with Ford on his mission not knowing what she’s getting in to. Loved the ending. Fave scenes: Ford’s conversation with General Rivera, Hemingway’s car, Ford’s high speed maneuver and Fords’ trick on the creek.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chris Heath

    Good story, easy read. Looking to read the whole Doc Ford series, but I'm not going to rush about it. This one (#5) was available on the cheap shelf at my local used bookseller! I must say that although I enjoy these "character series", Randy Wayne White as a writer in this genre can't touch Dennis Lehane or James Lee Burke. Want a page-turner? Read some Dennis Lehane - Gone Baby Gone or The Drop. Brilliantly descriptive, suspenseful writing - Good story, easy read. Looking to read the whole Doc Ford series, but I'm not going to rush about it. This one (#5) was available on the cheap shelf at my local used bookseller! I must say that although I enjoy these "character series", Randy Wayne White as a writer in this genre can't touch Dennis Lehane or James Lee Burke. Want a page-turner? Read some Dennis Lehane - Gone Baby Gone or The Drop. Brilliantly descriptive, suspenseful writing -

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

    Another exciting read featuring Doc Ford, this story sees him going to forbidden Cuba to rescue his friend Tomlinson. That is not an easy thing to do, and Doc finds himself and the woman who insisted on going with him in deep trouble, to the point that their lives are in danger. Doc must find a way to save them all, and although it seems impossible, at the last second, Doc finds a way.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    Cuba and island of Hemingway, Castro and Doc. A very intriguing story and one that will grab a reader from the first page. Mix in a Russian assassin, with a pretty ex-patriot and Tomlinson and you get a real Cubre Libre iced!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Arizonagirl

    Doc Ford series, book #5. Doc reluctantly goes to Cuba to rescue Tomlinson. Dewey pressures Doc to take her and then is upset at him when things go sour and they are in the middle of an Anti-Castro murderous plot.

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