GONE By Randy Wayne White

I bought a Large Print edition of Randy Wayne White’s Gone at a library book sale. I’m fond of stories about Southern Florida that remind me of the great Travis McGee series John D. MacDonald wrote decades ago. Randy Wayne White’s heroine is a fishing guide named Hannah Smith. She’s a licensed private investigator in the State of Florida which comes in handy when one of her wealthy clients hires Hannah to find his missing niece. The niece is worth $90 million and was last seen with a sociopath. If you’re as fond of swamps and bogs and alligators as I am, you’ll find Hannah’s search for the missing girl suspenseful and thrilling. GRADE: B
Hannah Smith Novels:
Gone (2012, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, ISBN 978-0-399-15849-0)
Deceived (2013, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, ISBN 978-0-399-16207-7)
Haunted (2014, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, ISBN 978-0-399-16976-2)[6]

23 thoughts on “GONE By Randy Wayne White

  1. maggie mason

    I’m a big fan of the doc ford series. Though I have one of this series, I haven’t read it yet. It’s still on the TBR mountain, which I periodically go thru and discard books I’m sure I won’t get to in my lifetime.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    I tried to read the Doc Ford series, which seemed an imitation of Travis McGee, but couldn’t get into it at all. But I like Florida-set mysteries in general – Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, Jonathon King – so will check this out. I hadn’t realized he had a new series. I still have one of his “Randy Striker” series but haven’t read it.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, GONE isn’t as good as Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, etc. But if you’re a fan of that South Florida culture (and I am) GONE will be entertaining. It’s also a quick read.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Other Florida mystery authors I’ve read:

    James W. Hall
    Tom Corcoran
    Laurence Shames
    Charles Willeford
    Edna Buchanan (though I prefer – by far – her non-fiction)
    Stuart Kaminsky (Lew Fonesca series)
    Stuart Woods
    Geoffrey Norman

    There are probably others.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I have most of the James W. Hall books. I need to return to them over Winter Break. I loved the Charles Willeford novels set in Florida. I’m not sure who’s writing the Stuart Woods books anymore.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    No, I quit those a while ago. The Hall books are pretty dark so I only read one every so often.

    I know some people dislike the Laurence Shames books but I read his FLORIDA STRAITS just before we made the same drive the characters make, from Miami to Key West. He got it exactly right. There is something amazing and unforgettable about drive the Seven Mile Bridge with nothing but the Atlantic to the left and the Gulf to the right, and there is something about standing at the end of the continent that always gets to me. (Standing in Montauk and looking out at the Atlantic is something of the same feeling.)

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I love it when a writer manages to get a setting exactly right! I’ll have to give Laurence Shames a try. You’re right about the Hall books: they get darker and darker.

    2. maggie mason

      I remember loving the lawrence shames books, but don’t remember anything about them. I also like hiassen, j king, tim dorsey, james hall (who i spoke about football with at bouchercon) and of course, dave barry

    3. Wolf Böhrendt

      Yes, Jeff, that journey is unforgettable – especially when you think about the train that didn’t make it back to Miami when the hurricane came …

      Somehow it still fascinates me though I’ve travelled several times already to Key West – maybe we’ll get back to Florida again, though with the weak Euro it’s prohibitively expensive for us right now.

      Didn’t know that there are so many thrillers about Southern Florida.

      1. george Post author

        Wolf, Southern Florida thrillers are a genre in their own right! You’ll find some great recommendations in the comments on this post.

  5. Kent Morgan

    I started reading Randy Wayne White with his first Doc Ford book, Sanibel Flats, and have read every one since plus the Hannah Smith series. He’s at his best when he keeps Ford around the Sanibel and Captiva islands. I’ve also read most of the Florida authors mentioned and and I like Hall’s Thorn books although I didn’t like his latest where he took Thorn away from the Keys. Also enjoy Jonathon King and Tom Corcoran. John Leslie had a good series set in Key West. The website for the Murder on the Beach booksore in Delray Beach is an excellent place to get information on Florida mystery writers. I try to visit the store when I travel to Florida in the spring for what I call my baseball and books trip. If you ever get there, ask to see the sale books in a back room.

  6. Jeff Meyerson

    The King series is really good. The protagonist was a Philadelphia cop who accidentally killed a kid who had shot him – no spoiler, it’s the back story – and moves to a shack in the Everglades. His good friend is a lawyer and gets him jobs finding missing people, etc.


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