Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Black Widow-Randy Wayne White

Black Widow
Randy Wayne White
Putnam, March 2008, $24.95, 336 pp.
ISBN: 9780399154560

Four women (a bride to be and her three bridesmaids) take a vacation getaway from wedding madness at Saint Arc Island in the Caribbean. They meet three men and after drinking alcohol and smoking pot, they had an orgy. When they arrive home an email attachment arrives with a clip of what they were doing in the pool. The bride knows her fiancé will never marry her if he finds out what she did. She asks her godfather Dr. Marion Ford to make the exchange of money for the tape, which he does.

He warns her that this might not be over if they made another tape; sure enough another blackmail e-mail arrives. One of the bridesmaid’s husbands sees the clip and the note and goes into a rage. His wife overdoses on pills and alcohol and is rushed to the hospital. Shay follows the ambulance but also ends up staying at the hospital after she crashes into a tree. The women want revenge and Doc is determined they will have it. When he returns to the island he realizes what was done to Shay was done to others; as this is an ugly cottage industry. Tapes used for blackmail purpose with three starring studs and another hiding while filming is big business. Doc seeks the director and the hidden filmmaker so that Shay and others will have peace of mind. He is up against malevolence so evil with so many followers that it will take a miracle for him to survive.

Randy Wayne White is one of the best thriller authors writing today. There is action in every chapter, chase scenes galore and the way Doc wiggles out of imminent dangers makes James Bond seem like a pale imitation of the true secret agent. Doc is bored out of his skull since he was allowed to retire from his agency which is the reason he agreed to take charge of this operation. His adversaries are over the top psychopaths who feel no rules apply to them especially when it comes to their cash crop, but Doc understands their “rules”.

Harriet Klausner