Randy Wayne White
Putnam, Feb 22 2011, $ 25.95
While driving on Sanibel Island, Florida passenger Tomlinson the hipster tells his friend marine biologist Doc Ford he needs to help a gifted thirteen years old Guatemalan girl Tula Choimha who is in trouble. Doc says all of Tomlinson’s women are in trouble because they are seeing him. Tomlinson though “medicated” insists Tula is not a woman but a girl in trouble.
Tula lives in the Little Guadalajara trailer park, home to illegals. Everyone believes she is special as she speaks with God and is protected by Saint Joan and her Godly knights. The child searches for her mother and brother who came to the states months ago but vanished. Meanwhile the steroid-fried trailer park manager Harris Squires is ordered to evict everyone so a development can begin to be built. He fears what Tula saw he did with human remains so he kidnaps the gifted teen until he decides whether to kill her or not. Ford and Tomlinson search for the adolescent in the out of sight out of mind underbelly of America while Harris' violent girlfriend Frankie challenges Doc’s intervention.
Loaded with suspense in a great wildlife setting that spotlights the plight of illegal immigrants inside a country that has forgotten its roots, the latest Doc Ford thriller is a poignant tale of “good and evil” with a surprising spin as to who Tula considers a good knight. Doc is his usual defender of the unprotected but it is the two females involved in Harris’ life who make this a strong entry as Tula and Frankie are seemingly polar opposites but share many traits. Night Vision is a terrific tense tale.