A colleague with excellent literary taste, knowing my liking for Robert Crais, and James Lee Burke, recommended that I read some Randy Wayne White books. In addition, the blurbers on the cover compare White to Carl Hiaasen and John D. MacDonald.
With all that buildup, I was prepared for possible disappointment. But for once, the hype is pretty close to the mark. The protagonist of White's series, Doc Ford, is a marine biologist running a small biological supplies company on the Florida Gulf Coast. He's also an ex-spy of some sort. In this first book of the series, he's tasked with figuring out why an old friend involved with shady characters in Central America has apparently been murdered; his friend's son has also been kidnapped.
Ford deals with the situation intrepidly, running into a host of colorful characters, many of them dangerous. The resolution is thrilling and satisfying.