“Midnight Rambler” by James Swain

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“Midnight Rambler” by James Swain (Ballantine Books, $24.95, 350 pages, www.jimswaim.com)

“Midnight Rambler” by James Swain

Yet another excellent Florida tough guy. Why are so many of the tough guy books based in Florida? My writer friends tell me the answer is simple: great weather, lots of bikinis, good golf, relatively affordable cost of living, lots of bikinis, hot enough most of the year to justify a bourbon or two at almost any hour of the day or night. Apparently Hemingway was ahead of his time.

Just off the top of my head, here’s a partial list of Florida tough guys: Travis McGee, Doc Ford, Thorn, Swytek, and now, Jack Carpenter.

“Midnight Rambler” is an excellent departure from Swain’s popular Tony Valentine series. Swain’s new hero, Jack Carpenter is an infamous cop. He busted a notorious serial killer and along the way managed to wind up without his badge or family. Now marginally employed as an “abduction specialist” Carpenter finds lots kids and returns them to their families. Good read.

So here’s my question. All these tough guys hang around Florida. Eating and drinking. Everyone of ‘em seems to have a cold beer in his hand just about every other minute. And if they are living in Florida, you know every other meal has got to feature DEEP FAT FRIEND SOMETHING.

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