Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades
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About the Author
"An astounding story about an alligator-poaching operation in the Florida Everglades. [Renner] probes the nature of crime and human character, while also mining the far-reaching consequences of what it truly takes to survive--in the wild and in society..... Her propulsive narrative reads as suspensefully as a well-wrought mystery novel as she uncovers an exciting true story rife with shocking twists and turns that will educate, enlighten, and enthrall her audience." -- Kathleen Gerard, Shelf Awareness"Fascinating...Renner teases out the moral ambiguities with a grace and rigor reminiscent of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief. Beautifully evoking the 'sawgrass plains and wild strands of jungle' of its author's home state, this tale of power, politics, and tradition is a triumph." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review "Combining her skills for investigative reporting, nature writing, and personal anecdotes, Renner explores local folklore and legends, shares her personal experiences and observations... Renner's passion for her home state, compassion for those less fortunate, and gift of storytelling make this book difficult to put down. Enlightening and full of suspense." -- Kirkus, starred review "In this fascinating blend of true crime and science reporting, Rebecca Renner's Gator Country tracks Jeff Babauta, an unassuming undercover conservation agent who risks it all to infiltrate an alligator poaching operation in the treacherous Florida wetlands. Told with fierce loyalty to nature and compassion for humans, Renner's Gator Country delivers all the suspense and subterfuge of a le Carré novel. It'll even make you love alligators." -- Erika Krouse, award-winning author of Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation
"Gator Country brims with energy, confidence, and all the hallmarks of a true-life thriller, but Rebecca Renner's unique talent is her keen skill at bringing her characters to life and giving their motivations full color and context. The result is poignant and wonderful. Gator Country isn't just a thrill for thrill's sake, but a generous, thoughtful exploration of what it means for all of us to live in a habitat of predators. Rebecca Renner is a true talent." -- Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams "A gorgeously rendered ode to the wild characters - both human and animal - of Renner's native Florida, Gator Country takes a deep dive into the fascinatingly blurry line that can exist between poachers and conservationists operating in our own backyards." -- Rachel Nuwer, author of Poached "In Gator Country, Rebecca Renner takes us deep into the Florida swamps, where an undercover agent chases a ring of alligator poachers. From dimly lit backcountry bars where outlaws spin wild yarns, to the reptile farm where the agent feeds fish guts to alligators, Renner shows us a hidden Florida that's changing quickly." --Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated "This astonishing book moves as fast as a hungry gator slicing through the water! Rebecca Renner spins an incredible only-in-Florida true-crime tale that's a must-read for anyone who cares about protecting our environment." -- Craig Pittman, author of Oh, Florida!