From Publishers Weekly
Hiaasen's signature mix of hilariously over-the-top villains, lovable innocents and righteous indignation at what mankind has done to his beloved Florida wilderness is all present in riotous abundance in his latest. It begins with attractive heiress Joey Perrone being tossed overboard from a cruise ship by her larcenous husband, Chaz—not for her money, which she has had the good sense to keep well away from him, but because he fears she is onto his crooked dealings with a ruthless tycoon who is poisoning the Everglades. But instead of drowning as she's supposed to, Joey stays afloat until she is rescued by moody ex-cop Mick Stranahan, a loner who has also struck out in the marriage department. Then the two together, with the unwitting aid of a suspicious cop who can't pin the attempted murder on Chaz, hatch a sadistic plot to scare that "maggot" out of what little wit he has. Even Tool, a hulking brute sent by the tycoon to keep an eye on Chaz, eventually turns against him, and much of the fun is in watching the deplorable Chaz flounder further and further in the murk, both literally and figuratively (Chaz's job, as the world's unlikeliest marine biologist, involves falsifying water pollution levels for the tycoon). Hiaasen's books are so enjoyable it's always a sad moment when they end. In this case, however, sadness is mixed with puzzlement because the book seems to end in mid-scene, with Chaz in trouble again—but is it terminal? We thought at first there were some pages missing, but Knopf says that was the ending Hiaasen intended. Odd.
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*Starred Review* What do you get when you cross a sleazy marine biologist, a corrupt tycoon with a bad comb-over, and a voluptuous wife hell-bent on revenge? Another delirious romp through the swamps of South Florida from irrepressible Miami Herald
columnist Carl Hiaasen. Chaz Perrone was sure he'd seen the last of his wife when he pushed her over the balcony of the Sun Duchess
cruise ship off the coast of Florida. But Joey Perrone, a former championship swimmer, survived the fall and clung to a bale of Jamaican hashish long enough to be rescued by retired cop Mick Stranahan. Joey wants to know why her husband wanted her dead (he feared she was onto his scheme of doctoring Florida Everglades water samples at the behest of ruthless agribusiness tycoon Red Hammernut). Then, with Stranahan's help, she wants to drive him crazy. No reprobate escapes the satirical eye of Hiaasen, who writes like the love child of Hunter S. Thompson and Evelyn Waugh. His trademark cast of skewed characters includes old favorites like Skink and new arrival, Tool, a hirsute, painkiller-addicted thug with a bullet lodged in a decidedly cheeky place. Like Hiaasen's nine previous novels, this one's a corker, chock-full of belly laughs and blistering truths. Allison BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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