There is absolutely no way that anyone can read a Carl Hiaasen novel without having a great time. Mr. Hiaasen writes with a very engaging, humorous style that you just can't dislike. His characters are uniformly quirky and fairly jaded, and his adventures deliver quite a few chuckles and also some good insights into the inner workings of Florida politics.
In this book, which I believe is his first novel, Mr. Hiaasen is at his finest. The plot centers around an eco-terrorist group bent on driving tourists out of Florida and making it once again the pristine wilderness it was 500 years ago. The bad guys are a collection of a Cuban exile, a Native American casino owner, and the disgruntled ex-columnist that leads them. Their antics range from the strange to the downright evil, all in the name of saving the environment. And coming to the rescue is a cynical Miami reporter/bodyguard who ends up in the middle of the plot, alternatively trying to catch the bad guys and guard the Orange Bowl Queen.
Cynical reporters are something that Carl Hiaasen writes very well, and in this book, he's at his finest. He also excels at bringing the political and social issues of South Florida to light through his sarcastic, brilliant storytelling.
As a dedicated fan of Florida fiction (which includes Elmore Leonard, Leonard Shames, Randy Wayne White, and John D. MacDonald), I can say that Carl Hiaasen is one of the greats. His books are easy to read, his prose witty and engaging, and his stories exactly the ticket to take your mind off your problems.
Listen closely when reading one of his books. If you try, you can hear the wind in the palm trees and the crashing of the surf on the beach. This is truly one of life's great, simple pleasures.