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Double Whammy Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
A Miami Herald reporter who struck a blow against corrupt entrepreneurs in Tourist Season, Hiaasen follows through with this acid satire, a real double whammy. Private detective R. J. Decker is hired to prove that TV host Dickie Lockhart cheats to win fortunes in Florida bass-fishing tournaments. The investigation makes Decker a prey to hired killers who have murdered other "snoops," but the detective also finds a strong if weird ally in a hermit who calls himself Skink. Along with two honest cops, Skink goes with Decker to the lake where a big tournament is under way and the four make a tremendous splash, to the dismay of the assembly. Hardest hit is Reverend Weeb, Lockhart's sponsor on the Outdoor Christian Network, whose generous supporters don't know that he's addicted to prostitutes, profanity and land-grabbing. The cast of bizarre characters and the suspenseful events confirm Hiaasen's reputation for creating singular villains and heroes. While he's probably unpopular among some fellow citizens in his home state, he will certainly please readers who appreciate the Swiftian wit in his cautionary tales.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
The "double whammy" is a special lure used in the competitive bass fishing underlying the plot of this thriller by Miami journalist Hiaasen ( The Tourist Season ). Someone is cheating at bass fishing competitions, and people are getting killed. Enter R.J. Decker, former photojournalist and ex-con. Decker teams up with Skink, an unbelievable character who lives in a forest shack, eats road-killed animals, and reads Dostoyevsky (and turns out to be the ex-governor of Florida). Decker's an unlikely hero, always a step behind. Other characters include the usual corrupt TV evangelists, rednecks, smart black policemen, and betrayingly beautiful women. The action is swift, and there are some very funny scenes. Louise A. Merriam, L.E. Phillips Memorial P.L., Eau Claire, Wis.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an extremely funny, way over the top dark comedy where the body count and the laughs quickly start piling up. But what is it that distinguishes this book from the many other Florida based comedic crime novels that have become so popular in recent years? Two things, the unrelenting humor and the off the wall characters.
Many books are episodically funny. And by that I mean there may be a funny situation every 40 or 50 pages. Double Whammy is genuinely funny all the way through. Everything that happens is outrageous and the outrageousness steadily increases as the story unfolds. Few would argue with the observation that Carl Hiaasen's writing displays a take no prisoners tone when it comes to satirizing life as lived in the Sunshine State.
There are more hilariously warped characters in this book than you can shake a fishing rod at. To mention just two of the more colorful ones: There's Skink, a roadkill eating recluse with the perfect white teeth of a TV news anchorman. And, my personal favorite, the Reverend Charles Weeb, a profane, sleazy, televangelist whose love of real estate far surpasses his love of any known diety.
Double Whammy is a withering satire that pulls no punches. Its nonstop humor is both biting and original. If you appreciate writing that isn't afraid to explore the less admirable aspects of what it means to be human, by all means, read this book. You will enjoy the experience.
More than anything, what makes this novel enjoyable are the characters. Decker is surrounded by an unusual ensemble. 'Skink' is a swamp hermit with a mysterious past, and teaches Decker all about bass fishing. Skink also has a fondness for road kill that makes the other characters squeemish. Reverend Weems is hardly a surprising character given all the "bad" news about religious figures in recent years, but makes a nice partner for the cheating and impish Lockhart. Other law enforcement officers, Decker's ex-wife, and Gault's seductive, gold-digging sister round out the cast.
There is probably more bass fishing, or more about bass fishing, than the casual reader will want to know about. However, the bass fishing details do take a back seat to the mystery that surrounds the mysterious deaths of several secondary characters. The mystery is rather short lived, but the 'sting' that Decker and his comrades plan in the second half of the novel carry the story to a satisfactory conclusion.
I'd recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys crime fiction in the style of Hiassen and Elmore Leonard, or a style that might be described as Dave Barry light. Hiassen is unrelentless in his attack on the condo craze in Florida and what it has done to the environment there, so be ready for some commentary as well.
R.J. Decker, ex-professional photographer and small-time detective is hired to expose the cheating practices of one Dickey Lockhart, the redneck 'god' of fishing on the bass tournament circle. In the course of R.J.'s pursuit of the truth, he encounters an odd cast of characters, including his ex-wife who he is constantly trying to have an affair with, a bombshell who happens to be the sister of the guy who hired him in the first place (and who absolutely can't be trusted), and the most notorious and loveable of all Hiaasen's characters. It's the introduction of the man known simply as 'Skink'. Once a governor of Florida named Clinton Tyree, Skink has left his old life behind and lives in the woods generally shunning humanity, eating road kill for dinner, reading classic literature, and occasionally acting as fishing guide. All while he hides in trees and wanders around wearing a shower cap and orange rain slicker.
Skink's help in exposing the unsavory practices of cheating bass professionals, as well as the owner of the 'Outdoor Christian Network' known as the Reverend Weems (think Robert Tilton mixed with the cast of Hee Haw) is utterly hilarious. And in the process, Mr.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you liked SICK PUPPY and SKINNY DIP, you'll love this one. As with all of Hiassen's works, odd characters are the norm. The plots are also waaaay out there. Read morePublished on July 18 2004
In this novel, Hiaasen explores the world of Bass Fishing and how cheating in tournaments results in the death of a popular star. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2003 by Amy A Adams
Bring on Skink
Skink quickly becomes a character destined for many reappearances in Hiaasen's novels. Read more
I picked up this book on a whim while looking for another book and I'm glad I did it. Once I started reading I didn't put it down until I had finished it the next day. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2002
Hiaasen has a hit with this book. It's very well written and keeps you entertained throughout. The setting is the back waters of Florida, the characters pro fishermen. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2002 by Traveling Irishman
This book may have just caught me right as really wasn't expecting much out of a book about Bass fishing. But it is a pretty good mystery with lots of laughs along the way. Read morePublished on July 15 2002 by Tom Arnold
Carl Hiaasen is a man who seems to hate so many things: corrupt politicians, polluters, cheats, racists, and hypocrites. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2001 by lazza
You grow up in redneck country, and you meet guys like the residents in Harney County and the bass fishing pros. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2001 by Joe Grundig