Skin Tight Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
"Hiaasen's latest thriller is his funniest and sharpest novel to date. Set in a south Florida swarming with ripoff artists, crooked cops, nude sunbathers and corrupt politicians, it features a Mafia-connected plastic surgeon with butterfingers, a bitchy Hollywood starlet, a remarkably inept hit man and a pompous TV journalist 'nationally famous for getting beaten up on camera,' " said PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 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
Somebody wants Mike Stranahan killed, a guy with five previous wives and five people he's killed, including two in Vietnam, who now retired from law enforcement lives in a stilt house out in the mud flads of south Florida with his only companion a barracuda that Stranahan feeds each day. A 6 foot 9 hit man with a disfigured face and, later in the story, with a weed-whacker attached for an artificial arm, a couple of unbelievably nasty cops, a crooked lawyer who's married to Stranahan's sister, and, of course, a few assorted females of varying degrees of integrity and beauty are included in the cast.
One thing in Hiaasen stories is that the bad guys usually get their come-uppance, usally very messily and sometimes ghoulishly amusing. I'd remembered other Hiaasen stories as reasonably well written. Perhaps my standards have changed, but Skin Tight has most of its characters talking in interchangeable words and expressions. So if you're addicted to Hiaasen, go ahead. If not, there are other authors who give you a better read for the time.
As for the (complicated and over-the-top) plot, we have an incredibly crooked and incompetent plastic surgeon suspected of killing a patient and disposing of the body (in a very creative fashion). As the police and other interested parties come down on this surgeon he employs very colorful thugs to eliminate these troublemakers ... yet everything goes wrong. On top of this he has a Hispanic shock-TV host (similarities to Geraldo Rivera are probably intentional) wanting to capture this ... on live television. Everything spins wildly out of control. Yet the vibrant characterizations, the clever one-liners, and cruel attacks on these rich, selfish and vain individuals make Skin Tight very enjoyable. And unlike his other works, the story is not too Florida-centric (although it takes place in Miami) ... and so it should be enjoyable to most everyone who is familiar with American popular culture.
Bottom line: sick, twisted and very funny. Perhaps Hiaasen's best. Strongly recommended.
Skin Tight involves former State Investigator Mick Stranahan, who lives a hermit's existence out in Biscayne Bay in an historic house on stilts in the water (part of the locally famous Stiltsville property, which the Federal Governement is actually about to tear down). As the action unfolds, Mick is rudely interrupted at his small house on the water by a hit man intruder, who is dispatched by our hero with the help of a stuffed blue marlin. This should give you a good idea of what is to come.
Like all protagonists in Hiaasen novels, Mick is 40-ish, ruggedly good-looking (seemingly every women in every novel has a crush on the main character), and jaded from a series of bad marriages. We learn that Mick has married five waitresses over the course of his life, as he has a dangerous habit of falling madly in love on a whim. In any event, the story of the novel revolves around an old missing persons case with ties to a shady and incompetent plastic surgeon (hence the name), a shyster lawyer brother-in-law with garish billboards all over South Florida, and a cast of crooked Dade County cops and County Commissioners.
As any fan of Hiaasen comes to expect, the bad guys seem to eventually get what's coming to them, there is always a rogue gangster or hitman around for a few laughs (in this book the hit man loses a hand and replaces it with a weed whacker), and the handsome hero somehow always gets the girl without compromising his principles. Formulaic, sure, but always a heck of a ride. Skin Tight is one of Carl's better novels.
In Skin Tight, Hiassen gives us his usual cast of interesting and very peculiar players drawn from the mix of modern day Miami. Without giving any of the plot away, I will only say that there are two things about this book that I bet will stay with any reader: the fate that befalls the vain and insufferable TV host in his Geraldolike quest at expose and the character Chemo's choice of a prosthesis - a weed-whacker. These are a couple of the overthetop high points in Skin Tight, one of Hiaseen's grizzliest and funniest tales.
Most recent customer reviews
Great Read, like all Hiaasen's books. Fast-paced, funny, quirky, well-written social commentary. The plot thickens as human vices boil over.Published 4 months ago by R. Baxter
Of the two Hiaasen books I've read so far, I rate this a slight notch below Stormy Weather. This book is still very funny and highly entertaining, but Stormy Weather brings the... Read morePublished on Dec 2 2007 by Bookophile
SKIN TIGHT has a tad bit (ok, a lot) of naughtiness and deaths of characters. Otherwise, the sick humor and the strange and funny events will keep you laughing. Read morePublished on March 28 2006 by Eric L. Neggilfan
Some one is out to kill Mick Stranahan, a retired state investigator. He kills an intruder with a trophy spearfish, and soon afterward, his ex-wife is drowned. Read morePublished on April 19 2005 by Janet
Sleazy plastic surgeons- stupid criminals- insanely vacuous socialites- all are at home in the South Florida that belongs to Carl Hiaasen. Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by K. J. Blake
Carl Hiaasen is a one of a kind of author. His books are so unique that at first you'll be taken aback by the writing, the sarcasm, the wit. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004
I really loved this story. The characters were well-developed and the plot had me eagerly wanting to read more! (I'm a fan!)Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Diane McDonald