Jack Tagger is a frustrated journalist. His outspoken views have relegated him to the obituary page, with his byline never again to disgrace the front page. But Jack has stumbled across a whale of a story that might just resurrect his career ...James Stomarti, infamous frontman of rock band Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, has died in a diving accident and Jack harbours suspicions that the glamorous pop starlet widow may have had a vested interest in her husband's untimely death. It all smells a little too fishy. Aided and abetted by his rather sexy (if unnervingly ambitious) young editor, Emma, Jack sets out to in pursuit of the truth - and a nice juicy story. But of course nothing is ever straightforward and with murderous goons on his tail, brutal internal politics at the paper and a paranoia about death, Jack is struggling to keep his head above water. Was Jimmy Stomarti murdered? Is someone trying to kill off the Slut Puppies one by one? And what significance can a dead lizard named Colonel Tom possibly have? This is one book you'll kill to get your hands on.
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Take one dead rock & roll star, his Courtney Love-type widow, the mysterious deaths of his former bandmates, and the lost tracks of a comeback album. Stir in Jack Tagger, a middle-aged investigative reporter obsessed with death since his banishment to the obit desk; a fetching young editor with a yen for our hero; and a boss looking for a reason to fire him. Put them in the hands of a master like Carl Hiaasen, who adds his trademark flourishes (who else would use a frozen lizard as a weapon?) to a creaky plot like this one, and the result is a winner. Florida is full of caper writers with journalistic credentials, and plenty of them have a deft hand with quirky characters, but no one in the genre is better than Hiaasen. --Jane AdamsFrom the Inside Flap:
Once a hotshot investigative reporter, Jack Tagger now bangs out obituaries for a South Florida daily, ?plotting to resurrect my newspaper career by yoking my byline to some famous stiff.? Jimmy Stoma, the infamous front man of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, dead in a fishy-smelling scuba ?accident,? might be the stiff of Jack?s dreams?if only he can figure out what happened.
Standing in the way are (among others) his ambitious young editor, who hasn?t yet fired anyone but plans to ?break her cherry? on Jack; the rock star?s pop-singer widow, who?s using the occasion of her husband?s death to re-launch her own career; and the soulless, profit-hungry owner of the newspaper, whom Jack once publicly humiliated at a stockholders? meeting.
With clues from the dead rock singer?s music, Jack ultimately unravels Jimmy Stoma?s strange fate?in a hilariously hard-won triumph for muckraking journalism, and for the death-obsessed obituary writer himself.
?Always be halfway prepared? is Jack Tagger?s motto?and it?s more than enough to guarantee a wickedly funny, brilliantly entertaining novel from Carl Hiaasen.
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Book Description Pan Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0330490184