Chaz Perrone might be the only marine scientist in the world who doesn't know which way the Gulf Stream runs. But he's just found a way to make a fortune out of the Florida Everglades, and he's damned if anyone's going to stop him. So when he suspects that his wife, Joey, is going to get in his way, he takes her on an expensive anniversary cruise and pushes her overboard into the night-dark Atlantic.
Unfortunately for Chaz, Joey survives the fall. Clinging to a bale of Jamaican pot, she manages to stay alive, and is plucked from the ocean by former cop, current loner, Mick Stranahan. But instead of rushing to the police and reporting her husband's crime, Joey decides to stay dead and (with Mick's help) screw with Chas until he screws himself.
As Joey haunts and taunts her homicidal husband; as Chaz's cold blooded cohorts in crime grow uneasy with his increasingly erratic behaviour; as Mick Stranahan discovers that six failed marriages have not killed his ability to fall in love all over again, Carl Hiaasen takes us on a hilarious, romantic, page-turning journey through the warped politics of southern Florida, and through the madness and mayhem created by the human heart.
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Skinny Dip is a highly pleasurable reminder that Carl Hiaasen is one of the most quirky and entertaining of modern crime writers. His shadow on the genre has been so massive that his idiosyncratic, brittle-edged prose and sardonic humour may be found served up in the work of a host of imitators. There is no doubt that Hiaasen is at the top of the tree in his chosen field – and if a certain faltering has been evident of late, admirers were more than ready to be patient. Skinny Dip is a signal that the worries of Hiaasen admirers are at an end – the Master is back on form.
The protagonist here is a woman, the luckless Joey Perrone. Joey has not made the wisest matrimonial choice, and her lowlife spouse Chaz has dumped her in the briny from the deck of a luxury cruise liner. She survives – but is her first action to shop her treacherous husband to the police? No, Joey has other ideas. She opts to maintain the fiction that she is now fish food, and inaugurates a little canny retaliation. Utilising her own support group – along with several individuals who have no love for Chaz – she begins to even the score.
This is vintage Hiaasen, with all the old splenetic energy back in place, along with the scorching one-liners that were the author’s traditional stock-in-trade. Joey is a wonderful heroine, and the off-the-wall gallery of characters she encounters in her fightback against her husband are well up to the colourful standards we expect. --Barry ForshawReview:
"Slick, swift and gloriously funny" (Sunday Telegraph)
"The undisputed master of organized chaos... His satire is a fierce unmuzzled snarl, swiftly followed by a painfully ironic bite. Quite simply, brilliant" (The Sunday Times)
"America's finest satirical novelist... the blazing conscience of the sunshine state" (Observer)
"Florida's poet laureate - the chronicler of its corruption, craziness and exploited ecology... a unique satirical talent" (Financial Times)
"The funniest crime novelist to put pen to paper" (Evening Standard)
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Book Description Bantam Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 368 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0593053737
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