Charles "Chaz" Perrone fancies himself a take-charge kind of guy. So when this "biologist by default" suspects that his curvaceous wife, Joey, has stumbled onto a profitable pollution scam he's running on behalf of Florida agribusiness mogul Red Hammernut, he sets out right away to solve the problem--by heaving Joey off the deck of a luxury cruise liner and into the Atlantic Ocean, far from Key West. But--whoops!--Joey, a former swimming champ, doesn't drown. Instead, as Carl Hiaasen tells in his 10th adult novel, Skinny Dip, she makes her way back to shore, thanks both to a wayward bale of Jamaican marijuana and lonerish ex-cop Mick Stranahan (Skin Tight, 1989), and then launches a bogus blackmail campaign that's guaranteed to drive her lazy, libidinous hubby into a self-protective frenzy. You've got to hand it to Hiaasen: He's perfected a formula for crisply written, satirical crime fiction that makes the best use of imaginatively repulsive villains, as well as less thoroughly venal scoundrels and victims who ultimately overcome their antagonists, all while stumping for the preservation of Florida's environment, particularly the Everglades. In Skinny Dip, we find Chaz (who'd rather be golfing than puttering around the "hot, buggy, funky-smelling and treacherous" reaches of nature) falsifying water samples to help Hammernut turn the 'Glades into "God's septic tank." That scheme, though, is endangered not just by Joey's sudden disappearance, but by the suspicions of a python-loving police detective and Chaz's own outstanding inability to tame his Viagra-enhanced tumescence. Even by assigning Chaz a baby-sitter--the hulking, hirsute, and painkiller-addicted Tool--Hammernut can't keep his pet biologist out of trouble. As Joey and Stranahan unfold their revenge plot, and Tool's conscience grows in competition with Chaz's ego, the reader can only marvel at the extent of the train wreck ahead. As much fun as Hiaasen has delivering Chaz his climactic comeuppance, what's missing from Skinny Dip is a more complex, more credible development of Mick Stranahan's character and the relationship he builds with the much younger Joey Perrone. Like Erin Grant, from Strip Tease, Joey has far more going for her than her bra-cup size; but "hero" Stranahan is of far less interest here than any of his fellow players. --J. Kingston Pierce
Twenty-two-year-old pop star Cherry Pye is attempting a comeback from her latest drug and alcohol disaster. Ann DeLusia is Cherry's 'undercover stunt double', standing in for Cherry whenever the singer is too wasted to go out in public. But, one night, Ann-as-Cherry is mistakenly kidnapped from a Miami hotel by an obsessed paparazzo named Bang Abbott. Now the challenge for Cherry's handlers (comprising the world's pushiest stage mother; perverted record producer; nipped-and-tucked twin publicists; weed-trimmer-wielding bodyguard) is to rescue Ann while keeping her existence secret from the public. Will Bang achieve his fantasy of a private photo session with Cherry? Will Cherry sober up in time to lip-synch her concert tour and promote her new album, Skantily Klad? And will Ann escape from Cherry's shadow?
When a ferocious hurricane rips through Southern Florida, the con artists and carpetbaggers waste no time swarming over the disaster area. Among the predators are Edie Marsh, an entrepreneurial young woman whose scheme to sleep with a Palm Beach Kennedy has fizzled, freeing her to concoct a colossal insurance rip-off; Lester Maddox Parsons, a murderous ex-con whose violent encounter with a game warden has left him with the fitting nickname of "Snapper"; and Avila, a crooked building inspector-turned-roofer, who dabbles somewhat unsuccessfully in the occult. Caught in the middle are Max and Bonnie Lamb, newlyweds torn in wildly different directions by the storm. It is Max's fateful decision to abort their Disney World honeymoon and race to Dade County to see the terrible devastation. Armed with a video camera, the ambitious young advertising executive can't wait to show his hurricane tapes to his buddies back in New York. Over Bonnie's objections, Max eagerly sets out through the rubble, debris, and mayhem -- and promptly vanishes. The only clue to his whereabouts: a runaway monkey. But there's also a man called Skink who has devoted his very strange existence to saving Florida from the kinds of people blown in by the hurricane. It is he, crazed and determined, who prowls the swath of the storm and forever changes the lives of Max, Bonnie, Edie, and the others. Their paths -- tangled before they even know it -- come together in a novel that continues the hilarious and scathing muckraking tradition that Carl Hiaasen has so mercilessly made his own. In Stormy Weather, there is no calm eye.
A smart topless dancer and a cool but clueless cop join forces to trap a dirty congressman, aided by one of the funniest cast of characters ever collected in a suspense novel.
"Disney is so good at being good that it manifests an evil; so uniformly efficient and courteous, so dependably clean and conscientious, so unfailingly entertaining that it's unreal, and therefore is an agent of pure wickedness. . . . Disney isn't in the business of exploiting Nature so much as striving to improve upon it, constantly fine-tuning God's work."--from TEAM RODENTTEAM RODENTHow Disney Devours America"Revulsion is good. Revulsion is healthy. Each of us has limits, unarticulated boundaries of taste and tolerance, and sometimes we forget where they are. Peep Land is here to remind us; a fixed compass point by which we can govern our private behavior. Because being grossed out is essential to the human experience; without a perceived depravity, we'd have nothing against which to gauge the advance or decline of culture; our art, our music, our cinema, our books. Without sleaze, the yardstick shrinks at both ends. Team Rodent doesn't believe in sleaze, however, nor in old-fashioned revulsion. Square in the middle is where it wants us all to be, dependable consumers with predictable attitudes. The message, never stated but avuncularly implied, is that America's values ought to reflect those of the Walt Disney Company, and not the other way around."From the Trade Paperback edition.
Account of Disney's rise to a giant entertainment conglomerate
The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner's fez washed up on the Miami beach. The second victim, the head of the city's chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy rubber alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning... Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder, in a caper that will mix football players, politicians, and police with a group of fanatics and a very hungry crocodile
The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner's fez washed up on the Miami beach. The second victim, the head of the city's chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy rubber alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning... Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder, in a caper that will mix football players, politicians, and police with a group of fanatics and a very hungry crocodile.
Nobody took any notice of the first victim. He was from out of town, probably took a dip when he was drunk. The second victim DID make waves. The head of the city's Chamber of Commerce found in a suitcase with a toy rubber alligator lodged in his throat. now that was headline-hitting, bizarre even. In Carl Hiaasen's violently funny first caper, reporters, cops, politicians and a very hungry crocodile do a danse macabre round the Everglades that makes Miami Vice look like Play School. . .
The gripping thriller from New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen--now available as an ebook A Key West fishing captain takes on Florida's drug lords in an underground war that could cost him his freedom--and his life Though he is one of Key West's most skilled fishing captains, Breeze Albury barely ekes out a living on the meager earnings of his trade. Meanwhile, Cuban and Colombian drug smugglers thrive all around--and they have their sights set on Albury and his fishing boat. After the smugglers cut his three hundred trap lines and crush his livelihood, Albury is forced to run drugs to survive. But when he gets busted by the crooked chief of police and becomes a target of the drug machine's brutal hit men, Albury becomes a vigilante on the seas of South Florida, unleashing a fiery and relentless vengeance on Key West's most dangerous criminals.
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