This is a novel of suspense, humor, and satire, not necessarily in that order. For me though, the humor is the most memorable of these three ingredients. Hiaasen is just damn funny and I found myself cracking out a laugh even when I was away from the book. Something would cause me to think about the book and I would just start laughing.
For example, you kind of have to be there, but the main character, Mick Stranahan, has occasion to make phony blackmail calls to one of the villains. Now when Mick makes these calls, he imitates the voice of either Charlton Heston or Jerry Lewis. This, for some reason, has caused me to break into a fit of laughing no less than three times in the last 48 hours. Hiaasen plays these things up, then refers to them occasionally throughout the book. It is pure, comic genius as far as I am concerned…but I do have a warped sense of humor, so take it with a grain of salt.
The satire in this book is priceless also. Here are few things that Hiaasen makes fun of in a sinister, condescending, and satisfying way:
- Cruise ships
- Condo associations
- Real estate developments
Another theme in this book, that Hiaasen really hammers on, is the destruction of Florida’s Everglades. I am very attentive when listening to environmental issues, so it made the book even more interesting. It may bother some serious polluters though, so if you are one of those, you may want to stay away.
If you want though, you can just read this as a suspense/crime novel. It’s about a woman from Boca Raton who gets tossed overboard from a cruise ship by her scumbag husband. She gets saved by a bale of pot floating in the ocean and eventually winds up on a private island inhabited only by the aforementioned ex-cop, and hermit, Mick. They hatch a plan to get revenge on the scumbag husband and the fun begins.
It all takes place in South Florida also. I love South Florida. I refer to South Florida as the “Southwest Michigan” of Florida; it’s that great.
This is only my second Hiaasen book, and I plan on reading all of them before I die. I think I’m also going to find his column at the Miami Herald online and start reading it.