Book Review - Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
It's always a treat when a new Hiaasen novel comes out. I enjoy the opportunity to bury myself in a Florida genre novel with a wacky plot. Hiaasen's latest, Skinny Dip, doesn't disappoint...
Chaz Perrone is a biologist who hates the outdoors and is more interested in money and sex. He's married to a rich wife, but he's not in line to inherit any of her money. So why does he toss her overboard a cruise ship on their 2nd anniversary and act if he was sleeping when it happened? It takes a little while to have that reason work its way out. Meanwhile, his wife (who he assumes is now fish food somewhere) ends up latching on to a bale of Jamaican pot (this *is* Florida!) and is rescued by a guy who lives a pretty solitary existence as a house caretaker on a deserted island. Rather than just call the cops and have him arrested, she decides to start messing with his mind in order to drive him off the deep end. They sneak into his house, rearrange items, and start a blackmail scheme. At the same time, Perrone's employer, a farmer who is polluting the Everglades, sends over a bizarre bodyguard to make sure that Perrone doesn't do anything stupid. As the pressures mount from all sides, Perrone is cracking up and going paranoid. The question is who will be the first to either kill him, arrest him, or feed him to the gators.
With Hiaasen, you know you are always going to get a dose of his views on the environment and attitudes of Florida. I think he'd be happy if 75% of the people in Florida just up and left... especially the developers. His characters are quirky and off-beat, and the plot is funny yet plausible if you don't get too hung up on it. In this book, you'll understand his feelings about the destruction of the Everglades by unscrupulous farmers and such. But I appreciate that his underlying message doesn't overload the story.
Anyway... I like his writing and style, and this is another great installment in his writing career.