By Carl Hiaasen
Reviewed by Dom
It’s funny, I’ve been familiar with Carl Hiaasen for years, and I’ve certainly noticed his novels on the shelves at book stores. But I’d never picked one up . . . until now.
Hiaasen, an investigative reporter by trade (originally) likes to set his books in his home state of Florida, and Skinny Dip weaves the landscape into the story. We’ve all heard of the Everglades, but now you can feel the muggy air, hear the sloshing and muttering of the gators, and psychically swat at the mosquitoes.
The story begins with a murder. Wait, make that an ATTEMPTED murder. And that’s at the crux of the novel. Chaz Perrone is a lowlife scumbag, but he’s got a way with the ladies. Now, on his second - sheesh, his SECOND - wedding anniversary, he throws his beautiful wife, Joey, over the railing during a cruise. Ah, but what Chaz didn’t take into consideration was Joey’s remarkable swimming - and diving - abilities. Unbeknownst to scuzzball Chazz, she survives, and is rescued eventually by a former cop named Mick.
Together, Joey and Mick decide to not call the police, but rather to slowly drive Chaz crazy. Yes, this is a story of sweet, sweet revenge. It’s also a tale of deceit, environmental fraud, blackmail, murder, and redemption. The cast of characters (besides Joey and Chaz) includes a sleazy/polluting businessman, a large, hairy thug with a bullet lodged in his fanny, and a cop who wants nothing more than to leave the muggy mess of Florida and go home to Minnesota. If only he didn’t have this “accident” on the cruise ship to investigate.
I enjoyed Hiaasen’s fun romp. No, it’s not Pulitzer material, but it’s a fun read. And just a heads-up: Language and adult situations make this an R-rated book.
You can find Skinny Dip for 20 percent off at all three locations of The Tattered Cover Book Store in the Denver area. Just walk in and ask, “Hey, where’s the Dom and Jane Book Club?”