Monday, July 15, 2013

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Andrew Yancy is having a very bad time.  Just a while ago he had it all – a great job as a detective in the Florida Keys, a gorgeous girlfriend, and the best view a man could ask for.  Now, instead of enforcing the law, he’s counting roaches and mouse droppings in local restaurants.  His girlfriend is back with her husband, who’s threatening to sue for that unfortunate incident with the vacuum cleaner hose.  And some out-of-towner has thrown up a house next door that’s nine feet over code.  So much for the view.
He’s given one last job as a police officer – to take a disembodied arm left over from a shark attack to Miami in hopes they can identify it.  When an encounter with a hot coroner and some tiny shark teeth lead Yancy to conclude that there’s more to the arm than he’d thought, he figures investigating the story behind the arm is his ticket back onto the force.
Meanwhile, Bahamian Neville Stafford is also experiencing a run of bad luck.  His half-sister in New York has sold the family land to a developer, destroying his simple, yet satisfying life on the beach.  He’ll do anything to get his land back, even trading his pet monkey to a local voodoo witch in exchange for a spell.
What do a severed arm, motorized scooters, sex, fraud, murder, and Captain Jack Sparrow’s monkey have in common?  They’re all elements in this outstanding crime farce by Carl Hiaasen.
Bad Monkey gives us Hiaasen’s usual trademark of seemingly random events and individuals who all come together in a cohesive, and at times hilarious, story with plenty of twists and turns.  If you haven’t read Hiaasen before, then by all means, pick up a copy of Bad Monkey and give him a try.  For other writers who blend crime and humor, try Janet Evanovich or Donna Andrews.  If you’re in the mood for more Florida humor, try Dave Barry’s Insane City.

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