This book is one of Carl Hiaasen’s, so you know what to expect. Off-beat characters, a smart hero who is at odds with mainstream Florida society and development, and some zany situations. Unfortunately, this is not one of Hiaasen’s strongest works, but it’s one of his earliest.
When a witness to a four-year-old disappearance tries to sell her story to a television investigative reporter suspiciously close to Geraldo Rivera, she tells them that the now-retired investigator is important to the case. So the television crew accosts him. Then the witness tells her former boss, a poorly skilled but wildly successful plastic surgeon who killed the disappeared woman during a simple rhinoplasty, that the investigator is cooperating with the television program to take the heat off herself, which inspires the plastic surgeon to put a hit on the former investigator, who has to figure out why New Jersey hitmen and then local talent want him dead this time.
Unfortunately, this particular book features an anti-MacGuffin. One of the hit men loses a hand to a barracuda and instead of getting a regular prosthetic, he has a Weed Whacker® attached to his stump. Every time that the book mentions this, it pulled me out of the amusement into dismissing the whole thing as absurd. Maybe this seemed funnier in 1989. To Floridian newspapermen.
It’s an okay way to pass the time. I read this in paperback, and the book has more of a paperback vibe. I would hate to have bought it in hardback.