Carl Hiaasen, Skinny Dip Reviews

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“Skinny Dip ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 24/06/2004

Skinny Dip
Carl Hiaasen
Knopf, Jul 2004, $24.95, 355 pp.
ISBN: 0375411089

To celebrate their anniversary, marine biologist Chaz Perrone and his wife heiress Joey go on a cruise. However, Chaz plans to kill his wife because he fears she knows about his illegal business dealings with a tycoon who is systematically destroying the Everglades. Thus, Chaz tosses Joey overboard into the Atlantic and subsequently reports her accidental drowning.

However, Joey destroys her husband's plan by floating until former cop Mick Stranahan pulls her out of the water. Unable to resist perhaps because he has several failed marriages under his belt or he understands how poor the justice system works, Mick agrees to help Joey avenge the attempted murder. Their scheme is to keep Joey dead while insuring incidents to Chaz will leave him with eternally soiled underwear. Quickly the duo picks up unexpected allies as everyone agrees that their target is a professional sleaze.

Though the ending is abrupt as Chaz seems to have landed in the fire (with an open scene) after spending time roasting in the frying pan, fans will appreciate the latest lunacy from the king of Florida satire. The crime thriller is fun to follow due to the usual eccentric cast who quickly line up on Joey's side of the gender war. Though the revenge theme is similar to I Love You to Death, Carl Hiaasen keeps it fresh by comically dipping Chaz deeper into ooze that would need sandblasting to keep him clean and by the author's ironic look at destroying the Everglades by the environmental industrial complex.

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