SKINNY DIP by Carl Hiaasen

I have lapsed in the book reviews but not on the reading. This list stacks up like cord wood in preparation for winter. Speaking of which, this is one of the places in California that is kissed by the changing seasons. The first hint is that the grass is growing less vigorously and doesn’t demand to be cut every week. Then, although the days are still blast-furnace hot, and the leaves have not begun to turn, there is a feel of autumn in the morning air.

Yesterday two turkey buzzards—migratory birds—flew low over my house, and this morning I watched a small flock of geese noisily honk their way up the canyon. The bright yellow elementary school bus drove by on the stroke of 8 a.m. which I guess makes it official although Labor Day marks the end of summer in my brain.

Still I want to share this word-of-mouth, that the books by Carl Hiaasen should be welcomed on one’s summer reading list, particularly by those Florida residents who can’t escape the State’s steaming, swampy summers—at least they can get some good laughs. 

SKINNY DIP by Carl Hiaasen

A sexy title alone will grab a lot of readers’ attention. Then you open with a guaranteed- to-get-their-attention first chapter as a philandering pseudo biologist tosses his multi-millionaire wife overboard a luxury cruise liner, by the ankles, on the occasion of their second anniversary, even though he has no hope or intention of getting her money. This perplexes the former UCLA swimming champ as she clings to a 60-pound bale Jamaica’s finest marijuana floating in the Gulf Stream…

Create an arch villain, toss in a love story on an otherwise uninhabited island, include an important ecological issue—the near total destruction of the Everglades by developers and chemically polluted to lethal levels by agribusiness; give a soft heart and redemption to a violent brute addicted to pain killers, add a healthy seasoning of quirky minor characters, tie it all up with a near death action sequence and you’ve got a book that you won’t be able to put down.

There are numerous excellent, if too telling reviews on Amazon, but the most telling item is that people who read SKINNY DIP bought up to five other Hiaasen titles.

You don’t really need to wait till next summer.

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