Skinny Dip Review
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A man tries to kill his wife. Unbeknown to him, she survives and, instead of informing the police about this heinous crime, she sets about getting her own back by messing with his head. The results are highly amusing if, ultimately, a little predictable.

Hiaasenís crew of motley misfits make this a hugely entertaining read. Thereís the shallow, self-obsessed biologist, who is as scared as he is ignorant of the Everglades and its inhabitants. He pushes his attractive spouse from an ocean liner to celebrate their anniversary.

Thereís the corrupt redneck farmer who goes to any lengths to ensure that he can continue pumping foul chemicals into the Everglades without detection.

And thereís the big, dumb hairy bruiser who, driven to distraction by a bullet lodged in an uncomfortable place, sorts out his little problems.

The bad guys are larger than life and vividly portrayed. As a result, itís not long before youíre rooting for their downfall. You wonít be disappointed. The author delights in detailing the grubby, greedy misdemeanours of his villains. Just when you think that they cannot sink any lower, they invariably do. Of course, the good guys win the day. This predictability, though, is offset by the inventiveness of what lies in store for each of the lowlifes.

The hero of the piece, and of some of Hiaasenís earlier works, is Mick Stranahan. His portrayal is a little clumsy. He is a stereotypically strong, worldly-wise loner and you just know that he is going to get the girl. In this case, she is the wife who has been tossed in the sea by her husband from where she is plucked by, you guessed it, the heroic Stranahan. Some of the dialogue between the two is painfully corny.

Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable and pacy romp through the circus that is South Florida. It is funny and each page bursts with mischief. Despite the fact that you know where the story is going, itís a fun-packed ride full of twists and turns.

Hiaasen cares about the environment and this is never far from the surface of his writing. All his good guys are protectors of nature and all his bad guys treat the environment with contempt. While this is undoubtedly a simplistic view, it never detracts from the storyís pace or direction.

Overall, this is a sunny book. The grotesque characters and the ridiculous situations they get themselves into will stick in your mind and put a smile on your face. For that reason, it is well worth a read.

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