My Review of Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen
The story begins and is simple enough. Boy (Darrell Grant) meets girl (Erin Grant), marries girl, chooses drugs and larceny over girl, girl divorces boy and loses custody battle to sleaze-bag boy because he’s now an informant for the cops and his past record is erased. Meanwhile, momma’s been fired from her FBI job because of hubby’s activity and is reduced to striping and dancing at a local club, The Eager Beaver, to pay her attorney fees and put a roof over her head as she tries to win back custody of their daughter, Angela—stage acts only, no table dances for this girl and don’t even try to get her in the wrestling pit filled with cream corn.
Carl Hiaasen weaves a tale around these two that includes Congressman David Lane Dilbeck, who by day is the chairman of the agricultural committee and representative with friends in high places and supporters with deep pockets. By night this mild-mannered politician becomes a drunk and disorderly sex-fiend who doesn’t know when to quit and doesn’t care because he has people to clean up the messes he leaves behind. During one such night at The Eager Beaver Dilbeck swings a Korbel champagne bottle at the head of Paul Gruber, bachelor party guest of honor putting Paul in the hospital and getting the notice of Jerry Killian, who is in love with Erin (the feelings are not mutual) and wants to help her with her custody battle, and Johnathan Peter Mordecai, a shady lawyer and the cousin of Paul’s fiancé, Joyce Mizner. All three contact his office—Killian with hopes of coercing the congressman into talking to the judge and getting him to reverse his custody decision, Mordecai and Mizner with hopes of settling a potentially embarrassing situation out of court. Malcolm J. Moldowsky, Moldy to his friends, a power-hungry political fixer has other plans to keep the congressman out of the papers and out of trouble.
Detective Al Garcia begins a cat and mouse investigation as bodies begin to pile up. None of the clues point to anyone in particular but Dillbeck, Rojo Farms, and Sweetheart Sugar Corporation seem to swirl around in the pool of suspects.
The excellent writing keeps the story moving. The compelling story and irrational behavior and interesting decisions made by the characters will provide you with an entertaining and enjoyable story that you wish would go on after the final page. Hiaasen creates characters you like and would like to know more about.