My Review of Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen

Mick Stranahan just wants to be left alone. A “retired” policeman, his idea of a perfect day includes fishing and watching the sun set and rise. Except for Strom, the Doberman pinscher that washed up on his island one day after a tropical storm, he lives a solitary life. Until Joey Perrone arrives naked as the day she was born.

Unraveling the story of her activity prior to Mick fishing her out of the water puts his past skills to the test. Carl Hiaasen weaves a story of complex emotions, shady decisions, and faltering execution. To say that Joey is angry is putting it mildly and Mick’s patience is put to the test as she lashes out at the man who tried to kill her.

Another is interested in finding the killer, Detective Karl Rolvaag, formerly from St. Paul, Minnesota. His Columbo style of work, piecing together the pieces of the puzzle and asking uncomfortable questions, inches him closer to the truth. He’s working on a deadline as well. Uprooted from the north by his wife who wanted to be in the sunshine, he’d moved to Fort Lauderdale to make a go of it. It didn’t “go” and his wife divorced him and moved back to Minnesota. In three weeks, Rolvaag planned to do the same. Anywhere north where “crimes were typically forthright and obvious, ignited by common greed, lust or alcohol. Florida was more complicated and extreme, and nothing could be assumed. Every scheming shitwad in America turned up here sooner or later; such were the opportunities for predation.”

Throw in Joey’s husband, Charles (Chaz), Chaz’ girlfriend, Ricca, Chaz’ corrupt benefactor Samuel Johnson (Red) Hammernut, Red’s muscle, Earl Edward O’Toole (Tool), Joey’s brother, Corbett Wheeler and her best friend Rose Jewell and you’ve got the rest of the cast and an interesting story of revenge and corruption. Nothing about this crime is “forthright” and it makes for an amusing and interesting story that moves at a quick pace. Thumbs up to Mr. Hiaasen for again delivering a quality piece of storytelling.


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