(BTW - apologies to UK readers. The Amazon link is stuck on the U.S. version and I really can't be arsed looking into how I should fix it. So there.)
Crime fiction as a genre is one that normally trades on a realism that’s sharp enough to cut your nails with, but with Hiaasen you have to set that notion aside as soon as he starts describing his characters.
Kooky, is only the half of it.
Chief nut-job this time round is Bang Abbott; the depiction of a character so vile he will have every paparazzi dialling their lawyer. He’s fat and rancid (washing gets in the way of stalking time, dontcha know?) and his moral condition is permanently dialled to “Couldn’t Give A Flying Fuck”. He has only one thought in his mind: to get the one photo that will ensure his fortune.
We first meet Cherry Pye, the star of the story when she is vomiting into a silver-plated ice bucket, en route to hospital after swallowing vodka, Red Bull, hydrocodone, birdseed and stool softener in the drug-enthused belief that she might be reborn as a cockatoo. Getting the picture? But not to worry. Ann DeLusia, Cherry’s “undercover stunt double,” is already on the job, impersonating the dozy diva while Ms Pye is driven off to rehab.
Given the larger-than-life aspect of most of his characters, Hiaasen could be accused of assembling a cast of caricatures, but he is so deliciously funny, as a reader you really don’t care. The satire and the humour is all.