Sunday, 9 January 2011

Carl Hiaasen: Strip Tease

carl hiaasen strip tease striptease Erin is a stripper at the Eager Beaver. Congressman Dilbeck is in love with her: so deeply that he objects to another customer approaching her by beating his skull in with an empty champagne bottle.

Fortunately for Dilbeck he's been pushing government money into the pockets of certain large sugar producers for so long that they look after him, in more ways than one. Such indiscretions get hushed up. Or buried.

Actually this indiscretion gets drowned in his bathtub and dumped in a river - much to the annoyance of homicide detective Al Garcia (the one we first met in Double Whammy) when the corpse interrupts his family vacation. A bit of backtracking and he discovers that the deceased followed strippers like a trainspotter follows steam engines -- and Garcia is soon talking to Erin.

Meanwhile Darryl, her ex, who has custody of their young daughter, is stealing wheelchairs from hospitals and selling them to private nursing homes. His speed habit is getting out of control and he likes carving his initials on people's heads.

Throw in a political fixer (as oily as they make them), a couple of murderous sugar barons with a pet ocelot and sundry other baddies and we have the usual Hiaasen rich mix and the usual glorious and deadly farce. Less overtly satirical than others he's written but as well paced and as funny as ever, this is another book I heartily recommend.

Note: although Al Garcia pops up there's no need to have read any earlier Hiaasens - this is a perfect standalone.

Made into movie Striptease in 1996 - awful effort, with Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds


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