Skinny Dip

Skinny Dip

Chaz Perrone might be the only marine scientist in the world who doesn’t know which way the Gulf Stream runs. He might also be the only one who went into biology just to make a killing, and now he’s found a way–doctoring water samples so that a ruthless agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades. When Chaz suspects that his wife, Joey, has figured out his scam, he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner into the night-dark Atlantic. Unfortunately for Chaz, his wife doesn’t die in the fall.

Clinging blindly to a bale of Jamaican pot, Joey Perrone is plucked from the ocean by former cop and current loner Mick Stranahan. Instead of rushing to the police and reporting her husband’s crime, Joey decides to stay dead and (with Mick’s help) screw with Chaz until he screws himself.

As Joey haunts and taunts her homicidal husband, as Chaz’s cold-blooded cohorts in pollution grow uneasy about his ineptitude and increasingly erratic behavior, as Mick Stranahan discovers that six failed marriages and years of island solitude haven’t killed the reckless romantic in him, we’re taken on a hilarious, full-throttle, pure Hiaasen ride through the warped politics and mayhem of the human environment, and the human heart.

Details

  • Series: Hiaasen, Carl
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (July 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375411089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375411083
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (707 customer reviews)
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4 comments

  1. “Skinny Dip” may be the best beach read of the summer! Carl Hiaasen’s satire and dark humor do wonders for crime fiction. He turns out the most extraordinarily eccentric characters: the stripper sister-in-law; a quirky environmentalist nephew; the has-been writer neighbor; evil scoundrels who are beyond redemption; Tool, a hulking but kinda lovable brute, who is the villain’s heavy; a trashy mistress; and resilient victims who give as good as they get…or better! Set in South Florida, Hiaasen highlights the area’s nuttiness and some of the weird folks who inhabit that corner of our country. Not one character could be considered “normal” in this novel, but behind strange facades beat good hearts.

    Joey Perrone, the almost-murdered wife of corrupt Charles “Chaz” Perrone, makes it back to shore after her husband tosses her overboard a cruise ship, far off Key West’s coast. He must have underestimated Joey’s talents. She’s a former swim star. And thanks to a floating bale of marijuana and the assistance of Mick Stranahan, a burnt-by-love ex-cop, she doesn’t sink. Oh no! Joey lives for pay-back.

    Chaz, an incompetent marine biologist, (he doesn’t even know which direction the Gulf Stream flows in), has long been on the take from agribusiness tycoon Red Hammernut, (great name!), who’s been dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades. He thinks that Joey has discovered that he’s been exchanging clean-water samples for the actual tainted water that is the result of Hammernut’s environmental pollution. But his wife doesn’t have a clue about the scam.

    The lovely, curvaceous Joey recovers her strength, mental and physical, at the island home of her gallant rescuer Mike, who is the victim of six failed marriages.Read more ›

  2. Carl Hiaasen must surely be a rather demented person. Anyone who can come up with such wacky plots, not to mention the continually offbeat characters that polulate his novels is either a genius, or an idiot savant! His latest tickled my funny bone, as all of his books do. If South Florida is really anything like the place he writes about in his novels, I’m glad I’ve never spent any time visiting there. Even the throwaway characters are bizarre, as for example the parents of our story’s heroine, who (the parents) died in a very unusual airplane crash. We have hairy strongarm men, redneck millionaires out to cheat the government, misplaced Norwegian policemen longing for snow, and a myriad of other folks crawling off the pages of this book. Of course, we welcome the return of Mick Stranahan, who was last seen in “Skin Tight”, another of the author’s wierd tales. I don’t want to discuss the plot, because it is hilarious, but there are two captive pythons in the book, in addition to an elderly female cancer patient who turns a bad man into a somewhat good guy. Just one word of warning: if you go near the South Florida swamps, beware the Captain!!!

  3. Taking a page from John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen uses the Everglades as a backdrop for this comic novel. Marine scientist Chaz Perrone has been taking bribes from an agri-businessman to fake his biological tests of the great Florida swamp. On a second honeymoon cruise with his wife, who he feared had discovered his phony reports, he throws her overboard. What he hadn’t counted on was that this champion swimmer would be able to make it to shore. The rest of the novel involves a revenge motif.

    I’ve read one previous Hiassen novel, STORMY WEATHER. I thought the characters were over-the-top, but I got this one for practically nothing so I thought I’d give him another try. I was pleasantly surprised in some respects. Joey Perrone had me at “hello” and her fifty-three-year-old rescuer and former cop Mick Stranahan had me hoping the old guy would get the girl. My favorite character, however, was homicide detective Karl Rolvaag (an inside joke for anyone from Minnesota) who hates Florida and its oppressive humidity and can’t wait to get back to Minnesota. Rolvaag provides authentic humor as he owns a pair of albino pythons who drive his neighbors to distraction. At one point the pythons escape and Rolvaag is blamed for the disappearance of small pets in the neighborhood.

    My problem with the book involves Chaz Perrone; he’s just too stupid to be a viable threat. He’s also a sex maniac who puts the make on practically every woman he meets. Viagra jokes ensue. There are so many of them that this sit-com effect becomes a subplot in the book.

    Hiassen deserves kudos for his treatise on Everglades depletion, but he needs to sharpen his villains. I’m afraid he’s planning on bringing Chaz Perrone back for an encore as he’s still alive at the end of the book.

  4. That about says it. Carl Hiaasen has written some really entertaining books, and this one almost makes it. I suspect some of the people who gave it the rah rah rave reviews havent read his earlier greats. The idea for the story is really good, but I think his writing is starting to slip. Here’s what I consider some of the flaws. I wish he’d stop recycling minor characters like Skink (who is now called Captain). I am just plain sick and tired of watching him eat road kill, tie people up and pop his glass eye in and out. I think it’s time he was laid to rest for good. Mick Stranahan I remember from an earlier book, but he doesn’t do anything that interesting in this one. Joay is the real mastermind, and I think she could do better. The writing should have been tightened up, in the middle of the book the story began to grind to a standstill for awhile. There were a lot of silly incidents that didnt further the action, which was pretty exciting when it would get going. Finally the earlier books created outrageous situations that just kept on growing and the humor was incredible. In this book, I thought the author was laying on the humor with a sledge hammer. The character of Tool was a good personification of the technique. In short, the author can do a lot better, although in some books he’s done worse. I’d like to see more of Joey, maybe Rolvaag, Rose and Corbett. This book raises some good new possibilities if the author wants to take advantage of them.

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