This is one of those pleasantly zany books where an eclectic mix of characters is scrambled together in a madcap plot and much sex, violence, and hilarity results. I've seen it done better, I've seen it done much worse, but I'm kind of digging how many books make out Florida to be the epicenter of American weirdness. (No offense, Floridians - I've only ever spent a week there attending a conference at the Disneyworld Hilton.)
So, the characters:Honey Santana
: Bipolar "Queen of Lost Causes" who, after receiving one telemarketer call too many during dinner, decides to do something about it.Perry Skinner
: Honey's ex, a Florida redneck. Former ne'er-do-well, now making a more or less honest living as a crab fisherman. Still loves Honey.Fry Santana
: Honey and Perry's son. One of those precocious 12-year-olds we're supposed to like 'cause he's wise beyond his years and heartwarming and kind of snarky. I did like him; he's a good kid. Boyd Shreave
: The telemarketer who called Honey at dinner. A sleazy philandering dickweed, the Dunning-Kruger effect in action, perfect anthropomorphic embodiment of all telemarketers.Eugenie Fonda
: Boyd's hot mistress. Has already figured out that Boyd is a schmuck, only goes with him to Florida because she thinks it's a free vacation. Her last boyfriend killed his wife over her.Gillian St. Croix
: A college student who gets dragged into the plot because... uh, she was there.Louis Piejack
: Honey's former boss who turns out to be a creepy stalker.Thomas Dealey:
A PI hired by Boyd's rich wife to collect evidence of Boyd's cheating.Sammy Tigertail
: A Seminole Indian who's got some issues with growing up part white. Just wants to be left alone when all these white people drop in on his island.
Honey lures Boyd out to Florida by running a reverse scam on him, and everyone else gets dragged into the escapade through a series of plot twists that are collectively improbable but none of which really suspends disbelief on their own.
This isn't a landmark in American literature or anything, and there are no deep philosophical points made nor epic moments of character growth, but it's still quite a good read with a satisfying conclusion. I've never read Carl Hiaasen before, but this book made me favorably inclined to read him again.