Carl Hiaasen is back with a vengeance with ‘Bad Monkey’

Posted Sunday, Jun. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Bad Monkey By Carl Hiaasen Knopf, $26.95 Audiobook: Random House Audio, $40; read by Arte Johnson.

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It’s been three years since Star Island, Carl Hiaasen’s last novel for adult readers (how are you doing, Cherry Pye?). But he’s back with a vengeance in Bad Monkey, a breezy summer read that has all the hallmarks of a classic Hiaasen novel. It’s set in familiar Hiaasen territory: Florida (Miami and the Keys) with a foray to the Bahamas (still in the neighborhood). There are hijinks, capers and corrupt bad guys who get what’s coming to them because greed has clouded their better judgment.

Our (flawed but decent) hero is Andrew Yancy, formerly with the Miami Police Department, on the outs with the Monroe County sheriff’s department and now relegated to Roach Patrol (a.k.a., Keys restaurant inspector). The cast of characters just gets loonier from there, starting with a human arm that belonged to a Medicare fraudster — the victim of a boating accident and subsequent shark treat. Also: the fraudster’s widow, Yancy’s slightly unhinged ex-girlfriend, Yancy’s new love (a coroner with a wild streak), a would-be real estate mogul who’s ruining a spectacular view with a McMansion, an evil voodoo queen and Driggs, the bad monkey (who may or may not have starred with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean).

Unfortunately, Skink, a Hiaasen regular, doesn’t make an appearance in this one, but let’s hope we get to revisit Andrew Yancy again.

— Celeste Williams

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