Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Staff Pick - Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

How to describe Bad Monkey (M) by Carl Hiaasen? Offbeat, funny, raunchy, not gory but graphically violent - and packed with enough action and plot twists to keep you on your toes and guessing.

Detective Andrew Yancey has a number of things going wrong in his life. First his relationship with his girlfriend went askew when he sodomized her husband with a vacuum cleaner. Secondly, he chose questionable means to expose corruption on the police force and, as a result, finds himself demoted to restaurant inspector, or as he thinks of it - roach inspector. Finally, a developer has built a monstrosity of a house which blocks any view Yancey had in his beloved Florida home and obstructing the sale of this home by any means necessary is sucking up a great deal of energy.

Carl Hiaasen
Photo by Tim Chapman
Let's get back to the girlfriend. Bonnie, as he believes he to be called, reveals her true identity as Plover - an accused sexual predator who is on the run. Plover, a former high school teacher, was inexplicably enamoured with a student, who she now fears will try and profit from their affair with his diary. While she's regretting that she ever introduced him to Philip Roth, he explains that he has "sort of gotten away from books and more into xbox."

And the titular Bad Monkey? Well, that is Driggs who at one point had a stand in role in Pirates of the Caribbean, however as he was a really terrible actor and kind of a jerk, he lost his job and found himself a Caribbean home where he grew fat, bald and sick eating conch fritters. Unfortunately for him he lost that home as well and ended up in the terrifying company of the voodoo practicing Dragon Queen.

So what is actually happening here? Well, a honeymooning couple are out on a fishing expedition and make a rather gruesome catch when they haul in a severed human arm. The arm belonged to a fraudster who is believed to have died in a boating accident. Yancey, though having been relieved of his duties as a detective, believes the wife to have murdered her husband and sets out to prove this, all the while shedding himself of his old love, finding a new one and maintaining the peace and serenity of his home and his view. And yes, the monkey fits in too.

If you like Carl Hiaasen's dark humour, your next step should be to read Tim Dorsey. In his latest Serge Storms adventure The Riptide, ultra-glide (M).

"Lovable serial killer Serge Storms is back and coming to the rescue of a Midwestern couple who aren't finding Florida quite as charming as he does in Riptide Ultra-Guide, the sixteenth installment in Tim Dorsey's bestselling series. When newly unemployed Patrick and Barbara McDougal decide a vacation in Florida is just what they need to put life back on the right track, awful accommodations, a robbery, and a not-so-helpful police department make them rethink their decision to drown their troubles in paradise. Luckily, charismatic (and crazy!) tour guide Serge Storms and his sidekick, Coleman, are up for another action-packed adventure in this outrageous crime thriller that Tim Dorsey fans won't soon forget."

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