Monday, May 6, 2013

Bad Monkey

Bad Monkey
by Carl Hiaasen
 Hardcover Price:$15.56
 Kindle Price: $12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As I Expected, May 6, 2013
This title will be released on June 11, 2013.
This review is from: Bad Monkey (Hardcover)
Bad Monkey By: Carl Hiaasen

"Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office—has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first—this being Hiaasen country—Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including his just-ex lover, a hot-blooded fugitive from Kansas; the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; two avariciously optimistic real-estate speculators; the Bahamian voodoo witch known as the Dragon Queen, whose suitors are blinded unto death by her peculiar charms; Yancy’s new true love, a kinky coroner; and the eponymous bad monkey, who with hilarious aplomb earns his place among Carl Hiaasen’s greatest characters."

I have been a fan of Mr. Hiaasen's every since I read "Strip Tease" way back when. I loved all of his early work, but fell out of touch with his writing a few years ago. When I saw this book and read the synopsis, I thought that the old Hiaasen, who could write a funny book while giving you a moral lesson, was back. I was a bit mistaken. This is still a book that is filled with greedy people, stupid people, clever people, grabs for power, inept people and sheer stupidity, flashes of brilliance and humor - but it just does not seem to really work well this time.

Don't get me wrong, this is still a funny book although not as funny as his earlier books and there is still a message to be found. However, it no longer feels as if the author was really taking the time to give his full attention to the plot, the characters or even the outcome.
In this book, we find Andrew Yancy about to be kicked off the police force for doing something unmentionable with a hand held vacuum to his lovers' husband and having a film of it play on YouTube. To make a long story short, Yancy has been demoted to being a health inspector. I can honestly say that this part of the book was the most fascinating and horrifying out of the entire thing. This part of the book was well researched and frankly, because of this I may never eat out again.

Now if you read the recap you know that Yancy is in `custody' of a severed arm. There really is a sort of logical reason for this, but you will have to stretch your imagination to believe it. This arm is what the gist of what the book is about. Yancy comes to believe a murder has been committed, and he is correct. I think if Mr. Hiaason had concentrated more on the murder and a tad less on the sub-plots, he may have really had something that would grab you by the throat, just like in the old days.

I will say that there is an event in the last quarter or so of this book really did take me by surprise and I am glad that I kept reading instead of giving up at about the 60% mark.

Of course, Karma is eventually served and they all live happily ever after.

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