Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen (2013, Knopf; 337 pages)
A wealthy Medicare fraudster appears to have died in a boating accident. The only evidence of death is his arm, which is reeled in by a hapless vacationer. Enter Andrew Yancy, late of the Miami police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff's office. He thinks the fraudster was murdered by his wife, and if he can prove it, he might just be able to get his old job back and leave his grisly restaurant inspector gig (it's not called "the roach patrol" for nothing) behind.
But first—this being Hiaasen country—Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of typically Hiaasenian events with a crew of typically hilarious Hiaasenian 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.
For my money, this is the best Hiassen has done since Lucky You (1997). A huge cast of characters and a stunningly polyfurcated plot offer Hiaasen room to wow readers with often hilarious escapades in grave robbery, restaurant-kitchen horrors, autoerotic asphyxiation, and the actions of an ill-tempered, diaper-wearing monkey. This is Hiaasen doing what he does better than anyone else: spinning a tale at once fiercely pointed and wickedly funny in which the greedy, the corrupt, and the degraders of what’s left of pristine Florida—now, of the Bahamas as well—get their comeuppance in mordantly ingenious, diabolically entertaining fashion.
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Recommended by: Greg