RAZOR GIRL BY CARL HIAASEN
Confirming the return to form that began with
Bad Monkey a couple of years back, Carl Hiaasen’s latest tale of life in Florida is laugh-out-loud funny, violent and, if this is not a contradiction, deeply jaundiced at the state of the world while infused with the sheer joy of life’s absurdities.
Once again it stars Andrew Yancy, disgraced cop turned roach patrol restaurant inspector. That it also features a racist reality TV star with a bogus backstory, a dodgy lawyer who’s growing penisshaped skin-flaps, and a con artist named Merry, whose bikini-line-powered method of ensnaring her victims is far too good to give away, is an indication of how much fun there is to be had here.
The plot? It’s more a dizzying collision of plots as Hiaasen seemingly sets his characters rolling – and bumping into each other – with the blasé abandon of a drunk playing snooker. Except, of course, as improbable events coalesce, it becomes clear that Hiaasen knew what he was doing all along – notably, skewering the cynicism inherent in aiming entertainment at conservative elements of American society.
Long-term fans may miss the sheer viciousness of Hiaasen’s early fiction, and there’s a touch of kooky pixie dream girl about Merry, but the book is hugely entertaining nonetheless.