RA­ZOR GIRL BY CARL HI­AASEN

Crime Scene - - POST MORTEM - BY CARL HI­AASEN By JONATHAN WRIGHT

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.

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