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Skinny Dip

Skinny Dip

Author(s): Carl Hiaasen

Location(s): Florida

Genre(s): Fiction, Humour

Era(s): 1990s

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Set in south Florida in the 1990s, Skinny Dip is a fun and funny tale about a woman, Joey, who is thrown off a cruise ship by her loser husband, Chaz. Joey survives by hanging onto a drifting bale of Jamaican marijuana and is rescued by a six-time-divorcee ex-cop, Mick, who is retired in his early 50s and lives alone on an island off the coast of Miami.

The characters in Skinny Dip, as quirky as they are, are entirely believable for south Florida: the golf-loving, crooked biologist husband who will gladly be paid off to falsify environmental data; the giant “ape man” body guard who steals pain med patches from old folks in convalescent homes, the ex-cop who lives on an island, and the midwestern investigator who just wants to escape the Florida heat (and madness) and move back home to Minnesota.

Carl Hiaasen doesn’t just deliver oddball south Florida characters. He also uncovers the corruption that underlies the destruction of south Florida’s unique ecosystem — the primordial Everglades, which are being strangled by people like the tomato tycoon in this story. Hiaasen, as a native Floridian, has watched this ravaging happen over his lifetime, and he is not shy about weaving it into his stories, much to my delight.

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