Carl Hiaasens comic thrillers come with a guarantee broad humor that capitalizes on peoples absurd behavior and Floridas quirkiness, mixed with social commentary and a deep concern for the environment, all wrapped in a solid plot. He delivers all that and more in Bad Monkey, his 13th comic crime fiction.
Former Miami cop and soon-to-be former Monroe County sheriffs deputy Andrew Yancy hasnt won many friends among his colleagues. He lost his Miami job because his attempts to turn in a crooked cop backfired. And in Key West, hes forced on roach patrol or, as it is more politely described, restaurant inspection. Thats because it doesnt look good when a deputy assaults his girlfriends husband.
But Andrew is a good cop, and he cant turn off those instincts when a mans arm turns up on the end of a tourists fishing line. The arm belongs to Nick Stripling, an entrepreneur who made a fortune selling electric scooters to senior citizens. And the mans wife (or is it his widow?) just doesnt ring true to Andrew.
Hes energized by what happened to the rest of the man. If he solves the crime, if there is a crime, maybe he will get his job back. Bad Monkey is the closest Hiaasen comes to a police procedural, but, true to form, it also is a look at the ludicrous ways of Florida, such as the true bait-and-switch in which a dead sailfish is surreptitiously placed on a tourists line. Andrew delights in sending obnoxious people to filthy restaurants, and he has a running battle on how to sabotage the sale of the mega-mansion next door that has spoiled his view.
There is indeed a bad monkey in Bad Monkey. And he manages to have his moment in the spotlight. The laughs come easy in Bad Monkey, as does the social commentary and the affectionate look at Floridas eccentricities.