Inventive blackmail schemes, grisly murders, power politics, greed, revenge and sex all figure in Hiaasen's ( Native Tongue ) latest comic crime novel. At the Eager Beaver, a topless bar in Fort Lauderdale, former FBI clerk Erin Grant dances nightly to pay for legal fees in her custody fight for her young daughter. There David Dilbeck, a poorly disguised, somewhat kinky and imbecilic U.S. Congressman owned by the state's sugar interests, is recognized by a sharp-eyed regular who, infatuated with Erin, initiates a blackmail plan meant to influence her court case. The resulting mayhem, occuring in an election year, involves machinations up to the highest state level, most of which are orchestrated by Dilbeck's arrogant, sleazy lawyer, and leads to an escalating body count that ends in a frenzied revenge caper arranged by the resourceful Erin deep in some sugarcane fields. Dead-on dialogue (``My boots are full of Vaseline,'' says Dilbeck one night, his only other clothing a black cowboy hat) and clearly limned characters from society's fringes--notably the taciturn, inventive Eager Beaver bouncer; a Cuban cop who works the case off hours; Erin's psychopathic ex, and his sister who raises hybrid wolves outside her double-wide trailer--round out this somewhat coincidence-ridden but consistently entertaining, warm-blooded tale. 60,000 first printing; Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993 Release date: 08/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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