Hiaasen’s latest heroine is mad as hell, at least when she’s off her meds, and she’s not going to take it anymore.
When a telemarketer who’s interrupted dinner with her son Fry to peddle waterlogged Florida real estate responds to her gentle reproof with obscenities, Honey Santana, deciding he needs to be taught a lesson, sets out to entice Boyd Shreave to the Everglades to give him a taste of his own medicine. She lures both Boyd and his colleague and mistress Eugenie Fonda to Dismal Key, where she proposes to give them a comprehensive immersion in unspoiled Florida. For better or worse, though, she’s picked a week when Dismal Key is overrun with other loonies. Sammy Tigertail has come at the behest of the late Jeter Wilson, whose spirit has been nagging him (“This was the worst vacation I ever had”) ever since Sammy dumped his body into an obliging swamp. Theodore Dealey is a private eye hoping to get photos of Boyd and Eugenie in flagrante for Boyd’s wife, whose interest in the affair has gone way beyond divorce. Louis Piejack, the rancid ex-boss who groped Honey and lived to regret the sequel, is positive she has the hots for him. Perry Skinner, vice mayor of Everglades City, takes a proprietary interest in both Honey, since he used to be her husband, and Fry, since he used to be his father. Members of the First Resurrectionist Maritime Assembly for God are waiting for the Messiah to make landfall. FSU undergraduate Gillian St. Croix, who just wants to have fun, is about the only cast member to get her wish.
For once, the characters are funnier than their exhaustingly unpredictable interactions. The result is less satire than usual from Hiaasen (Skinny Dip, 2004, etc.), and more Rube Goldberg farce.