RAZOR GIRL by Carl Hiaasen
Kirkus Star

RAZOR GIRL

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Rejoice, fans of American madness who’ve sought fulfillment in political reportage. South Florida’s master farceur (Skink—No Surrender, 2014, etc.) is back to reassure you that fiction is indeed stranger than truth.

Even though a prefatory note indicates that both the come-hither title and the stuff about giant Gambian pouched rats are rooted in reality, no one but Hiaasen could have dreamed up the complications arising from the collision of Merry Mansfield with talent agent Lane Coolman—a literal collision, since she rams his rented car while shaving her bikini area in the driver's seat of a Firebird. Make that multiple collisions, since Lane turns out to be only the latest victim of Merry and her partner Zeto’s kidnap-for-hire schemes. In this case, he’s the wrong victim, mistaken for beach-replenishment contractor Martin Trebeaux, whose swindling has put him on the wrong side of Calzone crime family capo Dominick "Big Noogie" Aeola. Since Coolman’s being held captive, he can’t be on hand to walk his client Buck Nance, the reality star of Bayou Brethren, though a personal appearance at the Parched Pirate, and Buck goes off script into a racist rant that sparks a demonstration and sends him fleeing, though he's still capable of inspiring Benny Krill, a murderous apprentice racist who dreams of joining him on his show. After laboring in vain to persuade Jon David Ampergrodt, his boss at Platinum Artists Management, as well as Merry and Zeto that he’s worth ransoming, Coolman escapes, but it doesn’t matter: he’s still confined in the zoo that’s Key West, where liability lawyer Brock Richardson’s fiancee loses the $200,000 ring he didn’t bother to resize after his fatter former fiancee returned it, and when his neighbor, health inspector Andrew Yancy, discovers it, he hides it in the hummus in the hope that an indefinite search for the bauble will stall Richardson’s plan to build a McMansion that will obstruct Yancy’s sea view. Etc. How can Hiaasen possibly tie together all this monkey business in the end? His delirious plotting is so fine-tuned that preposterous complications that would strain lesser novelists fit right into his antic world.

Relax, enjoy, and marvel anew at the power of unbridled fictional invention.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-385-34974-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016




BEST MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS OF 2016:

FictionYOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott
by Megan Abbott
MysteryFALL FROM GRACE by Tim Weaver
by Tim Weaver
MysteryFIELDS WHERE THEY LAY by Timothy Hallinan
by Timothy Hallinan
FictionFOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben
by Harlan Coben

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for OUR REVOLUTION
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for TESTIMONY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for SETTLE FOR MORE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for MOONGLOW
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Kirkus Interview
Carl Hiaasen
author of RAZOR GIRL
November 7, 2016

In Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen’s new novel, when Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but. Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield—the eponymous Razor Girl—and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There's Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys--a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another…Dominick "Big Noogie" Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear…Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren…and Andrew Yancy—formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover's husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he'll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy's future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way—including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections. “How can Hiaasen possibly tie together all this monkey business in the end?” our reviewer asks in a starred review. “His delirious plotting is so fine-tuned that preposterous complications that would strain lesser novelists fit right into his antic world. Relax, enjoy, and marvel anew at the power of unbridled fictional invention.” View video >

MORE BY CARL HIAASEN

NonfictionDANCE OF THE REPTILES by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
MysteryBAD MONKEY by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
FictionSTAR ISLAND by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

MysteryODD MAN OUT by Brandon Hebert
by Brandon Hebert
FictionHURRICANE PUNCH by Tim Dorsey
by Tim Dorsey
FictionBE COOL by Elmore Leonard
by Elmore Leonard