Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Tim Dorsey

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-209278-6
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Still thinking globally, but now acting locally, Serge Storms (Pineapple Grenade, 2012, etc.) turns his admittedly limited attention to the section of U.S. Highway 1 that goes from Fort Lauderdale to the Keys.

Often confused by ill-informed tourists with Highway A1A, which actually does run along the ocean, U.S. 1 is home to gas stations, strip malls and seedy hotels. Perfect spot, thinks Serge, to film a reality show. So he packs his wingman Coleman into a ’72 Corvette Stingray and heads down to Florida City, stopping at iconic spots like the Last Chance Saloon to film staged dust-ups with his spaced-out pal. Unfortunately, his foray into reality TV is constantly interrupted by, well, reality. A car chase ends abruptly in Lake Surprise. Crowds of awestruck stoners accost Coleman after he appears on the cover of High Tides. Eventually, Serge and Coleman get caught in the crossfire between drug kingpin Gaspar Arroyo, who runs a chain of shady pain clinics that specialize in dispensing OxyContin, and Catfish Stump, who moves the drugs from Lexington to Ocala in shipments of horse blankets. Also in the cross hairs are Patrick and Barbara McDougall, special educators vacationing in Florida after losing their jobs to Wisconsin’s move to Right-to-Work. But their students’ severe behavior problems are nothing compared to the mayhem they encounter when they book a stay at the Casablanca Hotel, right in the heart of U.S. 1.

Filming and dodging bullets give Serge scant time for his other favorite hobby—vigilante justice—keeping the body count relatively low in Dorsey’s stripped-down 16th.