19: Skinny Dip

Skinny DipSkinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one was a bday gift.

Read in August 2013.

View all my reviews

When the subject of ‘beach reads’ comes up (every summer; it’s a staple), inevitably there’s a disagreement about what sort of book a ‘beach read’ is. Although I’ve been known to read such light fare (haha) as Anna Karenina at the beach, Skinny Dip is the type of book I’d actually classify as a good beach read. It’s a light, entertaining story. Breezy, even.

The story begins with Chaz Perrone (Chaz! you just know you’re in for lols with that name) pushing his wife Joey off a cruise boat in the Florida Keys. Chaz is a biologist (bonus points!) who doesn’t like biology, but who does like being called doctor—“that’s Dr. Perrone.” Mmm, double bonus points for that. Who’s ever heard of a biologist who doesn’t like biology? It’s not something people typically just stumble into like, say, law 😉

Anyway, Joey survives her unplanned dive into the ocean and clings to a rogue bale of marijuana (more lols) until she is rescued by Mick, a former police officer who’s the caretaker of a private island in the Keys. And… I want that job. Owners of private islands: contact me. (I am serious.)

Together, Joey and Mick hatch a plan to get revenge on Chaz and figure out his motive. Joey, of course, is rich via inheritance (x2). First, her parents drove a plane into the ground by putting a bear (yes, a bear. grrr!) in the cockpit. Second, her first husband (Chaz is her second) was squashed by a falling skydiver. Cue more lols. But, according to Joey’s will, Chaz inherits nothing. It all goes to the World Wildlife Mission. (awww) So the question is, what is Chaz’s motive?

What follows is lots of Joey + Mick sneaking about messing with Chaz’s head. The plot isn’t difficult to figure out and it’s all explained anyhow—it’s not really a mystery so much as a comedy—but it’s funny and it sneaks some biology in, which I liked. As part of his job, Chaz collects water samples from the Everglades for testing, so you get to enjoy Chaz-the-biologist-who-hates-biology slogging through the swamp being grossed out. Biology is not for the squeamish! I also appreciated that the secondary characters played against stereotype.