Top critical review
A Humorous Beach Read
Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2020
I can’t imagine Carl Hiassen spent too much mental energy on conjuring this lighthearted, amusing mystery. (Though the longtime Florida columnist and author definitely imbues his story with a certain inventiveness and, more important, a wry authenticity.) I began the book with modest expectations. Still, I found myself pleasantly intrigued from the outset by the circumstances of heroine Joey Perrone’s attempted murder (at the hands of her lowlife, two-timing husband, Chaz); her improbable survival and rescue by wisecracking ex-investigator Mick Stranahan; and most of all, Joey’s reluctance to involve Florida authorities, as she plots with Mick to render justice on her terms.
I thought Hiassen’s dialogue is a bit too witty and contrived to be fully “believed.” (At times, the slightly stilted banter, and Hiassen’s descriptive interjections, seem crafted to avoid any ambiguity about his characters’ mindset or motivations.) But Hiassen draws his colorful characters sharply enough, and with entertaining blends of quirkiness, that I excused the occasional dialogue misfires.
Skinny Dip was my first exposure to Hiassen’s popular, amusing tales of malfeasance, corruption and mayhem, “Sunshine-State-style.” And, based on this breezy read, I’ll be sure to be back for more.