By Shaun Morey
|Value for money||7/10|
|Did it do what it said on the box?||7/10|
Very enjoyable Hiaasen-style romp
This darkly comic tale is strongly reminiscent of a Carl Hiaasen novel, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the downside, Hiaasen has set the bar very high for this type of writing, and some of the similarities are so strong that Morey’s novel might be accused of being somewhat derivative. The coastal setting (albeit Baja and California rather than Florida), drug smuggling plot, commentaries on the iniquity of American society, low-life chancers, bent legislators and eco-avenging hero are all things we’ve seen before.
On the upside, however, Morey has done a fine job of creating a compelling and highly amusing story which rips along at a great pace, from the first evil practical joke to the final complicated dénouement. The plot, although relatively simple, winds and unwinds steadily and you won’t want to put the book down once engaged. Although the overall outcome is never really in doubt, there are enough surprises in respect of which characters receive satisfaction, which rehabituation and which a well-deserved sticky end.
The best writing of this style has me laughing out loud, whether in company or not. This didn’t quite achieve those heights, being read with more of a constant wry grin. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m happy to recommend it, but here’s hoping the author’s next novel will be even better.