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More insight into Floridian insanity
on 28 February 2002
Carl Hiaasen has stuck with his own brand of dry humour and strange characters - in Basket Case, Jack Tagger stores a pretzel-shaped lizard popsicle in his freezer and earns his living writing obituaries for the local newspaper (well, someone has to). Unhealthily obsessed with the manner and timing of his own eventual death, Jack investigates the early demise of former rock legend Jimmy Stoma in an unlikely skin-diving accident, suspecting that the grieving widow (most famous thus far for flashing more than just a smile on MTV) is even less innocent than she appears.
This book contains all the usual elements of a Hiaasen novel: bizarre coincidences, strange personality quirks and absurdly violent deaths. I also felt this one was personal for Hiaasen, a scathing attack on the demise of good journalism and quality newspapers. As a result, Basket Case has slightly less of the whimsical and flippant touch that typifies some of his previous novels, but is none the worse for it. Thoroughly recommended, as are all Hiaasen's novels.