Carl Hiaasen's more recent work includes a young adult novel called Chomp, but the author is returning to adult fiction for his next novel. If you've never read his books, the author is known to work humor into crime stories. He's also the man who penned the novel on which the 1996 film Striptease was based, if that gives you some better basis of reference. His next book is titled Bad Monkey, and in addition to a plot synopsis, we also have a look at the arrrrtful cover. (That's a pirate joke.)
I've actually never read Striptease, but I did love Hiaasen's 2004 novel Skinny Dip. The story follows a woman who exacts revenge on her egotistical husband after he tries (and fails) to kill her by tossing her over the side of a cruise ship. Her first thought as she plunges headfirst into the water isn't panic, but rather, "I married an asshole." The line never fails to make me laugh. And it's that kind of dry humor that sets an amusing tone for what might otherwise be a disturbing tale about a murderous husband and a vengeful wife. Just thinking about it makes me want to read it again, which I may do between now and when Bad Monkey hits shelves this summer.
Since Skinny Dip, Hiaasen's written a handful of novels, including four young adult fiction novels. He's returning to adult fiction with Bad Monkey, which was announced on Hiaasen's website, giving us a look at the cover and a rundown of the whacky plot involved.
The story follows Andrew Yancy, a law enforcer who's stuck on "Roach Patrol" (performing health inspector duties) and determined to better his situation by proving an incident that was pinned as a boating-accident/shark-attack was actually a murder. That explains why he has a human arm in his freezer. (Talk about a major health code violation.) The story will introduce a number of characters to the mix, among which are the widow of Yancy's freezer arm, an "avariciously idiotic real estate developer" (I love him/her already), a voodoo witch "whose lovers are blinded-unto-death by her particularly peculiar charms, and Yancy's love interest, "a kinky medical examiner." There's also the titular bad monkey.
HIaasen has a knack for blending humor with dark subjects, so I can certainly see how he might be able to find the funny in a severed arm in some guy's freezer, and as mismatched as the characters sound, I'm sure it's all tied together somehow. I especially can't wait to see how the monkey fits into all of it.
Bad Monkey arrives June 11. Amazon has it available for preorder here (or for Kindle here). Or you can get it at Barnes & Noble in print or for the nook here.
And if you want to read Skinny Dip while you wait, Amazon has the paperback for sale here or Kindle here.