R.J. Decker, star tenant of the local trailer park and neophyte private eye is fishing for a killer. Thanks to a sportsman's scam that's anything but sportsmanlike, there's a body floating in Coon Bog, Florida and a lot that's rotten in the murky waters of big-stakes, large-mouth bass tournaments. Here Decker will team up with a half-blind, half-mad hermit with an appetite for road kill; dare to kiss his ex-wife while she's in bed with her new husband; and face deadly TV evangelists, dangerously seductive women, and a pistol-toting redneck with a pit bull on his arm. And here his own life becomes part of the stakes. For while the "double whammy" is the lure, first prize is for the most ingenious murder.
A Miami Herald reporter who struck a blow against corrupt entrepreneurs in Tourist Season, Hiaasen follows through with this acid satire, a real double whammy. Private detective R. J. Decker is hired to prove that TV host Dickie Lockhart cheats to win fortunes in Florida bass-fishing tournaments. The investigation makes Decker a prey to hired killers who have murdered other ``snoops,'' but the detective also finds a strong if weird ally in a hermit who calls himself Skink. Along with two honest cops, Skink goes with Decker to the lake where a big tournament is under way and the four make a tremendous splash, to the dismay of the assembly. Hardest hit is Reverend Weeb, Lockhart's sponsor on the Outdoor Christian Network, whose generous supporters don't know that he's addicted to prostitutes, profanity and land-grabbing. The cast of bizarre characters and the suspenseful events confirm Hiaasen's reputation for creating singular villains and heroes. While he's probably unpopular among some fellow citizens in his home state, he will certainly please readers who appreciate the Swiftian wit in his cautionary tales. (January 12)