Carl Hiaasen at the top of his form in a novel of journalists, dead lizards and rock'n'roll...Reluctant hero Jack Tagger is a frustrated journalist. His outspoken views have relegated him to the obituary page and the paper's florid owner, Race Maggad III, has decreed that his byline will never again grace the front page. But Jack has stumbled ...
Carl Hiaasen at the top of his form in a novel of journalists, dead lizards and rock'n'roll...Reluctant hero Jack Tagger is a frustrated journalist. His outspoken views have relegated him to the obituary page and the paper's florid owner, Race Maggad III, has decreed that his byline will never again grace the front page. But Jack has stumbled across a peach of a story. James Stomarti, rock musician extraordinaire (formerly of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies and best remembered for his seminal album, A Painful Burning Sensation) has died in a diving accident and while researching the obituary, Jack realises that the glamorous pop starlet widow may have had a vested interest in her husband's untimely death. Aided and abetted by Jimmy's webcam obsessed sister and his own rather sexy young editor, Emma, Jack wages a war to discover the truth. However, Jack's unhealthy obsession with death, spawned by years of writing obits (well, would you want to die at the same age as Elvis?) keeps getting in the way and, when he's dragged into the rampant internal politics of the paper, it seems he's never going to find sanity. Was Jimmy Stomarti murdered? Is someone trying to kill off the Slut Puppies one by one? And what significance can a dead lizard named Colonel Tom possibly have?
This is my first experience of a Carl Hiaasen book. My husband read it before I did, and he was rolling about with laughter every time he picked it up. On his suggestion, I gave Basket Case a try, and was soon caught up in the antics of the lead character. Jack Tagger is a journalist whose career has seen better days, but due to a faux pas in his past, he is now writing obituaries for a local Florida newspaper.
When a famous rock singer is killed in a scuba diving accident, he begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, which does not please his bosses. He uncovers a complicated and confusing trail of events, which take him to the Caribbean and California in his quest for a front page story to revive his flagging career. Finding the truth about the death of the victim tests his journalistic skills to the limit, and he has to overcome many obstacles to reach the truth.
We meet the family and friends of Jimmy Stoma, the dead singer in question, and the members of his old band the Slut Puppies. His widow is a singer, who is planning to revive her career with a new song. His sister disappears after her house is broken into, and there are other deaths to explain along the way.
Jack is at loggerheads with his immediate boss, Emma, who wants him to write an obituary on a dead rabbi and leave the pop star story alone, but he continues to delve and he eventually gets to write the front page story that he has been looking for. He now hopes that his time in the doldrums of newspaper journalism is over, and his career will hit the heights he has been working towards.
Fast paced, funny, and entertaining.
May 22, 2007
A good airline read
A predictable mystery, nonetheless an interesting book that will keep you entertained on an airplane. LAX to LaGuardia in my case
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.