Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff's office—has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner.Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: June 2013
From the book
On the hottest day of July, trolling in dead-calm waters near Key West, a tourist named James Mayberry reeled up a human arm. His wife flew to the bow of the boat and tossed her breakfast burritos.
"What're you waiting for?" James Mayberry barked at the mate."Get that thing off my line!"
The kid tugged and twisted, but the barb of the hook was imbedded in bone. Finally the captain came down from the bridge and used bent-nose pliers to free the decomposing limb, which he placed on shaved ice in a deck box.
James Mayberry said, "For Christ's sake, now where are we supposed to put our fish?"
"We'll figure that out when you actually catch one."
It had been a tense outing aboard the Misty Momma IV. James Mayberry had blown three good strikes because he was unable to absorb instruction. Dragging baits in the ocean was different than jigging for walleyes in the lake back home.
"Don't we need to call somebody?" he asked the captain.
The hairy left arm was bloated and sunburned to the hue of eggplant.
A cusp of yellowed humerus protruded at the point of separation, below the shoulder. The flesh surrounding the wound looked ragged and bloodless.
"Yo, check it out!" the mate said.
"What now?" James Mayberry asked.
"His freakin' finger, dude."
The victim's hand was contracted into a first except for the middle digit, which was rigidly extended.
"How weird is that? He's flippin' us off," the mate said.
The captain told him to re-bait the angler's hook.
"Has this ever happened out here before?" James Mayberry said. "Tell the truth."
"You should go see about your wife."
"Jesus, I'll never hear the end of it. Louisa wanted to ride the Conch Train today. She did not want to come fishing."
"Well, son," the captain said, "we're in the memory-making business."
He climbed back to the bridge, radioed the Coast Guard and gave the GPS coordinates of the gruesome find. He was asked to remain in the area and look for other pieces of the body.
"But I got a charter," he said.
"You can stay at it," the Coast Guard dispatcher advised. "Just keep your eyes open."
After calming herself, Louisa Mayberry informed her husband that she wished to return to Key West right away.
"Come on, sugar. It's a beautiful morning." James Mayberry didn't want to go back to the dock with no fish to hang on the spikes—not after shelling out a grand to hire the boat.
"The first day of our honeymoon, and this! Aren't you sketched out?"
James Mayberry peeked under the lid of the fish box. "You watch CSI all the time. It's the same type of deal."
His wife grimaced but did not turn away. She remarked that the limb didn't look real.
"Oh, it's real," said James Mayberry, somewhat defensively. "Just take a whiff." Snagging a fake arm wouldn't make for as good a story.
A real arm was pure gold, major high-fives from all his peeps back in Madison. You caught a what? No way, bro!
Louisa Mayberry's gaze was fixed on the limb. "What could have happened?" she asked.
"Tiger shark," her husband said matter-of-factly.
"Is that a wedding band on his hand? This is so sad."
"Fish on!" the mate called. "Who's up?"
James Mayberry steered his bride to the fighting chair and the mate fitted the rod into the gimbal. Although she was petite, Louisa Mayberry owned a strong upper body due to rigorous Bikram yoga classes that she took on Tuesday...
"[A] comedic marvel . . . [Hiaasen] hasn't written a novel this funny since Skinny Dip. . . . Beautifully constructed." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[A] deliciously zany romp. Buckle up for the ride." - People
"Bad Monkey boils over with corruption and comeuppance. And yes, there's a monkey." - O, The Oprah Magazine
"[A] rollicking misadventure in the colorful annals of greed and corruption in South Florida. . . . Hiaasen has a peculiar genius for inventing grotesque creatures . . . that spring from the darkest impulses of the id. But he also writes great heroes." - Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
"This 'Triple-F'--fierce, funny, and Floridian . . . enfolds corruption, greed, mayhem, and very funny social satire in the way that only Hiaasen does it." - Reader's Digest
"[Hiaasen is] one of America's premier humorists." - Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"No one writes about Florida with a more wicked sense of humor than Hiaasen." - Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today
"The gold standard for South Florida criminal farce." - Kirkus Reviews
"Inspired . . . Another marvelously entertaining Hiaasen adventure." - Publishers Weekly
"Hiaasen is laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly entertaining." - Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (starred)
"Carl Hiaasen isn't just Florida's sharpest satirist--he's one of the few funny writers left in the whole country . . . I think of him as a national treasure." - Malcolm Jones, Newsweek
"Does anyone remember what we did for fun before Hiaasen began turning out his satirical comedies?" - Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle
"Hiaasen [is] a superb national satirist . . . A great American writer about the great American subjects of ambition, greed, vanity and disappointment." - Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly
"Hiaasen's wasteland is as retributive as Cormac McCarthy's, but funnier. . . . [His] pacing is impeccable, and the scenes follow one another like Lay's potato chips." - John Leland, The New York Times Book Review
"Hiaasen [is] king of the screwball comedies . . . A truly original comic novelist . . . The charismatic, animated characters deliver lines that will bring tears of laughter to even the most jaundiced readers . . . This is top-notch storytelling by a truly original comic novelist." - Clayton Moore, Rocky Mountain News
"Carl Hiaasen is a lot like Evelyn Waugh. . . . Both simmer with rage; both are consumed with the same overwhelming vision . . . [both] write the funniest English of this century." - Carolyn See, The Washington Post
"Hiaasen [is] in the company of Preston Sturges, Woody Allen, and S. J. Perelman." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"A big-hearted and deeply funny book . . . All of Carl Hiaasen's obsessions are on full-tilt boogie." - Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
"Hiaasen, like Elmore Leonard, shouldn't be missed. . . . Hiaasen throws his colorful characters into an increasingly frenetic mix, and the fun lies in watching how, or if, they'll manage to extricate themselves." - David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle
"Whenever it seems as if he might be running out of oxen to gore, Hiaasen comes up with fresh victims for his killing wit. [He is] Florida's most entertainingly indignant social critic . . . Outlandish events soar on the exuberance of Hiaasen's manic style, a canny blend of lunatic farce and savage satire." - Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"A whole lot 'Survivor,' a little bit 'The Tempest,' with a pinch of Laurel and Hardy . . . Hiaasen is always good for a number of laugh-aloud scenes and lines . . . His ear is pitch-perfect." - Alan Michael Parker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Hilarious . . . A lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, [Hiaasen's] novels have always addressed the state's ecological and social ills with scathing satire, ironic comeuppance and an ever-evolving sensibility." - Dan Lopez, Time Out New York