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Bad Monkey
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Bad Monkey
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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...
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...
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  • 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. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it's not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first—this being Hiaasen country—Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including his just-ex lover, a hot-blooded fugitive from Kansas; the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; two avariciously optimistic real-estate speculators; the Bahamian voodoo witch known as the Dragon Queen, whose suitors are blinded unto death by her peculiar charms; Yancy's new true love, a kinky coroner; and the eponymous bad monkey, who with hilarious aplomb earns his place among Carl Hiaasen's greatest characters.
    Here is Hiaasen doing what he does better than anyone else: spinning a tale at once fiercely pointed and wickedly funny in which the greedy, the corrupt, and the degraders of what's left of pristine Florida—now, of the Bahamas as well—get their comeuppance in mordantly ingenious, diabolically entertaining fashion.

    From the Hardcover edition.



  • Chapter One

    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.

    "We do."

    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 nights. Refusing...

About the Author-

  • CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve previous novels, including the best-selling Star Island, Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and four best-selling children's books, Chomp, Hoot, Flush, and Scat. His most recent work of nonfiction is The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 22, 2013
    Hiaasen (Star Island) combines familiar themes with an inspired cast in this exercise in Florida zaniness. Andrew Yancy, who became an ex-cop after publicly assaulting his girlfriend’s husband with a vacuum cleaner attachment, is now on “roach patrol” as a restaurant inspector, but he soon gets a chance at redemption. Sonny Summers, the new Monroe County sheriff, tells Yancy to take a severed, shark-bitten arm snagged by a fisherman to Miami, where DNA identifies the limb as belonging to Nick Stripling, a retiree in his 40s whose boat was wrecked at sea. Stripling’s grown daughter, Caitlin Cox, claims after the funeral that her hated stepmother murdered her father, and Yancy sees proving the stepmother’s guilt as a way to return to the force. Add in some real estate shenanigans, a voodoo witch, and a deranged monkey, and you have another marvelously entertaining Hiaasen adventure. Author tour. Announced first printing of 250,000. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2013
    A severed arm that a visiting angler hooks off Key West kicks off Hiaasen's 13th criminal comedy. Though he's anything but eager to follow Monroe County Sheriff Sonny Summers' bidding and drive the arm to Miami to see if it belonged to some local stiff, the encounter Andrew Yancy has with Miami Assistant Medical Examiner Rosa Campesino, which ends with him taking the arm back home and parking it in his freezer, starts to change his attitude toward the case. Unfortunately, it doesn't change the fact that he's been suspended from the Sheriff's Department and banished to the gruesome post of restaurant inspector. But once the arm is identified as that of developer Nicholas Stripling, Yancy, calling himself "Inspector Yancy," takes it on himself to question Nicky's wife, Eve, his estranged daughter, Caitlin Cox, Eve's sworn enemy, and several other concerned parties. When two of these parties are shot to death very shortly after their chats with Yancy, he knows he's onto something, even though the imperviously obtuse Sonny Summers doesn't. Leaving behind his "future former girlfriend" Bonnie Witt, who's just revealed an unexpectedly colorful personal history to him, Yancy takes Rosa along to follow the arm's trail to Lizard Cay, Bahamas, where more crazies await: a toothless voodoo priestess called the Dragon Queen, her hapless client Neville Stafford, whose troubles bear an uncanny resemblance to Yancy's own, and his companion Driggs, a monkey reputed to have worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The mind-boggling plot will require yet another Hiaasen hurricane, a house fire, several perp walks for diverse felonies and a healthy dose of cleansing violence to bring down the curtain. Not as funny as Hiaasen's best (Star Island, 2010, etc.), with a title character more vicious than amusing, but still the gold standard for South Florida criminal farce.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Janet Maslin, The New York Times "[A] comedic marvel . . . [Hiaasen] hasn't written a novel this funny since Skinny Dip. . . . Beautifully constructed."
  • People "[A] deliciously zany romp. Buckle up for the ride."
  • O, The Oprah Magazine "Bad Monkey boils over with corruption and comeuppance. And yes, there's a monkey."
  • Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times "[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."
  • Reader's Digest "This 'Triple-F'--fierce, funny, and Floridian . . . enfolds corruption, greed, mayhem, and very funny social satire in the way that only Hiaasen does it."
  • Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "[Hiaasen is] one of America's premier humorists."
  • Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today "No one writes about Florida with a more wicked sense of humor than Hiaasen."
  • Kirkus Reviews "The gold standard for South Florida criminal farce."
  • Publishers Weekly "Inspired . . . Another marvelously entertaining Hiaasen adventure."
  • Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (starred) "Hiaasen is laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly entertaining."
  • Malcolm Jones, Newsweek "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."
  • Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle "Does anyone remember what we did for fun before Hiaasen began turning out his satirical comedies?"
  • Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly "Hiaasen [is] a superb national satirist . . . A great American writer about the great American subjects of ambition, greed, vanity and disappointment."
  • John Leland, The New York Times Book Review "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."
  • Clayton Moore, "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."

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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