Combine the most nauseating aspects of Florida kitsch -- things like pink flamingos, pastel buildings, and seascape paintings -- and extreme amounts of drugs, massive gunfights that result in staggering body counts, and good old, stark-raving insanity and you have... well, actually, you have the state of Florida. But no one describes these aspects of our beloved homeland quite as well as Tim Dorsey.
Although he took a side trip with his last book, Orange Crush, to describe a gubernatorial election gone horribly awry, the former Tampa Tribune reporter and editor returns to his original story line with his latest novel, Triggerfish Twist.
For anyone not familiar with the first two books in the series, Florida Roadkill and Hammerhead Ranch Motel (though these should be required reading for SoFla residents), the tale breaks down like this: Serge Storms is an endearingly psychopathic maniac who, despite his best intentions and deep love for the grand state of Florida, always seems to wind up at the epicenter of a vast web of drug-addled murder. With Triggerfish, Dorsey pulls a George Lucas, presenting a prequel to the first book. Set during the summer before the fun-filled bloodbath that is Florida Roadkill (which in turn takes place during the Marlins' World Series run), Serge and his pals Coleman and Sharon move to a quiet suburb on Triggerfish Lane. There they are forced to face, as described on the book jacket, "yuppies with pit bulls, hot-rodding pizza deliverymen, Machiavellian used car salesmen, Rastafarians who refuse to smoke dope, floating pawn shops on crack street, neighborhood crime watch teams running for their lives, after-midnight clientele at 24-hour supermarkets that put zombie movies to shame, unnatural sex, casual violence, gore, blasphemy, and people who write checks at convenience stores." Sounds like a typical day in the disturbingly could-happen world of Dorsey's Florida.
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Ask the author himself how he comes up with this craziness when he makes three pit stops in South Florida this weekend during his book tour.