Squeeze Me - Carl Hiaasen

I don’t think I knew how much I needed this book until I started reading. Yes, it’s based in our current reality but Hiaasen has a gift for stretching that reality to ridiculous lengths until you reach a place where you can only look up & laugh. However, fair warning to fans of the Orange One & his posse….you may not find this quite so amusing.


In fact, supporters of those who suffer from inherited wealth, political ambition or general pretension may have trouble locating their funny bone. It’s definitely the blue collar crowd who shine in this warped & twisted tale set in.…where else….Florida.


It all begins when 72 year old Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons disappears during a charity ball. She & her gang of wealthy widows have serious pull in the swanky town of Palm Beach & it’s not long before a full scale search is underway. Alas, they don’t know what we do….what really happened to Kiki (brief time-out here just to say “eeeww”).


Turns out a couple of other people have figured it out. One is professional wildlife wrangler Angie Armstrong, our MC. She specializes in relocating pesky critters & soon puts two & two together as to the whereabouts of the elderly socialite. Not that anyone believes her. But Angela is the persistent, feisty sort & soon ropes in the local chief of police & a weary secret service agent. And hey, maybe they can also help with her crazy stalker.


Hold on to your hat as this takes off in a dozen direction. Pretty soon we’re knee deep in illegal immigrants, angry mobs, dangerous tanning beds & pythons on LSD. This is a little darker & edgier than usual for Hiaasen & you have no doubt where he stands on current issues. But instead of a ranting polemic, he gets it off his chest in the form of an entertaining story full of the colourful characters & bizarre events that have become his trademark. Social commentary is sharply observed & humour ranges from cleverly satirical to ridiculously silly.


This was exactly what I needed in the midst of all the mayhem. Angie is my kind of girl & I enjoyed riding shotgun as the story unfolds. There’s never a dull moment, lots of laughs & characters you’ll root for including one of my personal faves. Sadly, some of the most bizarre bits are probably true.


If your weekend plans include a rally in Tulsa, give this a pass. The rest of you can grab a beverage, relax & prepare to giggle.


Reading tool kit should include: sunscreen, flip flops, pepper spray & vodka (a couple of those little cocktail umbrellas wouldn’t go amiss…).