The strange cast of characters in this satirical detective thriller includes most prominently, Dr. Rudy Graveline, a hack plastic surgeon trying to cover up the "accidental" death of a patient during a rhinoplasty procedure four years prior to the start of action. "One of the wondrous things about Florida, Rudy Graveline thought as he chewed on a jumbo shrimp, was the climate of unabashed corruption: There was absolutely no trouble from which money could not extricate you . . . Since the medical board was made up mostly of other doctors, Rudy Graveline had fully expected exoneration-- physicians stick together like shit on a shoe." (p.95)

Doctors, however, are not the only profession slammed by the author. Also receiving their comeuppance are corrupt lawyers, politicians, police officers, and judges. Searing satire is also directed at "reality journalists" through the character Reynaldo Flemm (i.e. Geraldo Rivera). Not surprisingly the "good guys" win and the "bad guys," including Dr. Graveline, lose. But the hideous way in which Dr. Graveline meets his demise is too gruesome to reveal here.


Carl Hiaasen has been a reporter and columnist at the Miami Herald since 1976. He's also written a half dozen or so crime novels. One, Strip Tease, was adapted as a movie. Perhaps it was his Pulitzer Prize nominated investigative work in 1980 on "dangerous doctors" that was the source for Skin Tight. Although I've not read many detective novels, I found the wondrously bizarre characters and plot remarkably compelling. The stinging humor is a welcome bonus.



Place Published

New York



Page Count