When Twilly Spree, an environmental terrorist and financially independent, sees Palmer Stoat throw trash out of his car window on the freeway, he is on his tail seeking revenge. Stoat is a political fixer involved with all sorts of characters: Dick Artemus, ex-car salesman, now governor; Robert Clapley, a crooked land developer with an unhealthy interest in Barbie dolls; and his goon, Mr. Gash, who plays his favorite 911 compilations in the tape deck.
Twilly, after filling Stoat's car with dung beetles and not reforming him, kidnaps both Palmer's dog and his wife, Desie. Twilly uncovers a conspiracy to force a bill through the Florida legislature to develop a bridge to Toad Island, a wildlife sanctuary. This will allow the island to be developed and money to be made by all. Chapley wants Twilly silenced and dispatches Mr. Gash. Palmer wants his wife and dog back and asks Dick Artemus to help in the rescue by manipulating the introduction of the bill.
Trooper Jim Tile is the policeman involved in finding the kidnapper along with ex-Governor Clinton Tyree, aka Skink or the Captain, who lives in the wilds of the Everglades.
Development is shown to be what it is, a stripping away of the environment for the gains of a few. There is loads of dark humor. I loved Desie as a character and what is funny is that she is only a minor character. Some of the others were just too over the top for me but this is a Hiaasen book and what he is known for. A weird and strange kind of mystery
First Line: "On the morning of April 24, an hour past dawn, a man named Palmer Stoat shot a rare African black rhinoceros."