Strip Tease, by Carl Hiaasen

A US senator (or congressman?), who's up for re-election, gets involved in a fracas at a strip-club, and someone there recognises him. If he doesn't get re-elected, then a sugar farm subsidy bill may not get passed, and so his minders are keen to use any means to prevent the story getting out.

Actually that doesn't go anywhere near doing justice to the plot of the book, which most reminded me of Elmore Leonard: various individuals all pursuing their own agendas, many of them crooked, crossing each other's paths with often very funny results. The characters are very much in the style of Leonard too: e.g. the bouncer, Shad, who's trying to seal up insects in yoghurt tubs so he can file a lawsuit against the food companies (basically a good guy though, like Chilli Palmer in Get Shorty); the stripper, Erin, who's prepared to do anything to get her daughter back from her feckless husband (Jackie Brown in Rum Punch) and the congressman's (or senator's) minder, who's got no morals at all (a bit like the Bird in Killshot).

I think the main difference is that with Leonard you get to find out what the story is just by listening to the characters talk: there's comparitively little description of what they're thinking, and the minimum of plot development outside the dialog. But in terms of entertainment this was up there with Leonard: very funny and readable - actually perhaps more readable.

More are on order from the library.

Completed : 29-Mar-2006

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