The May Selection for our discussion group was a new author for me - Carl Hiaasen. The book selected by our group was Tourist Season. I've discovered from his website - http://www.carlhiaasen.com/books.html - that he has written several books. He is another author from Florida and he writes about the area he is familiar with. As is tradition with our reading group, I give the book a "thumbs up".
* If you are looking for a typical murder mystery, this is definitely NOT one. I doubt the author expected it to be.
This book has a lot of interesting elements in it. It is a murder mystery with a news writer turned private detective. His name is Brian Keyes and the big question is why did he quit writing to become a private detective? At first you think he gave up writing because he could not handle reporting about murder cases. Later you learn this is not the case. Typically he does not investigate cases involving murder. But when the public defender's office ask him to investigate this case he takes it because he needs the money. Even so, his motivation changes later in the book.
The book has an interesting cover too!! See the alligator on the cover. Or was it a crocodile?? I don't recall. You can find out the significance of this animal to the story.
The book is aptly titled because "tourist season" plays a big part in it. It is because of "tourist season" that people are kidnapped and murdered. A group of terrorists calling themselves "Las Noches de Diciembre" claims responsibility for these kidnaps and murders. What are they trying to accomplish? This is not your typical terrorist group either. They are trying to turn back the hands of time and push back the encroachment and development that brings the tourists to this part of Florida. The group is made up of some of the most peculiar people and each seems to have an agenda of their own.
I will not tell you what the big finale the group has planned but I will tell you it is connected to the half time show at the Orange Bowl. Did it work? Partially!!! However, at the end it falls apart. The leader of the group - who calls himself "El Fuego" - dies trying to save one of the things he is trying to preserve. Was he crazy as some suspected? You will have to decide for yourself!!
NOTE: Our group tonight was very small. I am reluctant to share the outcome of the vote because of the size. Here it is anyway - 1 thumbs up, 2 thumbs down, and one abstained because she did not read the book. Sometimes you just need something different.