(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

As a favor to a friend, Val Duran involved himself in an undercover operation to bring down a Florida drug lord named Junior Mayfield. When Junior orders his friend's death Val executes the miscreants responsible for the murder and flees the state. Ensconced in California under a new name, Val devotes his considerable energies to making life miserable for Junior. He informs the authorities about selected aspects of Junior's business. He even persuades Junior's accountant to abscond with several million dollars of the hapless drug lord's ill-gotten gains. Not surprisingly, Junior expends every effort to discover Val’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Val finds himself attracted to Kyle Abbot. Abbot is the slightly eccentric offspring of a family possessing enough phobias, psychoses, and syndromes to fill a chapter of a psychology textbook on aberrant behavior. Kyle is at odds with her family. But even as she and Val develop a relationship, her derelict stepbrother Charles is in the thrall of a manipulative woman and her murderous minion. Indeed, Jackie and Dekker are after implementing a plan designed to transfer significant sums into Charles sagging bank account. Unfortunately for Val the homicidal Dekker decides that he is too dangerous to live. Meanwhile, Junior and an equally lethal associate arrive in California to settle old scores.

Devotees of the inimitable Carl Hiaasen will find in this work a literary combination very much to their taste. Robert Ferrigno switches the narration effortlessly between characters. Furthermore, his capacity for evoking the unexpected continues to the last surprising page. Ferrigno may reside elsewhere, but his depictions of life in contemporary Los Angeles are anything but stereotypical.