Florida Weird

Hammerhead Ranch Motel

By Tim Dorsey

Last Saturday, we shared our review of Carl Hiaasen’s Razor Girl. Fans of this type of over-the-top insanity should look into a lesser known practitioner of the art, Tim Dorsey. He’s written a series of lunatic black comedies featuring the indestructible and righteous serial killer of bad guys Serge Storms.

Most any of Dorsey’s Storms series with give you a serious funny bone ache. It’s just that Hammerhead Ranch Motel happens to be among our favorites.

You’ll come to love Serge Storms, Dorsey’s schizoid serial killer, a man who possesses an ocean of knowledge about Florida history and disgorges it at the oddest times, who murders the deserving artfully, and who tenaciously pursues what he wants, in this case five million dollars of missing drug money.

Dorsey loads the book with a motel’s worth of weirdly wonderful and always ridiculous characters, from grouchy old men, to Hemingway impersonators, to killer old ladies, to bobble-headed news people, to a performing dog, to hot babes, to frustrated virgins, to boiler room scammers, to reluctant private eyes, to murderous drug dealers, and to lazy civil dis-servants.

Frequent digressions from the plot, so many you sometimes forget what the plot is, are the name of the game, along with gut-wrenching, spasm-inducing, breath-paralyzing laughter. Really, at various points the book will fall from your hands. So, do not read on public transit, or anywhere you might embarrass yourself.

Great fun and a great way to brighten a gray day. w/c

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