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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
What begins as a silly bet between four single men quickly turns into an out-of-control criminal plot involving two dead bodies and a homicidal husband. From the late Charles Willeford (Sideswipe, New Hope for the Dead, et al.), another Miami noir classic comes to light.
Larry Dolman, Eddie Miller, Don Luchessi, and Hank Norton are all successful middle-aged men living in the Dade Towers, a new singles-only apartment complex in Miami. Besides drinking a little too much on occasion and spending their free time playing pool and pursuing women, the fun-loving quartet are hardly what you would call hardened criminals. But then an innocent bet -- over whether or not pharmaceutical salesman Norton can pick up a woman at a drive-in showing a horror-flick marathon -- goes terribly wrong. Now the men must hide the bodies of a 13-year old girl (who has just overdosed in Norton's car) and her overbearing pusher (whom Luchessi has shot), while finding a way to continue living the good life in Miami, even as real-life issues intrude.
The Shark-Infested Custard (the punch line to this old Miami riddle: What is very sweet, bright yellow, and extremely dangerous?) is a fitting title for this downright weird novel. Both a dark comedy and a shockingly cold-hearted crime fiction thriller, Willeford's romp through 1970s Miami -- although somewhat dated -- is as amusing as it is disturbing. Paul Goat Allen