The Riptide Ultra-Glide (Serge Storms Series #16)
  • The Riptide Ultra-Glide (Serge Storms Series #16)
  • The Riptide Ultra-Glide (Serge Storms Series #16)

The Riptide Ultra-Glide (Serge Storms Series #16)

3.6 24
by Tim Dorsey

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Welcome to Paradise!

Freshly laid-off Wisconsinites Patrick and Barbara McDougall are going to sunny Florida for a modest romantic vacation. But the motel they picked isn't quite a pastel paradise, and they have to be midwesterners and make the best of a bad situation. Except bad goes to worse, and a string of misfortunes renders them unable to leave the state.

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Welcome to Paradise!

Freshly laid-off Wisconsinites Patrick and Barbara McDougall are going to sunny Florida for a modest romantic vacation. But the motel they picked isn't quite a pastel paradise, and they have to be midwesterners and make the best of a bad situation. Except bad goes to worse, and a string of misfortunes renders them unable to leave the state.

Meanwhile, the next Mexican-American War is being fought, this time in Fort Lauderdale, between the Kentucky mafia and the Oxy cartel over control of the lucrative pain clinic market. Latinos are turning up dead, hillbillies are wandering the beach trampling sand castles, and cops continue arresting doctors wriggling out of office windows.

But it's never really a party until Serge and Coleman arrive. Cruising down U.S. 1, Captain Florida and his perpetually altered sidekick are on a mission to film the best reality show ever!

Back at their motel, the McDougalls are peeking out the curtains. They've become very popular, especially with Serge, who believes he's found the perfect stars for the pilot of his new TV series.

Are the McDougalls safer with Serge or should they take their chances on the mean streets?

Will Coleman get tired of signing autographs?

Can pelicans be used as murder weapons?

Is time running out for our heroes?

And, finally, the question still on everyone's lips: What's up with Florida? Stay tuned for all the answers in . . . The Riptide Ultra-Glide!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Dorsey serves up his usual mix of mayhem and mirth in his 16th Serge Storms thriller (after 2012’s Pineapple Grenade). As Serge—accompanied by his stoner companion, Coleman, who acts as straight man and one-man audience for Serge’s frequently baffling behavior—travels through Florida, he spouts weird bits of state history and dishes out inventive and unusual punishments to annoying miscreants. In particular, Serge, who aims for his own reality show (“You have to fake a lot of stuff”), deals with a beach bully, a rip-off artist preying on the elderly, incompetent doctors, shyster lawyers, pain clinics, and a budding turf battle between the Kentucky mafia and Mexican drug lords. Meanwhile, laid-off Wisconsin school teachers Barbara and Patrick McDougall embark on a Florida vacation that they will regret. Serge, the McDougalls, and the warring traffickers collide on a course that proves often hilarious and sometimes fatal. 10-city author tour. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Still thinking globally, but now acting locally, Serge Storms (Pineapple Grenade, 2012, etc.) turns his admittedly limited attention to the section of U.S. Highway 1 that goes from Fort Lauderdale to the Keys. Often confused by ill-informed tourists with Highway A1A, which actually does run along the ocean, U.S. 1 is home to gas stations, strip malls and seedy hotels. Perfect spot, thinks Serge, to film a reality show. So he packs his wingman Coleman into a '72 Corvette Stingray and heads down to Florida City, stopping at iconic spots like the Last Chance Saloon to film staged dust-ups with his spaced-out pal. Unfortunately, his foray into reality TV is constantly interrupted by, well, reality. A car chase ends abruptly in Lake Surprise. Crowds of awestruck stoners accost Coleman after he appears on the cover of High Tides. Eventually, Serge and Coleman get caught in the crossfire between drug kingpin Gaspar Arroyo, who runs a chain of shady pain clinics that specialize in dispensing OxyContin, and Catfish Stump, who moves the drugs from Lexington to Ocala in shipments of horse blankets. Also in the cross hairs are Patrick and Barbara McDougall, special educators vacationing in Florida after losing their jobs to Wisconsin's move to Right-to-Work. But their students' severe behavior problems are nothing compared to the mayhem they encounter when they book a stay at the Casablanca Hotel, right in the heart of U.S. 1. Filming and dodging bullets give Serge scant time for his other favorite hobby--vigilante justice--keeping the body count relatively low in Dorsey's stripped-down 16th.
New York Times Book Review
“Nutty… inspired”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Serge Storms Series, #16
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Riptide Ultra-Glide

By Tim Dorsey

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Tim Dorsey
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-209279-3

Chapter ONE
A fisherman found the body in the mangroves just before dawn.
Actually, tiny crabs found it fi rst. Th e tide had ebbed from an
inlet near the top of the Florida Keys, and the muck began to give off
that funk. Th e homicide was what authorities like to call a classic case
of overkill. But they were still stumped about the specifi c cause of death
because of the way . . . well, it's complicated. And all this didn't happen
until tomorrow. Right now the victim was still very much alive, and the
residents of Key Largo had their attention on something else . . .
At the very bottom of the state— below Miami and the zoo and the
Coral Castle and everything else— sits the tiny outpost of Florida City.
Last stop. Nothing below on the mainland but mangroves and swamp.

Th ere was some agriculture and migrants on the outskirts, but
mainly it was just a short tourist strip where the end of the state turn-
pike dumps motorists into a cluster of economy motels and convenience
stores: a fi nal gas- up, food- up and beer- up before the long, desolate run
to the Florida Keys.
Sportsmen bashed bags of ice on the curb in front of a Shell station,
college students toted cases of beer, and a '72 Corvette Stingray fl ew
south doing eighty. It ran a red light and was pushing a hundred by the
time it passed the last building— the Last Chance Saloon— and dove
down into the mangroves.
Th e driver looked in the rearview. Faint sirens and countless fl ash-
ing blue lights a mile behind. He fl oored it.
Coleman leaned back and shotgunned a Schlitz. “Serge, do you
think we'll ever be caught?”
“ 'Caught' is a funny word,” said Serge. “Most criminals catch
themselves, like getting stuck at three a.m. in an air duct over a car-
stereo store, and the people opening up in the morning hear crying
and screaming from the ceiling, and the fi re department has to get him
out with spatulas and butter. If your arrest involves a lot of butter, or,
even more embarrassing, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, then you actu-
ally need to go to jail, if for nothing else just some hang time to inner-
refl ect.”
“Th ose cops are still chasing,” said Coleman, fi ring up a hash pipe.
“Where did they all come from?” Serge leaned attentively. “Th ere
was nobody following, and then, bam! Th e road hits Florida City and
suddenly it's like a Blues Brothers chase back there.”
“Florida City?” Coleman dropped a Vicodin. “So that's what that
string of motels is called?”
Serge nodded. “Actually a funny story. Used to be called Detroit.”
Coleman swigged a pint of Rebel Yell. “Now you're making fun of
me because I'm wrecked.”
“Swear to God. You can look it up,” said Serge. “I wouldn't shit
“I know,” said Coleman. “I'm your favorite turd.”
“And naming it Detroit wasn't even an accident, like the other

THE RIPTIDE Ultra-Glide 9
times when two pioneer families set up shop in the sticks and there's
no one else around to stop them, and they're chugging moonshine by
the campfi re, 'What should we call this place?' 'Fuck it, I already spent
enough eff ort today running from wild pigs,' and then you end up
with a place called Toad Suck, Arkansas— you can look that up, too.
Except modern- day Florida City started as an ambitious land develop-
ment with hard- sell advertising and giant marketing geniuses behind
the project. Th en they had the big meeting to concoct a name: 'I got it!
What do people moving to Florida really want? To be in Michigan!' ”
“Bullshit on Michigan,” said Coleman.
“Th at was pretty much the universal consumer response back in
1910,” said Serge. “But I still can't wrap my head around that manage-
ment decision to name it Detroit. Th e brain wasn't engineered to deal
with that rarefi ed level of dumbness.”
“Sounds like they were all on acid,” said Coleman.
“Exactly,” said Serge. “So here's what I think really happened: Th e
top guy mentioned the name, and everyone else obsequiously nodded
and went along with the idea like they do around Trump, and then
months later they take the train south, and the main cat sees the signs
at the city limits: 'You idiots! Th at was sarcasm!' ”
“Th e cops are still back there,” said Coleman.
“Chasing is in police DNA memory, like Labradors running aft er
sticks,” said Serge. “Th ey probably don't even know why they do it.
Th ey just put the lights on and go, and a while later the partner who
isn't behind the wheel says, 'Why are we stopping?' 'Something inside
just told me to because there's a really cool crash up ahead. It's weird; I
can't explain it.' ”
“I hope we never get caught,” said Coleman.
“Th at would be my choice,” said Serge. “Unfortunately, a lot of
people are looking for us, and heading down to the Keys is never a good
call when you're on the run.”
Another Schlitz popped. “Why?”
“Geography. Th ere's just one road in and no way out, so it's a fool's
move,” said Serge. “Except in our case, because I can line up some boats.
I know these guys.”

“Th e cops are getting closer.”
Serge gestured with the book he was reading. “Turn up the volume
on the TV.”
Coleman twisted a knob. “Th at Corvette is really fl ying.”
“I love watching live police chases on TV,” said Serge. “You usually
have to live in California.”
“Th ey have more helicopters out there,” said Coleman.
“But our Channel Seven whirlybird is staying right with him,” said
Serge. “Down the Eighteen Mile.”
“What's that?”
“Th e name for

Excerpted from The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey. Copyright © 2013 Tim Dorsey. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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