Key West seduces people--then asks them to leave in the morning. Take Aaron Katz. He chucked his NY nine-to-five to restore the Mangrove Arms, a rotting wreck of a guest house. Suki Sperakis, aspiring journalist, sees opportunity in Florida, too, though in the meantime she's peddling ad space for a third-rate freebie paper. Then she stumbles upon a nefarious plot revolving around a handsome Russian, his string of T-shirt shops...and his real business, which happens to involve plutonium.
It's the scoop of a lifetime. But who's lifetime?
With the Russian mafia on her trail, freewheeling Suki is soon trying to stay one step ahead of the goons and the guns--and leaving in her wake a mix of sunken Cadillacs, abandoned Cold War missile silos, empty vodka bottles, and the occasional corpse. With only the mild-mannered Aaron, his slightly demented father Sam, and an old gangster named Bert the Shirt as allies, can she possibly survive the squeeze?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
His basic laziness notwithstanding, Shames has published more than twenty books and hundreds of magazine articles and essays. Best known for his critically acclaimed series of Key West novels, he has also authored non-fiction and enjoyed considerable though largely secret success as a collaborator and ghostwriter. Shames has penned four New York Times bestsellers. These have appeared on four different lists, under four different names, none of them his own. This might be a record.
Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1951, to chain-smoking parents of modest means but flamboyant emotions, Shames graduated summa cum laude from NYU in 1972 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Shortly after finishing college, he began annoying editors by sending them short stories they hated. He also wrote longer things he thought of as novels. He couldn't sell them.
By 1979 he'd somehow passed himself off as a journalist and was publishing in top-shelf magazines like Playboy, Outside, Saturday Review, and Vanity Fair. In 1982, Shames was named Ethics columnist of Esquire, and also made a contributing editor to that magazine.
By 1986 he was writing non-fiction books whose critical if not commercial success first established his credentials as a collaborator/ghostwriter. His 1991 national bestseller, BOSS OF BOSSES, written with two FBI agents, got him thinking about the Mafia. It also bought him a ticket out of New York and a sweet little house in Key West, where he finally got back to Plan A: writing fiction. Given his then-current preoccupations, the novels--beginning with FLORIDA STRAITS--naturally featured palm trees, high humidity, dogs in sunglasses, and blundering New York mobsters.
Having had the good fortune to find a setting he loved and a wonderfully loyal readership as well, Shames wrote eight Key West novels during the 1990s, before taking a decade-long detour into screenwriting and collaborative work. In 2013, he returned to his favorite fictional turf with SHOT ON LOCATION--a suspenseful and hilarious mix of Hollywood glitz and Florida funky.
TROPICAL SWAP, Shames' tenth Key West novel, tells the riotous tale of a home exchange that sounds too good to be true, and is.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To read the reviews by the 'pros' here one would think that Shames had fallen into a trap that 'series' authors encounter often - they grow too fond of their principal characters. The only recurring character here, the likable 'Bert the Shirt', plays a supporting role and is shown to be all too human. Here Shames abandons some of the more humurous aspects of prior novels to concentrate on character development and scene-setting. The plot moves briskly and seamlessly. The Russian 'mobsters' are less menacing than their Mafia counterparts in prior novels but there are still plenty of moments of suspense. If you have read the entire series, this may well turn out to be one of your favorites. A little less like Hiaasen, a little more like James W. Hall, than his prior Key West tomes, but this is not a negative, just a change. The wit is still there, and this book is a good read.