Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Review of Hurricane Punch by Tim Dorsey (Harper, 2008)
Dorsey’s Serge Storms’ novels are always a zany rollercoaster ride of cartoonish violence and madcap behaviour underlain with a dose of suspect moral philosophy – yes, Serge does terrible, imaginative things to his victims but there’s a logic and natural justice to his actions; though the ultimate price is rarely what most might consider the ‘right’ punishment. In Hurricane Punch he interweaves five main plotlines – storm chasing during a particularly bad hurricane season, his duel with a copycat serial killer, a cop beat journalist’s slow breakdown as he covers murders, the rivalry between competing media outlets, and federal agent Maloney’s attempt to capture Serge. The result is a fast moving tale of madness, destruction, rivalries, and parody of the news industry, that is often amusing and sometimes poignant. As usual the story is peppered with Florida trivia and history. The characterisation is well done, the dialogue snappy, and the plot engaging. As with most comic crime capers realism takes a backseat for much of the time enabling Dorset to set up some great scenes and to twist the tale along. There are a couple of odd moments with the timeline, but overall this is good fun, with some nice observational asides.