Grange, Florida is famous for its miracles: the Weeping Fiberglass Madonna, the Road Stain Jesus--and JoLayne Lucks, recent winner of the state's $28 million lottery! There's only one problem--someone else just never learned to share. So, when JoLayne's ticket is mysteriously stolen, the chase is on through the Sunshine State--wreaking the kind of hilarious mayhem Hiaasen is famous for.
A Florida woman wins millions in the lottery only to have her ticket stolen.
Ann E Haynes, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Ann E Haynes)
Well, "Lucky You" was my first Carl Hiassen crime novel, but it wasn't the last. Boy,is he funny! I've since read "Nature Girl," "Striptease," and "Skinny Dip," which all take place in Florida. Hiassen writes a lot of his action in the wild Everglades, and in this way he tells us without preaching that these beautiful waterways are fast disappearing--as a matter of fact, many of his villains are agri-business giants.Hiaasen's narrative is sarcastic and cynical without becoming negative, if you can imagine that, and his droll descriptions of flawed criminal thought processes had me rolling.
"Lucky You" tells the story of JoLayne Lucks, a lottery winner whose ticket is stolen by two thugs who've started their own little white supremacist group, The White Clarion Aryans. JoLayne-who happens to be black-tracks the two of them, who have beaten her as well as stolen her ticket, across Florida. She's aided on this road trip by journalist Tom Krome, who isn't sure why he's dropping everything to help her, except that maybe he's bored stiff with his job at the fictional "Daily Register" writing silly little puff pieces for an editor who wouldn't know good writing if it bit him on the nose.
Hiassen uses one particular device in every one of his books I've read so far: his villains, who don't start out as the most attractive people around, go through physical deterioration throughout the novels, and it's all their own fault. In "Lucky You" Chub, no last name, is disgusting to begin with because he never bathes and is, well, an ignorant bigot. Then JoLayne manages to give him a torn eyelid as she fights back during the beating, which he covers with a rubber tire patch, allowing no air inside. Later he passes out with his hand dangling over the side of his boat in the Everglades and is attacked by blue crabs--apparently a very nasty species of crab, like piranhas, almost. Chub cannot get the pincer off his hand, and it stays there until the bitter end. Naturally Chub's odor doesn't get any better along the way either. This plot device works as an excellent method to build suspense: although I hated Chub with gusto I kept wondering will he, or won't he, go to a doctor?! I wish I could tell you, but, sadly, you must read "Lucky You" yourself to find out.
This book is funny, the plot is plausible even though surprising, and it's well thought out. I didn't want to put it down, and I look forward to more of these Floridian adventures.
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