by Carl Hiaasen
Noah Underwood's dad is in trouble with the law...again. This time for sinking a gambling boat in the Florida Keys that may be dumping waste into the Gulf. But Noah decides to take up the charge and prove his father was right. He enlists the aid of his sister and the girlfriend of a former employee of the gambling boat. But Noah is up against more than just gathering evidence. The son of the boat owner has a dislike for Noah. Noah's mother is considering a divorce. And who is the stranger lurking around...saving Noah and his sister from trouble?
I didn't realize this was a Young Adult novel until I did some investigating. I saw the author's name and thought this would be another fun adventure. And actually it turned out to be pretty good. A simple plot, but lots to work with.
Noah Underwood: teen, was born on the highway, has a sister, dad drives a taxi but was a fishing guide and has been in trouble with the law many times, rides a bike, mother works at law firm
Dusty Muleman: owns a gambling boat, smokes Cuban cigars, has a son
Lice Peeking: 29, smokes, drinks, worked on Muleman's casino boat, lost his driver's license, has a girlfriend, lives in a trailer park
I guess I should also include Abbie, Noah's sister, and Shelly, the girlfriend of Peeking's since they feature prominently throughout. I liked Shelly the best. Dusty's son is a bully and I would have liked to have seen more scenes with Dusty since he was the bad guy.
Not too bad for voices. Again, I noticed Shelly's the best I think the conversations stayed on point and didn't stray too far from the plot. YA dialogue stays pretty basic.
First person from Noah's POV. 'Bastard' is the only use of profanity. Hiaasen handles the matters of alcoholism and divorce pretty well. The action is mildy intense but with YA there isn't much shoot 'em up and body count. I thought the solution to the problem was good but the climax came way too early. Then it was a lot of explanation of the stranger and the wrapping up of the story. Still an enjoyable read. Or listen as I have the audio version.