Carl Hiaasen is a native of Florida with an outstanding reputation as an investigative journalist exposing local scandals. He is the author of Tourist Season, Double Whammy, Skin Tight, Native Tongue and Strip Tease and with William Montalbano, Trap Line, Powder Burn and Death in China. Strip Tease is currently being made into a major motion picture.

‘The funniest writer of crime fiction around’ The Times

‘His eye for the absurd lends his storytelling a hilarious



Strip Tease Native Tongue

Skin Tight

Double Whammy

Tourist Season


Trap Line

Powder Burn

Associated companies throughout the world

ISBN 0 330 34094 8 Copyright (c) Car! Hiaasen 1995

The right of Carl Hiaasen to be identified as the

author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance

with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

The author gratefully acknowledges permission to quote

from the song “Box of Rain”, lyrics by Robert Hunter.

Copyright 1970 by Ice Nine Publishing Co.


For their expertise on the most esoteric subjects, I am deeply grateful to my good friends John Kipp (the finer points of skull collecting), Tim Chapman (the effects of canine shock collars on human volunteers) and Bob Branham (the care and handling of untamed South American coatimundis). I am also greatly indebted to my talented colleagues at the Miami Herald, whose superb journalism in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew provided so much rich material for this novel.



On August 23, the day before the hurricane struck, Max and Bonnie Lamb awoke early, made love twice and rode the shuttle bus to Disney World. That evening they returned to the Peabody Hotel, showered separately, switched on the cable news and saw that the storm was heading directly for the southeastern tip of Florida. The TV weatherman warned that it was the fiercest in many years.

Max Lamb sat at the foot of the bed and gazed at the color radar image-a ragged flame-colored sphere, spinning counterclockwise toward the coast. He said, “Jesus, look at that.”

A hurricane, Bonnie Lamb thought, on our honeymoon! As she slipped under the sheets, she heard the rain beating on the rental cars in the parking lot outside. “Is this part of it?” she asked. “All this weather?”

Her husband nodded. “We’re on the edge of the edge.”

Max Lamb seemed excited in a way that Bonnie found unsettling. She knew better than to suggest a sensible change of plans, such as hopping a plane back to La Guardia. Her new husband was no quitter; the reservations said five nights and six days, and by God that’s how long they would stay. It was a special package rate; no refunds.

She said, “They’ll probably close the park.”

“Disney?” Max Lamb smiled. “Disney never closes. Not for plagues, famines, or even hurricanes.” He rose to adjust the volume on the television. “Besides, the darn thing’s three hundred miles away. The most we’ll see up here is more rain.”

Bonnie Lamb detected disappointment in her husband’s tone. Hands on his hips, he stood nude in front of the TV screen; his pale shoulder blades and buttocks were streaked crimson from a day on the water flumes. Max was no athlete, but he’d done fine on the river slide. Bonnie wondered if it had gone to his head, for tonight he affected the square-shouldered posture of a college jock. She caught him glancing in the mirror, flexing his stringy biceps and sizing up his own nakedness. Maybe it was just a honeymoon thing.

The cable news was showing live video of elderly residents being evacuated from condominiums and apartment buildings on Miami Beach. Many of the old folks carried cats or poodles in their arms.

“So,” said Bonnie Lamb, “we’re still doing Epcot tomorrow?”

Her husband didn’t answer.

“Honey?” she said. “Epcot?”

Max Lamb’s attention was rooted to the hurricane news. “Oh sure,” he said absently.

“You remembered the umbrellas?”

“Yes, Bonnie, in the car.”

She asked him to turn off the television and come to bed. When he got beneath the covers, she moved closer, nipped his earlobes, played her fingers through the silky sprout of hair on his bony chest.

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Categories: Hiaason, Carl