Native Tongue, Carl Hiaasen's fourth crime novel set in South Florida, has been likened to the novels of Elmore Leonard and Robert Parker, and has some reviewers claiming it is his best yet.
A newspaper columnist for The Miami Heraldry day, and a suspense novelist by night, Hiaasen combines zany characters with offbeat situations, and in a very funny and underhanded way, manages to convey the concern that is most near-and-dear to his heart: the destruction of Florida's natural habitats by rampaging developers and overzealous tourists.
In Native Tongue, ex-reporter Joe Winder finds himself working in the public relations department of The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills, a sleazy theme park designed and financed by its truant creator Francis X. Kingsbury, who had made it his life's goal to beat Walt Disney at his own game.
In spite of Winder's relentlessly cheery press releases, The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills is showing some not so pretty sign of cracking at the seams. The first fissure is the disappearance of two rare, blue-tongued voles from one of the wildlife habitats, the last mateable pair on earth. This rodent pilfering will have a tumultuous effect on the lives of the novel's major characters, especially Kingsbury, hilarious in his attempts to salvage his rapidly sinking ship.