Plot: Suspecting that the owner of the Coral Queen is dumping human waste into the waters of the Florida Keys, Noah’s dad sinks the casino boat and promptly ends up in jail. Though he knows his dad has gone too far, again, he suspects he’s right about the Coral Queen. With the help of his little sister and big-hearted bartender named Shelley, he sets out to prove that Dusty Muleman is flushing illegally and clear his father’s name in the process.
As we’ve already seen with Hoot, Hiaasen knows how to write a fun environmental mystery. If anything, this one is even more fun than the first.
Hiaasen has created some quirky, likable heroes in Noah, who has some of his father’s impulsiveness, and Abbey, an unrepentant bitter. But unlike Hoot, there are more than a few interesting adults. These include Shelly, a tough as nails bartender with a heart of gold and terrible taste in men; Noah’s dad whose heart is in the right place but rarely thinks before he acts; and the mysterious old pirate who saves the siblings from several scrapes (though his identity wasn’t much of a secret to me). And it’s great fun watching them prove Muleman’s ill doings in spite of the odds.
I’ve bought Hiaasen’s most recent middle grade novel, Chomp, and it’s sitting quite high on my to-read pile.