Warner Books, 1991, 437 pages
Ex-reporter Joe Winder had been working in the public relations department of a sleazy family entertainment park, The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills, when he chanced upon a news-breaking story inspired by the disappearance of two blue-tongued voles and the bizarre death of Orky, the killer whale.
You would think a book set at a cut-rate Florida theme park, featuring an environmentalist granny with an itchy trigger finger, an ambitious phone sex worker, an ex-governor living in cranky hermitry in the Everglades occasionally shooting up tourists' rental cars, bungling cops and robbers, oversexed porpoises, and "blue-tongued mango voles" would be a comedy gold mine. And Native Tongue is funny, but while it's funny in bits and pieces, I just didn't think the book as a whole was as funny as Hiassen's other books about weird, weird Florida. He excels at comic irony and plots that slowly wend their way towards a slightly over-the-top denouement, but some seem a little more formulaic than others.
Native Tongue will be enjoyable to Hiaasen fans, but it's not one I would start with.
Also by Carl Hiaasen: My reviews of Nature Girl, Double Whammy, and Strip Tease.
My complete list of book reviews.