Shark Skin Suite

Serge Storms, protagonist of 18 previous Tim Dorsey (Tiger Shrimp Tango) novels, has discovered a passion for both the law and legal films set in Florida. In Shark Skin Suite, Serge is a hurricane of intensity and logorrhea who's obsessed with movies like Body Heat, Cool Hand Luke and Absence of Malice. His story--a road trip to visit filming locations in Florida with his constantly drunk or high companion, Coleman--dovetails with that of his old flame Brook Campanella.

Brook is a newly minted lawyer sent by her firm to go up against a huge mortgage company and its coterie of high-powered lawyers in a class-action lawsuit for fraud. Her only asset is another of her firm's lawyers: Shelby, an untested font of legal knowledge who has never been in court before. Dorsey rounds out the cast of colorful characters with Ziggy (a joint-toking, island-style, Bob Marley-esque lawyer who brings Serge in on the case), Molly (Serge's femme fatale of an ex-wife) and witnesses who have been seduced by expensive gifts from the mortgage company (like Ruthy, an old woman who pets an imaginary dalmatian when she gets nervous).

The story here is less important than the set pieces and character shenanigans, as Dorsey gets to opine on various modern-day issues, like housing-loan inequality, legal loopholes and relationships. Readers of Dorsey both new and old will love every crazy moment of this one. --Rob LeFebvre, freelance writer and editor

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