Are you a fan of Carl Hiaasen? So am I. I am a total sucker for ridiculous characters with a ridiculous backdrop of Florida where wacky and zany things happen. But much like a Sour Patch Kid, I can’t handle too much Hiaasen at once. No, I have to read a book here or there, chuckle at it, forget it, and grab another one in the future. I mention this because Buck Fever has a couple things going for it (in theory). One, our author was an Edgar Award nominee (I like mysteries and I like many nominees in this category). Two, the author’s style is compared to that of Hiaasen and Evanovitch–so I assumed lots of ridiculous fluff with wacky, zany characters set to a larger than life backdrop of…Texas (rather than Florida or New Jersey). This isn’t my typical reading fare but this is what I like to pick up every now and then when I have a hankering for Sour Patch Kids–sweet, fun, minorly regrettable when I get that one swollen taste bud from eating too many but ultimately satisfying for that quick craving. I was given exactly what I thought I wanted, and yet I got very little of what I actually wanted. Here’s a quick summary and then I’ll try to pinpoint my nose crinkling.
John Marlin is the fish and game warden in Blanco, Texas. It’s only a week out from deer season and he’s been dealing with poachers of all time highs. But he receives a strange phone call regarding a man who was shot while wearing a deer costume and a very large buck that seems to behaving all kinds of weird. Luckily, John knows both the buck and the guy dressed in the deer costume. Or is that unluckily? This sets off a series of chain reactions regarding several motives and crimes all related to drugs. If you read this book you’ll meet some interesting people, some straight up stereotypes (I’m looking at the Columbians in the book), a burgeoning relationship between Marlin and a nurse, and a few solid chuckles (but not enough for me).
I don’t even really want to waste too much time writing about this book because I don’t like to not finish a book and it was so frustratingly non-appealing to me that it took forever to do so. It did deliver exactly what was promised. I met weird characters/bad guys committing crimes, your local loner looking for the right lady to settle down with, the henchmen working with half a brain between them (hilarity ensues) and just about anything else you would find in a Hiaasen book just set in Texas. I think the mystery was banal and revealed very early on. It just wasn’t the book for me. It wasn’t even a bad book, and I felt bad not getting into it. You know when you hate read a book and look forward to the scathing review? I have nothing scathing to report here. I’m just glad to be out of Blanco, and excited to read something else entirely. I’m sure someone really loves this book but I’m not that person.