I have finished the 129th book for the book challenge. It was Bad Monkey: A Novel by Carl Hiasson.
Andrew Yancy is a detective in the Monroe County, the Keys of Florida. Unfortunately he is suspended due to an incident in which he assaulted his girlfriend Bonnie Witt’s husband with a vacuum cleaner in front of a ship load of tourist.
A tourist snags a human arm while fishing around a fishing charter in the waters off Key West. It is the left arm of a man. It has a wedding ring and is missing a watch. Yancy is given the task of taking it to Miami to the coroner’s office for processing. There he meets forensic pathologist Rosa Campesino. She tells him they can’s keep the arm; he must take it back to the Keys.
Yancy takes the arm back and puts it in his freezer. Eventually a woman comes looking for her husband who matches the arm. His boat went down off the Bahamas. She identifies his wedding ring. His name is Nick Stirling. She is Eve Stirling. They hold a funeral in Miami. Yancy attends and meets his daughter, Caitlin Cox, who believes her father was murdered by her step-mother. Yancy, now demoted to food and restaurant inspector, decides to investigate in hopes of winning back his badge.
The first mate of the boat which had pulled up the man’s arm is shot and killed on the streets of Key West by a man in an orange poncho. He is also robbed. Yancy is suspicious. He looks into Nick Stirling’s business dealings, and finds he was involved in a Medicare scam. He finds a doctor involved in the scam and goes to visit him. Gomez O’Peele doesn’t deny he was involved. The doctor is hooked on pills and alcohol. Shortly after Yancy’s visit, O’Peele is brought into Rosa’s office as a suicide. Yancy believes he has been murdered. The bullet is the same as the one that killed the first mate of the boat.
Yancy finds that Eve has been in the Bahamas with her boyfriend. She has been flying in and out on a small plane out of Key West. Yancy goes to the Key West home and is attacked by a neighbor’s dog. He manages to get into the house and finds bone chips in the bathroom drain and hair. He also finds plastic and a hatchet.
Meanwhile, Yancy is also fighting to keep his next-door-neighbor’s spec house from being sold. He throws a dead raccoon in the house before a couple comes to visit. He tells another couple about the pack of rabid dogs that attacked him as he was jogging (the attack was really from his visit to Eve’s house). He has a beehive moved into the house. He sets up a Santeria altar in the house and draws pentagrams in the living room.
Yancy is attacked by the boyfriend of Eve Stirling and pushed into the canal and left for dead. He manages to swim into the mangroves and then pulls himself out and lies in the spec house naked and muddy when a couple comes to see the house.
Yancy’s former girlfriend Bonnie, who is really Plover Chase, and her young lover Cody show up at his house. They are on the run since Plover is wanted by the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation for sex crimes with a minor from years ago with Cody. Yancy convinces them to camp out in the spec house. They do and the owner Shook gives them money to go to a hotel.
Yancy goes to the Bahamas to look for Eve and her boyfriend. He takes his fishing rod. There is a hurricane coming. He arrives on Andros Island. He learns about their house on Bannister Point and goes near there to fish. There he has an encounter with them that leaves the boyfriend with fish-hook wounds in his face and ears.
Rosa comes to stay with Yancy. They decide to pose as husband and wife looking to buy condos that Eve and her boyfriend are selling at their resort that they are building. Rosa goes to their house as the wife looking to buy the condos but they have checked them out and know they are lying. They take Rosa hostage and take her to the Dragon Queen’s hut with their goon Egg. Yancy goes to the house looking for Rosa and realizes that the “boyfriend” is really Nick Stirling who has amputated his own arm and faked his death. Yancy is at the point of being shot when Neville, an island man they have met who hates Stirling, stabs Stirling in the back with Yancy’s fishing rod. Yancy and Neville race to the Dragon Queen’s hut to rescue Rosa where the monkey Driggs latches onto Egg’s penis and forces him to release Rosa. The three go back to Neville’s girlfriend’s home in the middle of the hurricane and the roof blows off the house. They commandeer the Stirling’s airplane to take them back to Miami the next morning.
Yancy goes to the FBI with the information about the Stirling’s Medicare fraud and Nick Stirling’s faked death and the two murders. He also goes to the Miami Police Department since one of the murders occurred there and has a friend call in a tip to the Monroe County tip line for the first mate’s death. He arrives home to find the spec house on fire. Plover has burned it to the ground. She did it for Yancy because she knew he hated it. She is in jail. She will be returned to Oklahoma. Yancy is thrilled that the spec house is gone.
Yancy gets a call from Neville. The Stirlings are gone. He flies back to the Bahamas. Eve Stirling wheeled her husband out of the house and dumped him in the water. All they found of him was his right arm. She smashed their new boat into rocks and died. So the daughter will really inherit the insurance money and the rest of the money.
Yancy still wants his badge back, but he will have to wait a year or two to get it. In the meantime, he is still on roach patrol. Rosa is going into pediatric medicine. They are still together.
This was a great book. Yancy was a marvelous character. He is laid back but very curious. Rosa is a wonderful partner. A little kinky. The interplay with the neighbor Shook is hilarious. The plot is very intricate. The business of the guy cutting off his own arm is ingenious. I loved this book.