I am the perfect person to kick off the virtual tour for Tim Dorsey's thirteenth book, Electric Barracuda. When I was in Florida, Tim appeared at every one of the Lee County Reading Festivals as a guest author. He and I debuted the same year. I was Chair of the Authors Committee for the first six years of the festival, and he appeared with his very first book, Florida Roadkill, and then returned with each of the following books.
Now, Tim Dorsey's books aren't for every reader, and that's a warning. These are wild chases across Florida with Serge Storms, an antihero who kills pedophiles, and turns in cop killers while he himself runs from the cops with his sidekick, Coleman. Coleman's high most of the time; the language is quite coarse; there's bathroom humor in the book. At the same time, Serge is taking out bad guys while the cops, in Keystone Cop scenarios, miss capturing him by inches. It's hard to dislike Serge.
Electric Barracuda finds Serge and Coleman crisscrossing Florida as Serge creates a Fugitive Tour of Florida. On his website, he tells people how to enjoy the state by hiding out as a fugitive, and escaping from the cops. To the chagrin of Agent White of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Serge manages to keep people informed as to where he is in the state, but still remains one step ahead of the police. They even add an additional member to the task force, an agent named Mahoney, who swore to bring Serge down. Oh, but there are surprises in store for Serge and Mahoney both.
This book truly is a screwball comedy, but it also includes fascinating details about so many locations in the state. Florida residents are Dorsey's biggest fans, since it's easy to recognize the sites and history of the state, every place from St. Petersburg to the small Gulf islands such as Pine Island. I even recognized the names of the roads. Dorsey includes the state's unusual history including Al Capone, the Everglades, stories of the mob. Every bit of Florida's odd history is fodder for Dorsey. Even the other writers of the state are fodder for Tim, as Brad Meltzer becomes a crooked attorney, and Randy Wayne White shows up in a bar.
Remember that warning. Don't pick up Tim Dorsey's books if the language or crude situations will offend you. But, if you like screwball comedies, understand that Florida really is as strange as Dorsey's books, and enjoy wacky situations and characters, you might want to try Electric Barracuda. It's a book that even manages to surprise Serge Storms in the end.
Tim Dorsey's website is www.timdorsey.com
Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey. HarperCollins, ©2011. ISBN 9780061876899 (hardcover), 357p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received my copy of the book from the publicist in order to participate in the TLC Book Tour.