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Florida Roadkill
Cover of Florida Roadkill
Florida Roadkill
Serge Storms Series, Book 1
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Sunshine State trivia buff Serge A. Storms loves eliminating jerks and pests. His drug-addled partner Coleman loves cartoons. Hot stripper Sharon Rhodes loves cocaine, especially when purchased with rich dead men's money.

On the other hand, there's Sean and David, who love fishing and are kind to animals -- and who are about to cross paths with a suitcase filled with $5 million in stolen insurance money. Serge wants the suitcase. Sharon wants the suitcase. Coleman wants more drugs . . . and the suitcase. In the meantime, there's murder by gun, Space Shuttle, Barbie doll, and Levi's 501s.

In other words, welcome to Tim Dorsey's Florida -- where nobody gets out unscathed and untanned!

Sunshine State trivia buff Serge A. Storms loves eliminating jerks and pests. His drug-addled partner Coleman loves cartoons. Hot stripper Sharon Rhodes loves cocaine, especially when purchased with rich dead men's money.

On the other hand, there's Sean and David, who love fishing and are kind to animals -- and who are about to cross paths with a suitcase filled with $5 million in stolen insurance money. Serge wants the suitcase. Sharon wants the suitcase. Coleman wants more drugs . . . and the suitcase. In the meantime, there's murder by gun, Space Shuttle, Barbie doll, and Levi's 501s.

In other words, welcome to Tim Dorsey's Florida -- where nobody gets out unscathed and untanned!

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Eleven months before the World Series, in November, the start of the tourist season, the beaches off St. Petersburg were jammed with pasty people.

    As always, Sharon Rhodes knew every eye was on her as she walked coyly along the edge of the surf, twirling a bit of hair with a finger. A volleyball game stopped. Footballs and Frisbees fell in the water. Guys lost track of conversations with their wives and got socked.

    She was the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in person. Six feet tall, gently curling blonde hair cascading over her shoulders and onto the top of her black bikini. She had a Carnation Milk face with high cheekbones and a light dusting of freckles. Her lips were full, pouty and cruel in the way that makes men drive into buildings.

    She stopped as if to think, stuck an index finger in her lips and sucked. Men became woozy. She turned and splashed out into three feet of water and dunked herself. When she came up, she shook her head side to side, flinging wet blonde hair, and thrust out her nipples.

    There was nothing in Sharon a man wanted to love, caress or defend. This was tie-me-up-and-hurt-me stuff, everything about her shouting at a man, "I will destroy all that is dear to YOU," and the man says, "Yes, please."

    Wilbur Putzenfus was losing hair on top and working the comb-over. No tan. No tone. A warrior of the business cubicle, with women he was socially retarded. Spiro Agnew without the power. A hundred and fifty pounds of unrepentant geek-on-wheels.

    Sharon threw her David Lee Roth beach towel down next to his, lay on her stomach and untied her top.

    Wilbur studied Sharon with a series of stolen glimpses that wouldn't have been so obvious if they hadn't been made through the viewfinder of a camcorder.

    When Wilbur ran out of videotape Sharon raised up on her elbows, tits hanging, and said to him in a low, husky voice, "I like to do it in public.

    Wilbur was apoplectic.

    Sharon replaced her top and stood up. She reached down, took Wilbur by the hand and tried to get him to his feet, but his legs didn't work right, Bambi's first steps.

    She walked him over to the snack bar and showers. Against a thicket of hibiscus was one of those plywood cutouts, the kind with a hole that tourists stick their faces through for snapshots.

    This one had a large cartoon shark swallowing a tourist feet first. The tourist wore a straw hat, had a camera hanging from a strap around his neck, and was banging on the shark's snout.

    The bushes shielded the backside of the plywood from public view, but the front faced heavy foot traffic on the boardwalk.

    Sharon told Wilbur to put his face in the hole, and he complied. She told him not to take his head out of the hole or she would permanently stop what she was doing. She pulled his plaid bathing trunks to his ankles, kneeled down and applied her expertise.

    Some of the guys from the volleyball game had been following Sharon like puppy dogs, and they peeked behind the plywood. Then they walked around the front of the cutout and stood on the sidewalk, pointing and laughing at Wilbur. Word spread.

    The crowd was over a hundred by the time Wilbur's saliva started to meringue around his mouth. His eyes came unplugged and rolled around in their sockets, and he made sounds like Charlie Callas.

    Finally, nearing crescendo, Wilbur stared bug-eyed at the crowd and yelled between shallow breaths, "WILL ... YOU... MAR-RY... ME?"

    "Yeth," came the answer from behind the plywood, a female voice with a mouth full, and the crowd cheered.

    Wilbur Putzenfus, a claims executive with a major Tampa Bay HMO, was not an ideal catch. But he could provide a comfortable life.

About the Author-
  • Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and is the author of twenty-one novels: Pope of Palm Beach, Clownfish Blues, Coconut Cowboy, Shark Skin Suite, Tiger Shrimp Tango, The Riptide Ultra-Glide, When Elves Attack, Pineapple Grenade, Electric Barracuda, Gator A-Go-Go, Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, Hurricane Punch, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice, Cadillac Beach, The Stingray Shuffle, Triggerfish Twist, Orange Crush, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, and Florida Roadkill. He lives in Tampa, FL.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 2, 1999
    This dizzying road movie of a first novel follows a passel of comic con men (and one con woman) down and around the Florida coast. Their adventures involve deliciously caricatured characters along with delirious violence, not to mention pigeon-eating maniacs, cocaine, traffic jams, biker gangs, hot-tub accidents, mock-Satanic heavy metal bands, partially frozen crocodilians, the World Series and the space shuttle. Serge and Coleman are roommates, manic ne'er-do-wells trying to fashion a living from crime and adventure. Sexy Sharon Rhodes murders magnates for their life insurance. On the run after her last hit, she meets Serge and Coleman, and the trio start a crime spree. Former millionaire George Veale has just been released from prison when he absconds with a suitcase of drug money. The cash belongs to insurance CEO Charles Saffron, who hires sleazy private investigator Mo Grenadine to get it back. (Mo is also a corrupt right-wing state legislator and a gay-baiting talk radio host.) Serge and Coleman (themselves remotely connected to drug cartels) get wind of the suitcase and scheme for the cash. Sharon wants in on the caper, too, whether or not the two men planned it that way. Dorsey's cast of dangerous oddballs chase, rob, shoot and kill their way from Tampa to the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas, until their raucous evasion of law catches up with them. Dorsey is a newspaperman by trade (at the Tampa Tribune), and his sentence rhythm can be crisply journalistic: "Wilbur Putzenfus was losing hair on top and working the comb-over. No tan. No tone.... Spiro Agnew without the power." Floridian readers may laugh or wince as Dorsey skewers the state's foibles and stereotypes. But he can abandon his verbal dexterity and his social observation to get a quick laugh or a quick jolt of violence: as a result, his satire seems less serious than it might be. Admirers of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen will note their influences here; as entertainment, this rollicking, over-the-top novel is a blast. Agent, Nat Sobel.

  • Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press

    "[A] rollicking satire."

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Serge Storms Series, Book 1
Tim Dorsey
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