With its dozens of outlying islands and the native Conchs’ historically low regard for the law, Key West is a smuggler’s paradise. All that’s needed are the captains to run the contraband. Breeze Albury is one of the best fishing captains on the Rock, and he’s in no mood to become the Machine’s delivery boy. So the Machine sets out to persuade him. It starts out by taking away Albury’s livelihood. Then it robs him of his freedom. But when the Machine threatens Albury’s son, the washed-out wharf rat turns into a raging, sea-going vigilante.
In Trap Line, Hiaasen and Montalbano pit a handful of scruffy Conchs against an armada of drug lords, crooked cops, and homicidal marine lowlife. The result is a crime novel of dizzying velocity, filled with wrenching plot twists, grimily authentic characters, and enough local color for a hundred tropical shirts. It’s the Key West the tourist brochures won’t tell you about: a place as crooked as Al Capone’s Chicago and as irredeemably violent as Wyatt Earp’s Tombstone.