Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen/The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen/The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Squeeze Me came out last year, but for some reason I’d been sitting on it rather than reading it. That’s my stupidity because Hiaasen is master of the comic crime caper, and this is yet another wonderfully funny book in his oeuvre.

We mostly follow Angie, a wrangler of all kinds of wildlife working in and around Palm Beach, Florida. She gets involved in getting rid of an enormous python that is quite probably responsible for the disappearance of a certain Kiki Pew, elderly member of the “POTUSSIES” – a group who are devoted to the US President, who’s “Winter White House” is in Florida – aka “Casa Bellicosa.”

The plot begins to embroil the local police, the President and First Lady’s security detail and an illegal immigrant who gets unfortunately wrapped with things. On top of all of that, there are the usual cast of bone-headed small time crooks who make some extraordinarily stupid decisions.

A key component of this book is the presence of the President and First Lady – referred to only by their secret service codenames of Mastodon and Mockingbird. You don’t have to work hard to see who Hiaasen is referencing here, and he thoroughly delights in his depictions, including some truly gruesome details involving the preparation of the Presidential tanning bed…

If you don’t laugh out loud when you read this book, then you are indeed stone-hearted.

The Law of Innocence has less humour, but is a typically good Connelly page-turner. Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, has been arrested and charged with murder after he’s stopped by the police and a dead body is found in the trunk of his Lincoln.

It’s a fit-up, but how is Haller going to get himself off? It’s going to be especially hard since bail has been set high, and he can’t easily get out. Even with his team, including half-brother Harry Bosch, on the outside helping him. What’s more, it seems likely that the forces moving against him may not keep him safe inside prison either.

I love the Los Angeles world that Connelly has created across his novels, and the interplay between his characters. This book, which came out earlier this year, is also set against the early days of Covid arriving, with ominous news reports appearing as things begin to get worse.

Another great entry in the series.