George V. Reilly

Review: Basket Case

Basket Case
Title: Basket Case
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 336
Keywords: crime, humor
Reading period: 28–31 December, 2016

Basket Case, like most of Hiaasen’s novels, is a humorous crime caper set in Florida. Quick-witted but neurotic reporter Jack Tagger has been exiled to the obituary department for mouthing off too often. When Jimmy Stoma, lead singer of the Slut Puppies, dies in an apparent accident, Tagger senses a potential story and a chance for a comeback. But he has to get the story before it gets taken away from him.

Hiaasen, himself a journalist, also uses the novel to explore journalism as a career and to rant about the gutting of newspapers by cor­po­ra­tions who prioritize profits over quality. But he has a light touch and it doesn’t detract from the story.


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