Chomp). In this book, the beloved character of the former governor of Florida and vehement if unpredictable environmental activist teams up with a teenage boy attempting to find his abducted cousin.
Richard comes across Skink on the beach where he is impersonating a turtle nest in order to catch a poacher. Not that he turns the bad guy into the authorities or anything. And despite Skink's disturbing actions and appearance, Richard trusts the man and tells him all about his cousin, Malley, and her disappearance. So Skink investigates and then reports back with news that Malley is in more danger than previously realized. What follows is a desperate chase into the wilds of Florida where Richard, Skink and Malley face off against weather, crocodiles, and the kidnapper.
Skink is an extremely interesting character, and one I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Hiaasen discuss at the BEA Children's Authors and Illustrators breakfast. I can't believe people now send him roadkill recipes. Actually, I can. But I just love that this means Skink is such a beloved (am I really describing him like that) character.
***ARC received at BEA.