Bad Monkey
By Carl Hiaasen
(Knopf, $27)

You don’t crack open a book with a monkey in a pirate hat on its cover expecting Tolstoy. Instead, in Bad Monkey, readers will find the perfect beach read — a story that mixes hard-boiled antiheroes, grotesque villains, a plot involving corrupt and greedy hoodlums intent on degrading pristine land in Florida, and one very bad monkey. As an environmentalist, Hiaasen is more Groucho Marx than Al Gore, but that’s how we like him best: wicked, pungent and mordantly funny.