TRAP LINE is the second of the Hiaasen treasures.
Key West is a smuggler's paradise with its dozens of islands and
inland waterways, peopled with fishermen, renegades and wharf rats
known as Conchs. The innate mistrust of and disregard for the law
by the scrofulous inhabitants of The Rock, as Key West is called by
the locals, makes them perfect perpetrators to aid and abet
Colombian and Cuban drug smugglers.
Breeze Allbury is a respected crawfish boat captain who is not
above occasionally carrying something other than lobsters in his
hold. Especially if it will help him pay off his boat and build a
nest egg to send his promising young son to college. With enough
set by, he hopes to retire and leave The Rock and head north. His
seagoing skills are noticed by "The Machine," a Miami based cartel
looking for skillful pilots to carry human cargo through the
treacherous coral reefs and changing tides. Allbury isn't that
desperate for money and refuses their offer, which proves costly.
When first his lobster trap line is destroyed, then his family is
threatened, Breeze Allbury, on the brink of financial disaster,
becomes a hellfire vigilante, taking on the bosses who run The
With fast action, likeable characters, and a plot that twists and
turns like a speedboat through a mangrove swamp, TRAP LINE is a
mystery that does not disappoint. Again, we see a glimpse of
Hiaasen's future genius for complex plots and diabolical
denouement. The scofflaw, scruffy Conchs of the Florida Keys are
ripe for Hiaasen's cultivation of offbeat characters. While there
are no Chemos or Skinks among them in TRAP LINE, his eye for the
quirks in human nature is already evident. There is much grist for
the mill of his future books here.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on January 23, 2011