Richard should have known that trouble was afoot when his cousin, Malley, agreed a little too easily to her parents’ boarding school plan. So he is not really too surprised when Malley disappears a week before she’s due to be shipped off to school. Richard hears of his cousin’s disappearance the same night he meets Skink, who is hiding in a fake sea turtle nest, determined to catch a poacher, scare the bejesus out of him, and turn him over to the law. As it becomes clear to Richard that Malley is in over her head, he enlists Skink, who is as slippery and unpredictable as his lizardy namesake, and the odd couple are off on an epic journey to find Malley, outsmart an internet predator, and dodge gators, wild pigs, and bullets along the way.
This book is easily Hiassen’s best for the young adult crowd since Hoot, a book which shares its slightly demented sense of humor and environmentalism. This book may skew a little older than Hoot, due to the implications of Malley’s situation, however there are purposefully no cuss words anywhere in this book. This could easily be stocked by middle school and high school libraries.