By Carl Hiaasen
R.J. Decker, megastar tenant of the neighborhood trailer park and neophyte inner most eye is fishing for a killer. because of a sportsman's rip-off that is whatever yet sportsmanlike, there is a physique floating in Coon bathroom, Florida -- and much that is rotten within the murky waters of big-stakes, large-mouth bass tournaments. the following Decker will staff up with a half-blind, half-mad hermit with an urge for food for street kill; dare to kiss his ex-wife whereas she's in mattress along with her new husband; and face lethal television evangelists, dangerously seductive girls, and a pistol-toting redneck with a pit bull on his arm. And right here his personal lifestyles turns into a part of the stakes. For whereas the "double whammy" is the trap, first prize is for the main inventive homicide.
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It used to be previous within the morning, yet I-10 was once loaded with substantial vehicles and semis, city-bound. Their headlights made Decker's eyes water. on the junction close to Laplace he made up our minds to take path fifty one rather than the recent interstate. The bumpy unlit two-lane used to be Skink's form of street. Decker flicked on his brights and drove slowly, hoping opposed to all cause to identify the massive orange rainsuit skulking roadside. by the point Decker reached cross Manchac all he'd visible used to be a grey fox, child raccoons, and a fresh-dead water moccasin. Decker pumped the brakes as he drove through the Sportsman's Hide-out. anyone had left the spotlights on on the dock. It made no experience; the match was once over, the bassers gone. Decker negotiated a sleepy U-turn and went again. whilst he obtained out of the auto, he spotted that the lake air was once now not approximately as cold because the evening prior to. Too past due for the fishermen, the wind had eventually shifted from north to south; it used to be a balmy Gulf breeze that made the spotlights tremble at the poles. one of many beams geared toward the event scoreboard, one other kind of on the colossal aquarium. Decker questioned if someone had remembered to unfastened the bass. He strolled right down to the docks to work out. The aquarium pump worked, grinding noisy bubbles. The water had became a silty color of brown. With the again of his hand Decker wiped a window within the condensation and peered into the glass tank. instantly he noticed 3 lifeless fish, gaping and jelly-eyed, rolling slow-motion with the present alongside the ground. Decker felt like a vacationer at a few Charles Addams rendition of Marineland. The shadow of whatever greater drifted over the lifeless bass. Decker glanced towards the head of the ten-foot tank, yet regarded away whilst the highlight stuck him flush within the eyes. to flee the glare he climbed the wood stairs to the weigh- master's platform, which neglected either the scoreboard and the discharge tank. From this vantage Decker noticed extra useless bass floating at the floor, and whatever else, whorling slowly within the backwash of the pump. the shape was once big-shouldered and brown—at first Decker proposal it'd be a sea cow, somebody's ill concept of a comic story. while the object drifted via, he acquired a greater glance. It used to be a guy, floating facedown; a corpulent guy wearing a brown jumpsuit. Decker watched the corpse cross round the tank back. This time, whilst it floated via, he grabbed the stiff chilly shoulders and flipped it over with a dash. Dickie Lockhart's eyes stared huge yet have been gone seeing. He wore a plum-sized bruise on his correct temple. If the blow hadn't killed him outright, it had certainly rendered him undeserving for a dead night swim. The killer's of completion was once diabolical, and never with no wit: a fishing entice, the redoubtable Double Whammy, were hooked via Dickie Lockhart's reduce lip. It hung off Dickie's face like a queer Christmas decoration. regrettably, being simply as lifeless as Dickie, not one of the bass within the aquarium may perhaps enjoy the piquancy of the killer's gesture. R. J. Decker decreased the corpse again into the water and walked quick to the automobile.