I can’t read the entire blurb on the front of this book–part of it is being covered up by a library bar code–but the part I can read says: “…of New Jersey what Carl Hiaasen did for the swamps of Florida.” Because I like Carl Hiaasen’s swamps of Florida, I picked up this book. I am very guilty of judging books by their covers, and I went for it. The fact that Tom Perrotta said it clinched the deal. I really like his books.
So Debra Galant doesn’t quite do for the whatever of New Jersery…etc. It was a pretty okay book. Heather and her husband buy a McMansion in rural New Jersey. One day while her handyman–a lifetime resident–is working in her backyard, Heather sees a rattlesnake. She screams for the handyman to kill it. He does, and it turns out to be endangered. Heather is arrested and hijinks ensue.
The book follows Heather, the handyman, the head of a local conservation group as well as the developer of the subdivision as they all react to the crime. In a Hiaasen way it is supposed to show the silliness of the rural/suburban divide. Mostly, Heather comes off as shrill, stupidly entitled and demanding and thus, the last 5 pages of the book when she is supposed to be a good and normal person ring a bit false. It was a good diversion, though.