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Powder Burn (Black Lizard #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  856 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
New York Timesbestselling author Carl Hiaasen’s gripping debut: A witness to a gangland murder must outwit and outrun the vicious hit men on his trail—before it’s too late

Chris Meadows’s charmed life as an up-and-coming architect has kept him far removed from Miami’s bloody drug trade. But his comfortable existence comes crashing down around him when Chris witnesses the hi
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,522)
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Becky Richards
ehhhhhh. I love carl hiassen but this book is not up to par. maybe because it was an early book....or may be the collaboration was the problem. the story and characters simply weren't as interesting, fun or quirky as his other books. it wasnt terrible, but if this was the first of his books that I read, I would not read more. fortunately, I have read enough to know I love his writing so I will keep going!
Peter Tomsheck
Not one of Hiaasen's better offerings

I ordered and read this book based on a number of other titles I've read by this author. It was not of the same caliber as many of his other novels. Not a real bad read but not one I would encourage a friend to enjoy to introduce them to this author's body of work.
Bjorn Stromsness
I've gone through most of Hiaasen's books and loved most of them. This was not one of them. The plot line veered into the unsupportable and he just lost me there in the middle. Suspension of disbelief is key and the book had me asking "really?" too often.

I love Hiaasen, but this book won't go down as one of his best or one of my favorites.
Sarah Smithers
Half way through and so far I just hate it. Though it could just be the narrator. Everything is read with serious urgency. Just awful. Maybe they picked him since he could do the Spanish dialog. But just uninteresting people with silly motivations that make no sense.
I've only had one chuckle, when he mentioned Akron. Every Carl book mentions NE Ohio..and this is no exception. And it always brings me joy to have my hometown be the butt of a joke. Like Needful Things, where the devil just came fro
Apr 29, 2014 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took a little while to get going. It wasn't what I expected for my first Hiassen. I'd heard he does witty, humorous mystery quite well. Powder Burn wasn't really witty or humorous, nor was it all that mysterious. But it was still a decent, well-written thriller/crime novel.
Kara Prem
As an early book by Carl Hiaasen, Powder Burn doesn't have the same flow to it as the works that I am used to reading. Not a bad story, but just not quite the same.

Architect Tim Meadows is leading a pretty good, calm life until a random encounter with a woman from his past, and her daughter that maybe could be his? (we never find out). They're both killed in front of his eyes, caught as by-standers in a drug war between rival factions. Meadows is injured, and then takes it upon himself to take d
May 05, 2015 DeeNeez rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really missed Hiassen's humor with this book, way too serious. It wasn't a bad read, but it wasn't great either. An accidental witness of a shooting suddenly finds himself being hunted down by drug cartels.
Nov 10, 2014 Diogenes rated it really liked it
Engaging yarn about a crime boss's attempt to get rid of an accidental witness - combining Hiaasen's creepy south Florida characters with Montalbano's high adventure prose for a satisfying page-turner.
Jan 14, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before Hiaasen struck out on his own, he and Montabano wrote three novels and this is the first of those three. Since today Hiaasen is not writing new books fast enough for me, I decided to try these three. This first one is good - it doesn't have the humor and wackiness of a current Hiaasen but it's good. Chris Meadows is an architect in Miami and he has a nice but pretty boring life. One day he runs into a woman he loved and lost some 10 years before. In the span of 15 minutes the woman and he ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Tera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: empty-shelf-2015
Not his best. I'm assuming this is one of Hiaasen's earlier books, because it only hints at several of his trademarks: the dark humor, the grotesque characters, the twisty plots.
Mike French
Sep 15, 2014 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable read! This book is an early book in Carl Hiaasen' s career and is not the humorous writing that I love in his later works. If I hadn't read his newer books,I would have given it 5 stars for the story and writing!
Dave Mahadevan
Feb 18, 2015 Dave Mahadevan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not realize this book came out in 1981. Got it in Amazon Kindle sale and it is Hiaasen, all right. Entertaining. A bit rough in the end, but worth reading.
Frederick C. Crooks Jr.
Another great Hiaasen book

All his books are usually an easy read but with a twist that leaves me wanting more,and this book has a sequel.
Frank Andorka
Jul 14, 2015 Frank Andorka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

Pretty simple: Carl Hiaasen is a genius. Hilarious writing, and with brilliant plots. Read it because you won't be disappointed.
Sep 09, 2015 Isshi69nikkei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action-crime
Jedyna nie-komedia Hiaasena jaką czytałam i chyba jedna z najlepszych jego książek - nie było ani jednej rzeczy, która by mi się nie podobała ;)
Jan 24, 2015 Jesse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As with a lot of the other reviews, this was an earlier book so I think Hiaasen was still finding his style inside the writing.
Early Carl Hiaasen that wasn't quite up to his current caliber. Still good writing and a good storyline, but lacking the comical element of his later and current work.
Mar 08, 2014 Dale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Lacks the humor of most of Hiassen's other Florida novels. Tightly written, but basically it's just a revenge novel.
Kathy Davie
Oct 19, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
Finally got interesting at the end. Hiaasen and company did a nice job writing a timeless story. Timeless in that there were so very few clues as to when, chronologically, this story was taking place. It could have been anywhen between now and the early 1960s. The only real clues were the money. What someone pulled down salary-wise or what a house cost. Ah, the good old days...

I started reading thinking it was a story about skiing and quickly learned a whole new slew of terms for cocaine instead
Rick McCallion
Really not impressed with the book and very disappointed by it to be honest. I usually find Hiassen's books to be intriguing from beginning to end, and I've always enjoyed his particular 'voice' and the sense of humour. This one fails in all accounts in my opinion. The character of the protagonist was decent, but the plot, the writing, the rest of the character development, it just didn't sit with me and it was a drudgery to finish off the last 40 pages, which should have (and probably could hav ...more
Dave Lihosit
Not as good as other Hiaasen books I've read, but it was entertaining.
3.5 I was curious about Hiaasen's early collaborative foray into novels. On the one hand, it's tough to know how much is him, as it's (almost) lacking in the rollicking style of his later career. On the other, it's not difficult to pick out a number of his trademark devices (the enigmatic loner, characters at cross-purposes, corruption, accomplice-assisted caper-esque turning of the tables justice). A perfectly competent work, just probably more of interest to fans than particularly recommendati ...more
Much more serious than his later books. Plot was a bit unbelievable at points.
Mar 09, 2012 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually didn't finish this book. I was reading an ebook on library loan and it expired before I finished. When that happen the book vanishes from my computer. Up to the point I did read the book was just so-so. It's not the usual Hiaasen book filled with a collection of odd characters and situations that are usually very funny. I believe the book was probable written more by the book's co-author, Montalbano, and not Hiaasen. I'll put a hold on another copy to see how it turns out.
Aaron Ash
This was an easy read with an enjoyable setting. I'll probably pick up the others in the series at a later date.
Thomas Strömquist
The very first Hiaasen thriller, as for the two following co-authored with Bill Montalbano. Many recognizable traits that he later developed in his fabulous Florida stories. What's most apparently lacking if you are familiar with his later books is the trademark charcoal humor, which is little hinted at here. Still a very good read!
Dec 25, 2015 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually like his books but this wasn't my favorite. A decent, quick read nonetheless.
Katherine Mcgrath
this was not written by carl hiaasen. its obvious in the first few pages that his co author wrote most of it because it's terrible. tstr
I'm not crazy about gang stories or drug cartel stories. This one was a little too convoluted for me and the lead character wasn't clean enough or believable enough. And the whole story was too raunchy for my taste. I have liked some of Hiaasen's other stuff, but this one didn't rise to their level.
Betsy Brown
Sep 06, 2015 Betsy Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can't go wrong with a Carl Hiaasen book. This was a fun read and the characters quickly turned into buddies I wanted to visit in a Key West bar. There is always the great adventure and the humor that keeps you glued to the pages.
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives with his family. After graduating from the University of Florida, he began writing for the Miami Herald. As a journalist and author, Carl has spend most of his life advocating the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family still live in southern Florida.
More about Carl Hiaasen...

Other Books in the Series

Black Lizard (3 books)
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