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Powder Burn (Black Lizard #1)

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  552 ratings  ·  33 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 hit
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (first published 1981)
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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.
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.
Carl Hiaasen has written more than a dozen top-notch mysteries set in sunny Florida. New to Hiaasen? Allow us to recommend his 1981 debut novel—a tale of murder, corruption and all the scandal you’ll come to expect from this famous writer.
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
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.
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
Mike French
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!
Lacks the humor of most of Hiassen's other Florida novels. Tightly written, but basically it's just a revenge novel.
Kathy Davie
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
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
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.
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.
Ward Pond

In Hiaasen's later work, he was a master at unspooling an outrageous situation right away. This early effort takes four chapters to get going, but once it does it's quite a good time. Worth reading, but less than his best.
Early Hiaasen effort...tad dated...Miami Vice-ish story of revenge by a "fish-out-of-water" architect targeting a drug kingpin...none of the humor of later Hiaasen, so relatively disappointing...just OK!!!
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)
Anyone familiar with the 'Miami Vice' TV show of the 1980's will find the information and plot of this book similar to the ground covered by that show. But this is tame stuff, comparatively.
I enjoy Hiaasen's humorous books more, but this book was good too. His sense of irony is superb, but the subject matter of drugs wasn't my cup of tea.
I thought it would have some humor in it, it did not. However it is good as a typical thriller/mystery. Not outstanding, but good and solid.
Bonnie Martin
Hiaasen and co-author Montalbano really caught the craziness of the coke wars. Ancient history in the drug trade, but still a page-turner.
Lee Ann
Pretty good--but not as good as Trap Line.
Julie Heckman
love his books - this was pretty good - though it's easy to see that he really matures into his writing in his more recent novels
Not exactly vintage Hiaasen -- or maybe it's TOO vintage Hiaasen, before he gave free range to his quirky sense of humor. . .
very well written, first cop and bad guy book i ever read and liked.of course i do not want to read any more
Kevin Beck
This was an early collaboration by Hiassen. Not nearly as funny as his later solo novels.
Simone Hnath
Still a Hiaasen novel. Still a great read. A little predictable. Still worth it.
Disappointing for something at least partly by Carl Hiaasen.
lacking all the traits I enjoy tron hiaasens work.
a good airplane read, not too heavy but entertaining
Took awhile to get into but a satisfying trip.
This was cowritten by Carl Hiaasen.
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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 southern Florida.
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