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Trap Line

(Black Lizard #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,170 ratings  ·  139 reviews
With its dozens of outlying islands and the native Conchs’ historically low regard for the law, Key West is a smuggler’s paradise. All that’s needed are the captains to run the contraband. Breeze Albury is one of the best fishing captains on the Rock, and he’s in no mood to become the Machine’s delivery boy. So the Machine sets out to persuade him. It starts out by taking ...more
Paperback, 213 pages
Published June 30th 1998 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published January 1st 1982)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,170 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hiaasen and his writing partner Montalbano bring readers to Key West, Florida, to experience how the fishing industry is struggling as they present the story of Breeze Albury. Breeze is actually a pretty good fishing boat captain, but like so many, he struggles to make ends meet. That is one reason why he took a risk and got involved with the local pot trade. It ended up with him doing some short time in the clink. Since coming out, he has focused on his fishing career and his son, an all-star b ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
While teeming with typical Hiaasen elements, Trap Line is a bit more hard-boiled and violent than his usual fair (one can presume this might be a result of the presence of Bill Montalbano, who shares co-authorship, but it's hard to tell where his prose begins and Hiaasen's ends). Some of the transitions are a little shaky, which leads to momentary bouts of confusion in terms of keeping some plot points and characters straight. Speaking on the latter, there's quite a few characters introduced thr ...more
Mike French
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Trap Line is the second novel that Carl Hiaasen and Bill Montalbano co-wrote. While it doesn't have the humour of his Skunk books,it is a very enjoyable read!
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thriller
I had not read a Carl Hiassen book for about 10:years until this one, and I was a bit hesitant because it was a co-write and I normally avoid those. I really enjoyed this book. It is well written, gallops along at a cracking pace, and has some nicely drawn characters. It has less of the black humour of many of the writers other work, I will not be leaving such a long gap before reading another one.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A story of crime and entrapment and how quickly things can go wrong. A good mystery, with corruption, smuggling, and a flawed hero, trying to make the best of his life and take care of his son. This is an early Hiaasen, written with Bill Montalbano, and is more of a crime novel than his later works, but the development of quirky characters is still there. I enjoyed the book.
Donna LaValley
Jul 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This was published in 1982; Hiaasen wrote it with Bill Montalbano. It is not at all like Hiaasen's solo novels with laugh-out-loud lines and situations. It does have a complicated plot, very very bad guys, and somewhat suitable revenge upon most of them. However, it has some brutality and violence that would be objectionable to most readers, and is quite over the top on the testosterone scale - not that there's anything wrong with that! It's a worthy genre and sometimes I like it, just as I enjo ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Carl Hiaasen's other books, so it was fun to look at a book he co-wrote 30 years ago. The authorial voice of his later work is certainly present, but the ridiculous hilarity of his villains—for which he is so well known today—is notably absent. What we're left with is a decent little thriller (albeit a comparatively humorless one), which ain't nothing to sneer at.

An additional oddity: the little anti-gay slurs peppered throughout the text aren't necessarily distracting, but the
Trevor Mcpherson
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Well crafted, but the Hiaasen humour I've come to know and love merely peeked out from a few characters. What I liked most about this was the length. What ever happened to the 250-280 page novel? The story wasn't lacking, and I wasn't left thinking: "gee, I wish there was another 100 pages of deep reflection and soul searching by the protagonist, or perhaps an increase in lengthy exposition to really make this book worthwhile."
K.D. Parker
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a little different than the other books Hiaasen has written. It lacked a lot of the humor that his other books have; also the environmental aspect. But I still liked it a lot. It was a fun read. By the way, my favorite Hiaasen novel is "Skintight." If you like "Trap Line," check that book out. The heavy is a guy named "Chemo!"
Mary Mullane
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I couldn't believe I found a Carl Hiaasen book I hadn't read. It doesn't have as much wicked laugh-out-loud humor as his later more environmental books do, but it still had the twists & satisfying revenge.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not Carl's usual tongue-in-cheek murder mystery/satire, but a straight-up crime drama. As such, it was just ho-hum. Rather pointless, unless you are really interested in the life of a fisherman in the Florida Keys.
Joan Pasco
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is hard not to like a Carl Hiaasen book in my opinion. This one was very different from the others I have read - more serious than humorous, but a good read.
Stephanie Kimball
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my favorite book by Carl Hiassen, but as usual he does give the reader many lessons about the Florida ecosystems and environments. This book covers fishing etiquette, and the politics that govern the commercialism of the Florida Keys. He also expounds on the underlying draw or tension to either get out of there for good or to stay on the rock.
I realize that this was written in 1982 and that he co-authored it with Bill Montalbano. It certainly is not like his other books with kooky character
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Carl Hiaasen's 2nd title published with William Montalbano (1982); this is the first one I've read from their collaboration, and so it is the earliest Hiaasen book I've ever read. I can definitely see signs of greatness to come from his later work. Trap Line is a short but fast-paced tale of intrigue in the South Florida world of drugs, kidnapping, shootings, explosions, and romance. Not yet present are Hiaasen's more colorful characters (notably, Skink) nor his environmental awareness. Still, h ...more
John L
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm kind of amused at all the reviewers who don't realize this is early Hiaasen, when he was transitioning from crime columns to crime fiction and had not yet developed his unique voice. With one or two small exceptions, it's devoid of the wacky humor and larger-than-life characters that make his solo work so great; worse, it highlights the fact that, once you get past those, his plots aren't all that complex or even memorable. The satirical nature of his solo work more than compensates for thes ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about Breeze Albury, a fisherman in the Florida Keys, who runs afoul of a local criminal enterprise. They basically force him to import some drugs using his boat, but they set him up to get caught while other boats complete their deliveries without incident. Albury slides in deeper as their corrupt attorney gets him freed and Albury then is compelled to smuggle some folks into the USA from Columbia. Of course, he is also double crossed on this venture. After all of this, Albury stri ...more
2.5 to maybe 3 stars. The story was good, but not great. I really liked the personality of the main character, Breeze Albury. He is the captain of a lobster boat, named Diamond Cutter. Hopefully his son will be a pro baseball pitcher someday....

Crooked cops and lawyers corrupt what is going on in the little Key West town. Drug runners from Cuba affect Breeze’s life in a major way. He usually stays one step ahead, but does spend time in jail. And eventually his family life is affected.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good read. I am a fan of Hiaasen and his books about Florida. This was not his usual mystery filled with laugh out loud antics. Co-written in 1982 with Bill Montalbano, this book was darker and more violent. The story takes place in Key West and speaks of the problems of the times. Dope, crooked cops and a fisherman named Breeze Albury along with a handful of Conchs willing to fight the Machine..
Early effort by Hiaasen...way more "Noir-ish" than the later efforts that much stronger elements of humor...story of a life-long Key West Conch charter captain's efforts of redemption after tangling with native corruption & the Columbian drug cartels...decent enough!
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book.

It's been a long time since I read one of his books, but I really like them. There are so many books and great authors that I can't keep up with my favorites because I don't have as much time as in the past.

Michael Norwitz
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Co-written by Hiaasen and reporter/author Bill Montalbano, this is standard issue thriller for him. Competently done, as is typical not much in the way of women with any kind of articulate viewpoint, but without the weirdness or black humor which marks many of his books.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun little thriller, set in the Keys. Breeze Albury is a fisherman, who is one of the good guys in a town gone bad. He is blackmailed and suckered into a smuggling gug, which goes from bad to worse.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining Read

A quick read featuring relatable characters and classic Haissen themes. As with many of his works, I sometimes loose track of the various subcharacter plots, but they somehow keep the narrative interesting.
christine faver
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome as expected. Carl is always a great read and this tale does not disappoint he really gets it right I especially love the local color. By

The time you finish this you will truly feel key West in all its tacky glory. Truly a fine tale.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audiobook helped me pass the time during my daily commute. The narrator did a great job will all sorts of voices and accents. The tale contained plenty of excitement and suspense. In the end the bad guys were punished and the good guys had a happy ending.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
H Phillips
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A page turner, but the denouement was a little too complicated and intricate to be plausible.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Artful writing, wry humor, and Florida charm combine to build a good 2nd novel in the Black Lizard series.

A solid 4 stars.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Early Hiassen. He becomes a much better writer later in his career.
Fran Webster

Not as good as other Hiassen works. Flimsy characters, gratuitous violence. Meh. Give me Skink or Mick Stranahan any day.
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined the Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the newspaper’s weekly magazine and prize-winning investigations team. As a journalist and author, Carl has spent most of his life advocating for the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family live in southern ...more

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