Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Skin Tight (Mick Stranahan #1)” as Want to Read:
Skin Tight (Mick Stranahan #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Skin Tight

(Mick Stranahan #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  17,033 ratings  ·  726 reviews
Somebody wants Mick Stranahan dead. He knows because he's just had to spear an intruder with a stuffed marlin's head. And that wasn't the first time. There was the plastic surgeon with extremely shaky hands...the personal injury lawyer with the beaming billboard face...the vanity-crazed star of TV's IN YOUR FACE...and the high-stepping hit man with the moonscape skin. Not ...more
Kindle Edition, 417 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Berkley (first published September 1989)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Skin Tight, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,033 ratings  ·  726 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Skin Tight (Mick Stranahan #1)
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this was my first Carl Hiaasen book. So, after reading a couple of chapters, I'm thinking, it's just another typical seventies kind of detective story. Just another writer acting out a testosterone fantasy. Featuring another tough, macho, independent loner who fights large mean disfigured criminals, while standing knee deep in dead bodies and naked women.

But, this guy is a little too eccentric, a little bit, too loose of a cannon. And the sociopath is a little too psychotic and his menacing
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What I learned from Skin Tight...

1. A stuffed marlin makes a good weapon.

2. A ex-Amish hit man with a weed whacker for an arm and a skin condition shouldn't be laughed at.

3. A fictional thinly disquised Geraldo Rivera is as lame as the real one.

4, I want to be Mick Stranahan (without all those people trying to kill him, of course).

5. Wood mulchers are good for mulching other things.

6. How a nose job could kill you.

and last but not least...

7. I NEVER...EVER...want to get plastic surgery.

and I lea
Scott Rhee
If you believe that Florida is the sewer where a majority of the country's human waste ends up, you'll love Carl Hiaasen.

A former police reporter for the Miami Herald, Hiaasen clearly has a love-hate relationship with the state he resides in.

Mostly hate. But he shares his vitriol with a smile and laughter.

It is hard not to laugh at the inanity of most of the criminals in his books.

In "Skin Tight", for example, an incompetent hit-man loses an arm from a barracuda attack, and instead of attach
Thomas Strömquist
My first Hiaasen - picked it up in a thrift store based only on the cover (THE BLURB ON THE BACK! - blurb - back, OK, OK, settle down people). It totally rocked my world and I was an instant fan. This is the first book starring ex-cop Mick Stranahan - one of the best of the more or less improbable characters of the roller coaster rides which are the Hiaasen books of the time. The fifth star is part pure entertainment value and part nostalgia I'm sure. But those are fine justifications in my view ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fake. I guess there's some unintentional irony playing out when a book, poking savage fun at the cosmetic surgery business in phony and corrupt Florida, is itself a do-over of sorts. Hiaasen is a good writer, but one I've always felt owed, nearly everything, to Elmore Leonard. What gets him over the top, usually, is that he's a good student, and he adds his own outrage at what Florida has become. Skin Tight has the usual formula of ex-lawman, bizarre criminals, seedy but exotic landscape, and tw ...more
Oct 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Carl Hiaasen's books are uniformly fun. The good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve. They are well worth the reading--and the occasional rereading.

Hiaasen's detective/adventure/action/humor books feature unlikely heros and unlikely--but possible--situations. They are set in a Florida which seems like the perfect place to steal an election on TV.

Skin Tight is one of the better ones. Mick Stranahan just wants to be left alone, but it seems he just can't relax without someone trying
aPriL does feral sometimes
One couldn't ask for a more fun summer read. Nobody is playing with a full deck. There are characters who are whacky good people types and those who should be locked up in an insane asylum, but whatever side of law and order they live on, entertaining is most certainly the strongest attribute of everyone involved in the nefarious plot.

It all begins with an accidental death. A Florida plastic surgeon, Dr. Rudy Graveline, with more PR talent than actual skills, kills a rhinoplasty patient on the t
Simply put, "Miami Vice on Steroids." There are not many authors who can deliver a 400+ page comic crime mystery, (Tim Dorsey does it in about half the length and both authors set their work in Florida) who can throw the ball up in the air on page one and keep it spinning. Hiaasen goes for it, and I almost gave this one a 4-star rating (it's a wild-ass blast), as I read the whole thing between Sunday afternoon and this morning (oh, remember back in the day, Saturday Night Fever and then an all-d ...more
Marty Fried
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, audiobooks
Very entertaining book, and a good narrator. The story was interesting (as long as you don't try to take it seriously) and humorous. I like Carl Hiaasen's humor; it's a lot like Dave Barry, a coworker from the Miami Herald, but perhaps a bit more mature. They have done things together, and I can imagine it's pretty funny.

He mostly makes fun of Miami, an easy target. Also in this story, Geraldo. Some of the action is pretty outrageous, but lots of fun. The criminals are mostly complete idiots, so
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every so often I gotta have my "Hiassen fix." This guy writs hilarious, violent, complex and generally outlandish mysteries set in Florida and his works are very supportive of the ecological balance there, pus he sets to right those whose egos are bigger than their brains. Case in point: Rudy Graveline, plastic surgeon to the stars and anyone else with a LOT money to preserve their frail vanities. Seems a young student, Victoria Barletta, disappeared after a nose job some years ago, and now the ...more
Davis Aujourd'hui
If you are a Hiaasen fan, this book will not disappoint you. If you have never read one of his books, this is a wonderful place to start. Carl Hiaasen is one of my favorite comedic authors. His brand of humor is over the top and will keep you laughing all of the way. Carl Hiaasen has been an inspiration to me as an author of comedic books!

In order to enjoy this book, you need to have an appreciation for dark humor which is satire at its best. His characters are zany and the scenarios are outland
What an odd story. It reminded me of Travis McGee in many ways, but an insane version. Normally I don't have an issue with satirical stories, but Skin Tight couldn't seem to decide if it was serious or totally loopy. One or the other, but not both. Mr. Hiaasen seems to have forgotten that old saying about not being able to have ones cake and eat it too. It was just too jarring. So I must say that ,in all in all, I didn't care for the book at all. I know that I should say more, but I simply didn' ...more
Wayland Smith
I'm fairly sure I've read this one before and managed to not log it, which is very unusual for me. But it was worth a reread anyway.

The weirdness of South Florida provides a lot of opportunities for story telling. Carl Hiaasen is a master at setting his tales here. There's a repetition of themes in his work, but it's always a fun ride.

Mick Stranahan is enjoying his forced retirement from the State's Attorney's office, living simply out in the rural bywaters off Miami. He gets a most unwelcome
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A typical Hiaasen mixture of good guys, bad guys and good plots sprinkled with humor. 7 of 10 stars
Sid Nuncius
This is great fun. I have come very late to Carl Hiaason but I am thoroughly enjoying catching up on his books.

In Skin Tight, Mick Stranahan is an ex-Private Investigator living a quiet, isolated existence on a stilt house out in a Florida bay when events at a cosmetic surgery clinic mean that a case he once investigated might threaten the clinic’s owner. As a result, Mick’s own life and those of others are at risk and a convoluted and somewhat bonkers plot ensues – and it’s terrific fun.

Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Hiassen. A little bit darker and more violent than a lot of his other books, but still full of that sun-baked neo-noir, dark humour, and sardonic mockery of media culture.
Nov 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Had been reading a lot of crime fiction lately, and was looking for something else in that genre. I read the back of this book, and it sounded promising. Bizarre story, over the top characters, good stuff, right?

The problem was that the writing was awful. Many times I had to re-read paragraphs just to figure out what the author was trying to describe. This was most noticeable during action scenes where I'm sure the author had an idea that made sense in his head, but just could not transfer it to
This was a fun book to read and didn't take much brain power. It is a little different from other crime novels that I have read because it has a darkly comical undertone. The characters are vivid if a bit cartoonish. I would reccomend this if you are looking for a light easy read with a little humor.
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one. I have read a few other books by this author, and although I have enjoyed them, this was my favorite to date. I love the character of Mick Stranahan and the characters were quite amusing. This was a fun and fast-paced mystery; I'm just sorry it languished on my bookshelf for so long!
Not quite as good as I remembered. I’ve lowered my score from 4 stars 3.5 stars.
George Wilson is the narrator. He’s great. He really brings the characters to life.
3.5 stars, and recommended. After you read the others in this series, of course.
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice palate cleanser after not-reading Gravity's Rainbow all summer. Funny and cartoonish in Hiassen's way, but the ending was weirdly confusing and anticlimactic. Expected more to wrap up this darkly funny romp through the Florida Keys and the world of plastic surgery.
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a book that makes you laugh out loud while reading!
Lennore Turcotte
Good god would it ever end. The premise wasn’t bad but it went on way too long!!! Definitely not a favorite of mine.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mick Stranahan is a retired Florida State investigator who was part of a team who looked into the disappearance of a young woman after she had plastic surgery four years ago. Mick is attacked in his home and finds out that it is an attempt to keep him from re-opening the case. An inept surgeon who operated on the woman is in the process of having anyone killed who is aware of this disappearance, and he hires henchmen to do this. "Chemo" is the one to try to murder Stranahan, but Mick is too smar ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, serial-mystery
In Carl Hiaasen's Skin Tight, the first installment in the Mick Stranahan comedic mystery series, this debut will have you laughing out loud and shake your head a few time. Meet Mick Stranahan, a lone man who lives in Stiltsville Florida, and a former private investigator. It all started when someone tried to kill him at his home, when he used his prized marlin to make him into mincemeat and chum out of him. That's when he started to investigate the issue on why someone who wanted him dead and l ...more
Rand Rhody
I recommend the guilty pleasure of any of Hiaasen's books, and lucky for me I still have a few left to read. This is his third, after Tourist Season and Double Whammy featuring his usual cast of wicked and ridiculous characters in a tangle of mayhem. It's less laughable than his later stories, possibly because too many bad guys are actually killed off in this one. I seem to remember a lower body count in Bad Monkey, Stormy Weather, and Skinny Dip but I'll leave the fact-check to others. ...more
Carl Hiaasen has gotten leaps and bounds better over the years of his career, which makes it hard to go back and read some of his older stuff for the first time. That's not to say that it doesn't have flashes of the very brilliant Hiaasen that was in the works: Chemo, one of my favorite characters (from Star Island) makes his debut with all the wry Hiaasen trademarks.

One way in which Hiaasen managed to be waaaay ahead of his time: the story rotates around a wildly corrupt, horribly incompetent
Ned Andrew Solomon
I am supremely thankful that my wife, Gina Lynette, turned me on to the books of Carl Hiaasen. They are, collectively, a great release from daily stresses, as much an escape as any favored movie or tv show. Although, I do believe that these "escapist" novels are highly intelligent, astoundingly creative, superbly written and frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious. Along the way, you might even learn something about an obscure industry or an environmental aspect of Florida, the home base for all the ...more
Rachel Reynolds
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
Another delightful romp from Carl Hiaasen! Like most of his novels, Skin Tight was a roller coaster ride through South Florida from start to finish. It all starts when a mysterious dead body washes up on the shores of Biscayne Bay. The recently deceased is (apparently) a member of the mob and the cause of death is impalement by marlin. It just gets crazier from there. As with most of his novels, Skin Tight hosts a crazy cast of characters, including an unqualified plastic surgeon, good cops, sli ...more
I don't really feel comfortable giving this a rating as I read the first 100 pages then the last 2 chapters and epilogue. There were some funny parts and I was curious as to what was going to happen (so definitely more than 1 star) but by 100 pages I came to the realization that I, as the reader, knew exactly who had committed the original crime, who was lying, and not only who hired all of the hit-men, but who the hit-man was. The reader is just introduced to those characters and flat out told ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hammerhead Ranch Motel (Serge Storms, #2)
  • Cadillac Beach (Serge Storms, #6)
  • Trap Line
  • Orange Crush (Serge Storms, #3)
  • Florida Roadkill (Serge Storms, #1)
  • Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms, #4)
  • The Stingray Shuffle (Serge Storms, #5)
  • The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms, #8)
  • Atomic Lobster (Serge Storms, #10)
  • When Elves Attack (Serge Storms, #14)
  • Hurricane Punch (Serge Storms, #9)
  • Pineapple Grenade (Serge Storms, #15)
  • Torpedo Juice (Serge Storms, #7)
  • The Riptide Ultra-Glide (Serge Storms, #16)
  • Nuclear Jellyfish (Serge Storms, #11)
  • Gator A-Go-Go (Serge Storms, #12)
  • Tricky Business
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove (Pine Cove, #2)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Mick Stranahan (2 books)
  • Skinny Dip (Skink, #5; Mick Stranahan #2)

News & Interviews

    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
53 likes · 16 comments
“Though Madeleine’s face reminded Dr. Graveline in many ways of a camel, he was fond of her. She was the kind of steady patient that offshore trust funds are made of.” 1 likes
“Coroners made Al Garcia jumpy; they always got so cheery when somebody came up with a fresh way to die.” 1 likes
More quotes…