Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Skinny Dip

Go To

Skinny Dip is a satirical thriller novel by Carl Hiaasen, first published in 2004.

Chaz Perrone attempts to murder his wife, Joey, by pushing her overboard during an ocean cruise to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Joey survives and, after drifting for hours, is fished out of the sea by Mick Stranahan, a retired investigator now living a reclusive existence on a remote island. With Stranahan's help, Joey sets out to get back at Chaz and to discover why he tried to kill her — taking full advantage of the fact that Chaz now believes her to be dead.


This novel contains examples of:

  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Averted. Joey wants to attend her own funeral (in disguise) in order to interrogate Chaz about why he tried to kill her. Stranahan convinces her to wait in the car.
  • Character Overlap: Mick Stranahan was a lead character in Hiaasen's earlier novel Skin Tight; several other characters from that novel also make appearances. There is also an appearance by Hiaasen's frequently-recurring character "Skink".
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Red Hammernut hires everyone from crooked hydrologists to hitmen to keep his farming operation looking clean enough on paper that he doesn't have to spend money on pollution controls.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe example. As the book's own jacket synopsis says "Chaz may be the only marine scientist on Earth who doesn't know which way the Gulf Stream runs." Thus, it's not until halfway through the book that it hits him that just maybe instead of washing out to sea, Joey ended up making it to the shore.
  • Advertisement:
  • Forging the Will: Mick Stranahan forges a will in the name of presumed-dead Joey, leaving $13 million to her husband, as a ploy to find out just how greedy he really is. Joey would never have lavished such money on her scumbag of a husband as long as she was alive.
  • Gaslighting: Chaz is driven insane in many small ways by Joey, whom he thought he had killed.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: Chaz writes a fake suicide note, intending to cover his tracks as he flees the country, but karma catches up with him first.
  • Humiliation Conga: The second-to-last chapter has Chaz hopelessly slogging through the Everglades, ruing how his former friends all turned against him, especially the ones he had tried and failed to kill. He escapes from his tormentors, only to meet for the first time the last person he'll ever see.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: One of the symptoms of Chaz's disquiet after Joey starts haunting him.
    For the first time in their relationship—in any relationship—Chaz had heard that most hollow and dreaded of consolations: "Don't worry, it happens to everybody."... Even digitally remastered, "Bad to the Bone" could not rally Chaz's bone to its usual badness.
  • Removed from the Picture: Joey secretly returns to Chaz's house and, using cuticle scissors, cuts herself out of a wedding picture, which she places under his pillow. Stranahan immediately recognizes this as a typical feminine ploy; apparently, it happened to him with his third wife.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction:
    This is a work of fiction. All names and characters are either invented or used fictitiously. The events described are mostly imaginary, except for the destruction of the Florida Everglades and the $8 billion effort to save what remains.
  • Woman Scorned: Skinny Dip is all about Joey Perrone getting revenge on her husband Chaz, who pushed her into the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise. She takes full advantage of being presumed dead.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: