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Triggerfish Twist: A Novel Hardcover – May 7, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews
Book 4 of 18 in the Serge Storms Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conjuring up Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard on crack, the fourth off-the-wall novel from Dorsey (Orange Crush) finds antihero Serge Storms a quixotic, socially conscious crook-cum-executioner undertaking to salvage his upscale Tampa neighborhood from encroaching undesirables. Milquetoast Jim Davenport, an unlikely corporate hatchet man at the Indiana office of Apollo Consulting, a company specializing in downsizing the executive suites of top-heavy corporations, is promoted and moves with his wife, Martha, and their three kids to 888 Triggerfish Lane in Tampa. Always a step ahead of the law, Serge moves in across the street with his drug-fiend lackeys, Coleman and Sharon. Then, like popcorn in a microwave, all manner of zany subplots go spinning off as Jim accidentally kills the youngest of the notorious McGraw Brothers, newly released from prison. Florida special agent Mahoney, who has a vendetta against Serge, is dispatched to Tampa to stop a murderous crime spree that reeks of the McGraw clan. Meanwhile, the E-Team a quartet of elderly women whose first names begin with "E" stalks elderly Ambrose Tarrington III, who pretends to be wealthy by test-driving fancy cars and photographing himself in front of a luxurious mansion. John Milton, an ill-starred substitute teacher desperately trying to find a job, meets his nemesis, Rocco Silvertone, during a stint as a used-car salesman. As the surviving McGraws close in on Jim, a July 4 barbecue brings the cast together for a madcap denouement that will please the growing numbers of the Dorsey faithful.


“TRIGGERFISH TWIST makes for twisted fun....a must-read book on this summer’s list.” (Tampa Tribune)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (May 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060185716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060185718
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999 and is the author of ten previous novels: Florida Roadkill, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, Orange Crush, Triggerfish Twist, The Stingray Shuffle, Cadillac Beach, Torpedo Juice, The Big Bamboo, Hurricane Punch, and Atomic Lobster. He lives in Tampa, Florida.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my third Dorsey novel and he delivers with this one too. Dorsey is a lot like Hiaasen, only with a significantly more violent and demented twist. People are always getting bumped off in his novels, often in very creative ways. Readers of his Florida Roadkill and Hammerhead Ranch Motel books will be delighted to find that Serge and Coleman are back in this novel, which is actually a prequel to these books. Serge fans won't be disappointed as Serge is up to his usual frenetic and frenzied antics and also bumps off at least one deserving scumbag in his usual creative way. Coleman's character gets some hilarious fleshing out and development here, more so than in the previous books. And Sharon the gorgeous cocaine-snorting floozy/nympho makes up the threesome in this novel. The novel is very fast-paced and there is hardly a dull moment during the entire book, and Dorsey builds all the interelated threads and characters up to a spectacular and satisfying climax. Definitely another must-read for the Dorsey fans out there.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Mistakenly believing Tampa to be the third best city in the United States for raising a family, Jim Davenport moves his family to a lovely old home on Triggerfish Lane. But beyond the lofty facade of the Davenport's new residence lies the seedy underbelly of crime and murder, car salesmen and consultants, rental properties and urban renewal. It all comes together in Tim Dorsey's delightful "Triggerfish Twist."

The story comes complete with a laundry list of main characters, a large and unwieldy cast that, in many writers' hands, would collapse under its own weight. But Dorsey juggles them neatly, like an expert clown, and the tangled plotlines come together like, well, a game of Twister on the 4th of July without pants. (Read the book, you'll understand.)

Davenport is your average guy, a conscientious business consultant and family man. His wife, Martha, is a bit high-strung, it's true, but they and their children settle down on Triggerfish with high hopes for the future. Little do they know that Lance Boyle, who owns many of the properties on their street, is vying to buy up the rest so he can raze the houses and make a tidy sum on townhouses. To further that goal, he fills his rentals with the worst lowlifes he can find -- hoping to force a sharp decline in neighborhood values and encourage the few remaining homeowners, like the Davenports, to sell and move away.

There's more, but it'd be easier if you just read the book. Dorsey, an author of some note, is my latest discovery and a wonderful addition to my must-read list. The spiritual cousin of fellow Florida writer Carl Hiaasen, Dorsey is hilarious and inventive. This is the perfect time to visit his little corner of Florida.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.NET editor
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dorsey's novel is most easily compared to those of Carl Haissen and Elmore Leonard (and Dave Barry's two full-length novels), but, if possible, it is even zanier and more incredible. It's set in Florida, with all of its quirks and swampland and the rampant crime from half-witted criminals. Dorsey weaves a topsy turvy plot of dozens of threads which all come together in the end, with the bad guys getting their due and the good ones having it all work out.

I'm impressed Dorsey was able to present as many characters as are in this novel, keeping them all straight for the reader, and then bringing them all together for a slam dunk ending.

I haven't read other Dorsey novels, but I can see the style getting repetitive after a while, so I'll take him in small doses. If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out Dave Barry's Tricky Business, which is a hilarious Florida crime caper from a talented comedic writer.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up Triggerfish Twist at a tiny used book store for a quarter, along with various other books that caught my eye. I didn't expect much for the money, as I have been very disappointed by other books with equal amounts of bragging inside the cover, declaring just how hilarious the book you are about to buy is, and how no other book comes close (John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces" comes to mind). I was definitely in for a surprise!

Until I started reading Triggerfish Twist, I never would have thought that I could laugh out loud while reading a book... especially one so full of violence! While I wasn't sent into teary-eyed hysterics on every page, I often found myself chuckling at various characters and events in the book, and smiling through the whole thing. The characters are numerous, but easy to keep track of, and all of the separate stories twist and weave so well together that even if some of the events are predictable, you don't know exactly how they're going to go off, and, when they do, it's perfect. I could easily imagine this book being a "Bubble Boy" type movie, only with more blood.

Triggerfish Twist definitely isn't the Iliad, or any other great thought provoking tome, but it's worth a read if you want a good laugh.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the first book in the Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey and was reasonably entertained, but thought, I don't want to read a whole series about a psycho, and the descriptions of the next two books in the series didn't thrill me, so I passed on them. I just happened to find this one in a box of older books the other day and started reading it. I finished it last night. I had to muffle my laughter so as not to wake my sweetie up as I read until 2 AM to finish this!

Dorsey has really hit his stride. He still has uncontrollable psycho Serge Storms in the thick of things, but he's only one part of the whirl of obsessive and mostly unlikable characters pinballing off each other in the seedier parts of Tampa, FL. Serge is still a completely crazy killer but he kills such repugnant people, you can't feel too sorry for them. And Serge has an oddly sentimental streak to him--in this book, he does what he does in defense of the innocent suburbanites doing their best to live peacefully in what should be a nice quiet neighborhood. Serge likes them and envies them in a way, and will defend them to the death--generally someone else's.

As others have said, fans of Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry should check this out--Dorsey may still be on the B team, but he's a zany Florida crime novelist to be reckoned with, and his books will make you laugh!
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