Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen is joining other adult writers who have recently gone young-adult with Skink—No Surrender, out next week from Knopf. Hiaasen, the author of Florida-based crime thrillers like Strip Tease (which became the movie starring Demi Moore) and Bad Monkey, has also written four novels for children.
Skink—No Surrender, his first for young adults, introduces the teen audience to the eccentric character of Clinton Tyree, a glass-eyed, roadkill-eating Vietnam vet and former Governor of Florida who has gone crazy and lives off the grid (read: on the beach), costumed in a floral shower cap and long beard woven with vulture beaks. He is known as Skink, both to the characters in the book, and to readers who would recognize him from numerous “grownup” novels, as Hiaasen calls his adult books, starting with Skink’s first appearance in Double Whammy 27 years ago.
Richard, Skink—No Surrender‘s teenage protagonist, meets Skink on the beach as he waits for his 14-year-old cousin Malley, whom readers soon learn has run away from home with a boy she met in an Internet chatroom. Richard and Skink form a two-man search party, and the novel is off and running.
Though it’s typically the teen characters in young adult books who have readers itching for a sequel, it’s the adult in this story who leaves a lasting impression. “Kids dig the irreverence of the fact that [Skink] sort of lives on the edge and does exactly what he wants,” Hiaasen says in the book’s official trailer, revealed today on TIME.com.