In Star Island, our main characters are types you’ve seen elsewhere, and better. Chiefly, there’s the noxiously insipid Cherry Pye, an untalented pop star on the plummet who, after a lip-synching disaster, desperately needs a comeback with her latest album. A scummy paparazzo, Bang Abbott, hopes to turn her into a timeless Marilyn Monroe with a series of iconic photos, but his kidnapping attempt goes awry: accidentally, he speeds off with Cherry’s secret body double – snarky, intelligent Ann, whose doppelgänger doesn’t even know she exists.
Though Star Island rips along pleasingly (it already feels like a Hollywood movie), there is an undeniable whiff of datedness to its text-message-deep satire. You’re in the hands of a master, but this time Hiaasen merely wants to play in the sandbox.