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Starred ReviewOn Florida's lower east coast, only one thing flourishes more luxuriantly than crime, and that is crime writing. With Bruns' second offering, we are presented with yet another set of lovable freaks and oddballs; this batch will remind the reader of Tim Dorsey's cast of whacked-out characters but with the narrative voice and feel of Mark Twain's Huck Finn. The protagonist, Skip (aka Eugene), and his high-school pal James work dead-end jobs in one of Miami's deadest ends, Carol City. When James comes into a windfall, the friends devise a business plan over late-night beers, buy a one-ton box truck, and go into the freelance hauling business. Their first job, arranged for by Skip's millionaire girlfriend, yields up a finger on which rests their high-school class ring. The plot involves the staples of South Florida fiction: anti-Castro elements and involvement by possible sinister government agencies. But the fun is in the characters. When Skip's girlfriend of many years informs him she is pregnant, he says in dead earnestness, "Who's the father?" Later, when Skip tells James the good news, he retorts, equally seriously, "Who's the father?" How can you not like a novel with characters like that? Glassman, Steve