"Florida: a sunny place for shady people." J. David Gonzalez responds to Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker article, “In the Back Cabana: The Rise and Rise of Florida Crime Fiction”:
Where I take exception to Gopnik’s outlining of the Florida crime fiction family tree (Australian pine? Gumbo limbo?) is the suggestion that this brand of literature starts with MacDonald and ends (dissipates?) with Hiaasen. It’s not entirely his fault, of course. The whole of Gopnik’s essay works to establish the bare essentials of the history of Florida crime fiction, then uses the second half to place Carl Hiaasen’s newest novel, Bad Monkey, into the established context. As far as shill pieces go, you could do worse. Gopnik manages to dip his toes into the Florida tide pools of ecological concern and real estate bust and boom — and its reflection of an American condition — and acknowledges that the novels have less to do with “crime” in the canonical, literary sense and more to do with chaos and circumstance.
But to describe Florida glare as something that spun off of L.A. noir is to imply that it wouldn’t exist without the fathering of Hammett and Chandler. That is to imply that Florida glare hasn’t been here all along, staring you square in the mug.