I read this book about 4-Oct-2006. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1989. This note was last modified Sunday, 15-Oct-2006 20:23:57 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
I don't think he'll qualify as John D. MacDonald's successor, but the Florida identification is pretty clear. What he doesn't have is the sympathy; he seems to take a rather nasty view.
Like the other of his I've read, this one abounds in freaks, physical and mental. Also corruption, and crime. The main character is mostly honest in a broad sense, but certainly not law-bound (a similarity to Travis Magee there, certainly).
This one is about a retired DA investigator getting drawn back into an old case which comes to life. There's a crooked plastic surgeon, who's personally incompetent but employs competent doctors to do most of the work. There's a personal injury lawyer who never goes to court, he just splits fees with other lawyers he refers cases to. There are a couple of incompetent cops, some dishonest cops, a tabloid TV journalist and his producer. And a 6'9" freak who spends most of the book with an electric week-whacker as a prosthesis for his left hand (taken off by a barracuda in an early appearance in the book).