Gyre Straits – Stephen Winter

What’s a developer to do when a tribe of protected voles is squatting on his prime view-parcel and claiming adverse possession? If the developer is Malum Pistern, the answer is plenty. But these aren’t ordinary voles, and Malum has a slew of other problems including his wife-slash-benefactress, a father-in-law who wants to have him horse-whipped (and that’s the least of it), an ambitious mayor needing campaign cash, a lawyer who acquires one bad case of morality, and a local opposition that may do whatever it takes to stop him.

There’s loads of sex, weird and otherwise, courtroom hilarity you’ll never find in Grisham, songs, poems, a brash female marijuana plant (that quotes Blake), a send-up of politicos, the legal industry, innovation & progress, medical examiners, hydrologists, judges, more lawyers, Malum’s genealogy, Cognitive Dissonance Theory, late night talk-show hosts, the household of three, performance art, Black Ops . . . and maximally more in this darkly wacky novel that never stops pushing beyond the bounds of good taste in search of a good laugh and a way to prevent a maniacal developer from destroying all diversity and beauty.