The Lizard King -- Hardcover
ORIGINALLY $22.95, on sale for $12.95!
True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers. Whatever. Who knew the world of reptile smuggling was so poisonous? In his first book, freelance magazine writer Christy focuses on one smuggler, Miami’s notorious Michael Van Nostrand (and his father, Raymond), and one lawman, Chip Bepler, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent who dedicated his career to putting Van Nostrand away.
Set in the mid-1990s, the story is reminiscent of the film version of Frank W. Abagnale’s Catch Me if You Can: the determined lawman, the flamboyant scofflaw (although Van Nostrand, unlike Abagnale, is thoroughly unlikable), the eventual showdown. Christy, a reptile aficionado who apparently did a lot of hands-on research for the book, takes us deep inside the world of the smuggler, laying out just how a Miami pet-shop owner gets his hands on rare and protected species and explaining the intricacies of U.S. and international laws that provide the smuggler with plenty of loopholes (you couldn’t prosecute someone merely for having smuggled animals, for example; you had to prove he knew they were smuggled). An exciting story of smugglers, lawmen, corrupt government officials, organized crime, and slithery beasts. --David Pitt, BOOKLIST.
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