About 30 pages into The Rabbit Factory
you will find yourself hoping that the book's author Marshall Karp is at home typing. He has created two LAPD cops, Mike Lomax and his partner Terry Biggs, who are smart, drop-dead funny (especially Terry), and as irreverent as two guys can be. Karp has also written a ripping good story, not counting on buddy-cop banter to carry the day.
Mike Lomax's wife, Joanie, died of cancer six months before the action begins, after a long time trying to have a family. Instead of leaving little replicas of herself, she leaves letters, which Mike opens on the 18th of every month, the anniversary of her death. His father, Big Jim, loved Joanie very much but wants to see Mike get on with his life. These guys love each other a lot and the dialogue that Karp gives them is both sharp and tender. Terry Biggs met his wife, Marilyn, who was the paramedic called when he was an "Officer Down." That meeting is so funny you have to read it to believe it.
One thing, as they say, led to another, and despite the fact that Marilyn had seven-year-old twin daughters, and a third, age five, Terry signed on for the whole package. And that's how a guy from the Bronx winds up living in Sherman Oaks with a wife and three teenage Valley girls.
The setting of much of the action is "Familyland," a Disneyland clone, conceived of by the late Dean Lamaar, who, like Disney, started out as an animator. His creations, Rambunctious Rabbit, Slaphappy Puppy, McGreedy the Moose, and others are now big family favorites and the little cartoon studio is a global conglomerate. It has been recently sold to the Japanese, after faltering receipts, and there are plans afoot to open a theme park in Las Vegas. That opening is just months away when an employee playing Rambunctious Rabbit is murdered on the premises. Not good for the corporate image. Another murder takes place, and another, and it quickly becomes obvious that someone has it in for Lamaar's enterprises. Mike and Terry are under tremendous pressure from Ike Rose, CEO of Lamaar, to keep the whole mess under wraps, and an equal amount of pressure from their Chief to "get it solved." They work smart and long and hard to uncover a conspiracy, finding a big surprise at the end of the search.
Marshall Karp is a refreshing addition to the suspense, satire, mystery genre. His two Detectives are irresistible. --Valerie Ryan
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From Publishers Weekly
The publisher's blurb on playwright and screenplay writer Karp's first novel, "The hilarious and suspenseful introduction of Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs," makes the two LAPD detectives sound as if they're the reincarnation of the Keystone Kops. They are amusing, but the comedy never overshadows this smart, many-layered thriller. Lomax's beloved wife has died, his doting father is trying to get him to go on dates and his wayward, gambling-addicted brother is in deep trouble. Meanwhile, Lomax is trying to solve a string of high-profile murders aimed at destroying a Disneyesque theme park, Lamaar's Familyland. First, the employee playing Rambunctious Rabbit, Familyland's signature cartoon character, is strangled in his rabbit suit, then a series of other employees and visitors to the park are killed, bringing the company to its knees. Lomax, Biggs and the FBI have their work cut out for them in a clever plot that will keep readers guessing to the very end. Enthusiastic readers will anxiously await the return of detectives Lomax and Biggs. (May)
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