How have I not written a review for this book yet? I read relatively quickly after it released back in July and really enjoyed it (I mean, it is an in...moreHow have I not written a review for this book yet? I read relatively quickly after it released back in July and really enjoyed it (I mean, it is an installment in the Psy-Changeling series after all) but somehow this review has just sat and sat in my pile of stuff to be written. Maybe it's because I enjoyed the book and the reading experience- sometimes it doesn't feel as...urgent...to write about books that totally lived up to my expectations and that I didn't anticipate finding any fault with; I have no idea.
I will say at the onset, though, that this book is a little different from the rest of the series, for a couple of reasons. One, the changelings and their world play a different kind of role than they have in the past- there's still plenty of appearances from past characters and a lot of interesting side information is shared, especially regarding Sasha and her pregnancy, but for the most part all of that takes place in the background of the story. Second, this story reads more like a police procedural novel than other books in the series have (although the concept of catching a deranged killer targeting one specific population is not a new concept in this series by any stretch.) That's probably because both the hero and heroine are cops, but for some folks that might be an unexpected element in the story.
Central to this book is the role and development that the different "races" (Psy, changeling, and human) play in the world that's rapidly becoming unstable. Turns out that rumors of instability in the Psy hierarchy and the Psy Net have been actually underreported, and the violence and emotion that is so anathema to the Psy is actually pretty rampant and not in a good way. I'm definitely interested in this arc of the story and what happens next.
Also, what's up with Kaleb Krychek, the newest member of the Psy Council and total man of mystery? We learn a little bit more about him in this book and the little bit that we learn is definitely intriguing. I sense a book for him coming at some point, let's just leave it at that. Interesting, interesting.
As I've said in previous reviews of installments in this series, I really recommend starting with book one, Slave to Sensation, and reading in order. Although the books are awesome on their own or in any combination, reading the series in order will definitely give the fullest effect. Do yourself a favor and read this series!
This is the follow up to The Rabbit Factory and definitely does not disappoint. The wisecracking, authentic humor that I loved about the first book is...moreThis is the follow up to The Rabbit Factory and definitely does not disappoint. The wisecracking, authentic humor that I loved about the first book is present throughout the story, and the murders, while gruesome, are of a much more personal nature in this book. The ending will have you thinking about what side of the debate you come down on, which is, for me, an interesting addition to the story.
By all accounts, Barry Gerber is a douchebag of epic proportions. He's also a Hollywood powerhouse with the Midas touch, so when his exsanguinated body shows up in a trash can, no expense is spared in the hunt for his killer. This is bad new for Detectives Lomax and Biggs on a whole bunch of levels, as not only do they now have to devote all their time and energy to avenging a guy that nobody was sorry to see go, but the person who was going to turn their adventures with Lamar Studios from the last book into a media sensation is now toes up at the morgue. Sometimes you're the pigeon, and sometimes you're the statue.
When the notorious actor/man whore who was also the controversial star of Mr. Gerber's last movie and with whom Mr. Gerber had a fairly epic falling out is also found dead in the same manner, not only is the list of suspects reduced to nobody, but it becomes clear that the killer has a very specific agenda in mind and that the motive is probably more personal than anyone had previously anticipated. The seedier side of the Hollywood flash is eviscerated here, and the lesson that one person's actions can have dire consequences for others is clear.
In terms of solving the mystery, though, this book is set up a little differently from the first one, in that we know from the beginning who the murderers are (all of them, rather) and how they're connected to the victims and what their motivations are, and we get all that information well before Lomax and Biggs do. This means that there were a bunch of times that I was thinking "no no no, that's not right!" when they would be sidetracked by a red herring or some other issue, and it kept me engaged from the start of the book to the end.
With cold weather right around the corner, you can't go wrong picking up these books to hunker down and wait out a day of wintry slop outside. This book and a cup of cocoa will make a rainy or snowy day pass very quickly indeed.
Marshall Karp's The Rabbit Factory introduces one of my favorite cop duos of all time, Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, homicide detectives for the LAPD. S...moreMarshall Karp's The Rabbit Factory introduces one of my favorite cop duos of all time, Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, homicide detectives for the LAPD. Seriously folks, this is a book I grabbed on impulse from the library shelf back in the day and have since bought as a gift for other people and in print and Kindle formats for myself. If I know you and I know you like reading, chances are you will be getting a copy of this book as a gift at some point.
What starts off as an ordinary day in the life of homicide detectives (that being investigating a homicide) rapidly spirals out of control when Lomax and Biggs are called to Familyland, the Mecca of the Lamar Studios empire, to investigate the murder of Eddie Elkins, the guy in the cartoon rabbit suit. The similarities to Disneyland are immediate and deliberate and keep going throughout the book, and the jabs at that media juggernaut are just one of the elements of the story I enjoyed (but then, I was on a vacation to Disney World with my family in the 8th grade and my dad commented that it looked like all the rabbits and lizards outside the hotel were on the company payroll, so maybe that humor is genetic.)
Anyway, what starts off as one murder of a sleazy, sleazy man escalates into a total war against Lamar Studios and everyone affiliated with it, and Lomax and Biggs always seem to be one step behind the killer or killers in figuring out the master plan. While this is going on, Lomax's gambling addict brother is in some serious doo doo, his father is trying to him up on blind dates (Lomax coming to grips with and healing from the death of his wife to cancer is a big emotional part of this story) and the body count is rising at an epic rate. There are so many twists and turns and details in the plot that you will not want to stop reading until the absolute end.
Some folks might see the ending of the book coming a mile away; I certainly did not and once the masterminds of the murder campaign were revealed, I remember shrieking aloud OH SNAP and having the people around me give me very strange looks. I can come back to this book again and again and the jokes are fresh and the story just as fun as it was the first time I read it.
Flipping Out is the third story involving my favorite detective duo, Lomax and Biggs, and while it's not my favorite offering of the ones available so...moreFlipping Out is the third story involving my favorite detective duo, Lomax and Biggs, and while it's not my favorite offering of the ones available so far, it's still enjoyable.
The first, most noticeable difference between Flipping Out and its two predecessors is that Flipping Out is way shorter. This is both a good thing and a not so good thing- on the one hand, this book is just right for devouring in one sitting; on the other hand, there weren't really enough pages to fully explore everything that was going on in the book.
And there is certainly a lot going on in the book. We have the standard elements of a murder (which makes sense, since our main characters are homicide detectives) with some added flavor in the form of more information about the other detectives and officers that Lomax and Biggs work with every day as well as their families and what they get up to. In this case, a bunch of the guys' wives are working together in a house flipping venture with the caveat that each house is financed primarily by an incredibly popular author of murder mysteries and each house serves as the setting for the murder in the author's current book. The gimmick is a hit with the public and the houses go for ludicrous amounts of money. When a real murder takes place at the house that's almost ready to be revealed, it seems almost too perfectly planned- until it becomes clear that the women in the house flipping group are all being targeted by the same killer.
At this point, the story kind of takes a sharp turn. There's tremendous pressure on the officers to solve the crime, not only because it's so high profile, but because police officers' families are in jeopardy. Lomax and Biggs stumble on the solution to the whole situation almost by accident, and as a reader I didn't see the solution coming at all. It took me a little while to realize that I didn't see the solution coming because there were no indicators that that solution was even a possibility. It was a good reminder that murder mysteries in books are not like mysteries in real life; in real life we only know what we ourselves know and there isn't an aside to the audience to provide the crucial details in case we get lost. We have to figure things out for ourselves, if we can.
I think the out-of-left field resolution to the story would have worked better for me if the pacing of the novel had been a little more even. We spent a lot of time in the beginning of the book with the house flipping and the crazy author and the literary facet, and the ending kind of swooped out of nowhere and BAM the book was over. A little more expansion and description would have made this a top book for me; as it is it was still enjoyable but left me a little ragged at the end.
Lomax and Biggs are back! In this, the most recent installment involving the wisecracking detectives from LAPD Homicide, we're all forced to confront...moreLomax and Biggs are back! In this, the most recent installment involving the wisecracking detectives from LAPD Homicide, we're all forced to confront a kind of unpleasant reality: if a total scumbag gets murdered, does anyone care? What if you're the person whose job it is to solve the murder and arrest the killer?
The ball gets rolling with the murder of Eleanor Bellingham-Crump, wife of an English diplomat who should have thanked every power that exists for diplomatic immunity, as that's the only thing that saved her from being roasted as she, while roasted, passed a school bus in her car and struck and killed a ten year old boy. The murder weapon- super sharp scrapbooking scissors- and the incredibly detailed scrapbook detailing every facet of Mrs. Bellingham-Crump's lurid crime that are left at the scene illustrate to everyone involved that a serial killer is on the loose, targeting....murderers. Lomax and Biggs struggle with having to solve the murders and do so with the understanding that not everyone is going to think the guilty party did anything wrong.
Don't get me wrong- the book isn't glorifying violence as a way to solve problems, nor is it saying that vigilantism is an acceptable way to deal with things that you think should have turned out differently. The way the identity of the killer is handled makes everything fit, if that makes sense, in a way that doesn't glorify what's happening but doesn't shy away from pointing out that bad guys get away with an awful lot most of the time.
There are other new elements that come into play as well- Detective Lomax and his getting more serious by the minute girlfriend Diana take in Sophie, the daughter of one of the other nurses Diana works with at the hospital, while the mother has to go to China to be with her mother who's passing away. This shines some light on the issue of kids in their relationship, as one of the unhealed wounds that Lomax still carries from his marriage is his and Joanie's inability to have to children and how the medical followup from that is what uncovered the cancer that ultimately took her life. There are a lot of emotional scenes and conversations in this book that illustrate that the relationships between the characters get as much detail and attention as the comedy or the murder mystery.
I will say though, that my favorite side plot in this book definitely involved the movie script that was the product of the creative collaboration between...wait for it..Terry Biggs and Big Jim, Mike Lomax's father. Entitled Semi Justice, it's about long haul truckers who solve crime and if it were ever a real movie, I would go see it. Enough said.
Anyway, this was another excellent offering from one of my favorite authors. If you're looking for an excellent series of books that make you laugh and hold your interest, then you don't need to look any further than this.