Author: Marshall Karp
Page Count: 574 pages
Publisher: Lawson Library
Genre: comedy, murder mystery
Copy for review was from my personal library
50 words or less: Publisher's Weekly nailed it: "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." (okay, so that's more than 50 words. Trust me, this book is worth the extra!)
My second Alphabet Soup book (those books that never fail to hit the spot or remedy a bad day or a bad cold) is Marshall Karp's The Rabbit Factory, which 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.
Overall Grade: A+