The Barnes & Noble Review
Marshall Karp's debut novel -- an offbeat mystery that pits two LAPD detectives against a killer bent on bringing an entertainment conglomerate (eerily similar to the Walt Disney Company) to its knees -- is as irreverently funny as it is ingeniously plotted.
When a man working as the mascot at a Southern California theme park is found strangled to death at the family-oriented tourist trap still wearing his big fluffy white bunny costume (Rambunctious "Rambo" Rabbit), veteran LAPD detectives Michael Lomax and Terry Biggs are called in to investigate the bizarre murder. The victim, it turns out, was a child molester and convicted pedophile, but the two acutely perceptive police officers believe the murderer's rage was aimed not at the sex offender but at Lamaar's Familyland and its founder, the late Dean Lamaar. When another murder occurs involving a well-known company employee, Lomax and Biggs must catch the killer before more innocents die -- and a lovable cartoon rabbit's reputation is forever tarnished…
Razor-sharp wit and intricate plotlines aside, The Rabbit Factory is powered by the author's amazingly strong and insightful characterization. The detective duo of Lomax and Biggs -- a still-grieving middle-aged widower and a "tall, dark and ugly" Bronx native with a heart of gold -- make this novel an absolute delight to read. Fans of authors like Christopher Moore, Janet Evanovich, and Carl Hiaasen will not only enjoy this brilliant debut mystery/thriller but will be left pleading for more. Prediction: instant cult classic. Paul Goat Allen
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) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In screenwriter Karp's first novel, a man dressed as Rambo the Rabbit is murdered on the hallowed grounds of Familyland, a theme park not situated in Anaheim, CA. Rambo the Rabbit (not Mickey the Mouse) is the signature character of Dean Lamaar, a cartoonist from the Midwest who parlayed his colleagues' talents into a multimillion-dollar empire. Soon it becomes clear that there's a plot against the company, and the detective duo of Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs are on the case. Lomax has a cantankerous but lovable dad whose movie-business background allows bonding over this case, and Biggs is a wannabe standup comic. What might have been a darkly satirical insider's view of the entertainment industry or a detective/buddy novel attempts to be both and loses its fizz well before its 600-plus pages play out. An optional purchase.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A big, leisurely paced thriller, the first novel for playwright and screenwriter Karp, traces an insidious, insider terrorist attack on a Disney-like cartoon empire in L.A. The Rambunctious Rabbit is the Mickey Mouse of creator Dean Lamaar's vast, popular theme park, Familyland, and the seminal character to be attacked in an attempt to dismantle the animation network based in Costa Luna, Calif. The man strangled in the rabbit suit was in fact a convicted pedophile, leaving the two LAPD homicide detectives assigned to the case, Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, scratching their heads at how the man got a job working with kids. The casualties pile up over the course of two weeks: A former Lamaar producer is whacked with a bat; a visitor to Familyland is stabbed in the public bathroom; a bomb is set off at a Dallas Burger King, which has developed promotional tie-ins with Lamaar. Who's behind these scarily well-planned attacks aimed at humiliating Lamaar Studios, built up by the genius of now-deceased Dean Lamaar and four of his World War II army buddies-The Cartoon Corp? Protagonist Lomax is a 42-year-old widower, tough-talking but sensitive, and not quite ready to start dating despite the strong-arming of his father, Big Jim, a retired Teamster. In fact, Lomax is still wading sorrowfully through the letters his dead wife left him. During the course of the investigation, all kinds of intriguing subplots erupt, but it's the history of Lamaar Studios that proves key, as the elder members of the Cartoon Corp. express resentment at the vulgar course the network has veered since Dean's death, and the son of one of them, Danny Eeg, still simmers at what he considers unfair treatment of his father. Karpcraftily engineers a statement on ethical values, both institutional and personal. A bloated piece of work, devoted more to the pleasure of reading than the offer of a dazzling denouement.