FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp
“But here’s the twist,” Charlie said. “While the construction was going on, Nora wrote a book about a murder that takes place in that house. You might think it’s drivel, but the first week ”Murder at 2424 Horseshoe Canyon Road’ came out, it went straight to the bestseller list. That’s why the Flippers put the house on the market.”
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie (APR 17, 2009)
LAPD Homicide Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs meet partners in crime, Detectives Reggie Drabyak, Tony Dominguez and Charlie Knoll at a “Sunday debriefing” on Reggie’s fishing boat. Cop talk is out – cards, beer and banter is in. The guys call it a night at around 10:00 PM. Reg decides to sleep on his boat because his wife, Jo, an event planner, is working a wedding and won’t be home until the early hours. Lomax is to later reminisce, “Five cops. Drinking beer, playing cards, busting balls. I’ll never forget that Sunday night. It was the happiest time the five of us would ever spend together again.”
Monday morning, early, Lomax and Biggs are notified that Jo Drabyak has been shot and killed, mob style, with a bullet in the back of the head. A hank of the victims hair has been cut-off and apparently taken as a souvenir. Reggie found his wife’s body in the garage when he came home in the morning.
It seems as if the five men have more than their careers in common. Their 5 wives, (OK, four wives and one live-in girlfriend), are business partners. They call themselves the “LA Flippers.” And yes, they flip houses. The women purchase houses at a low market value. They renovate the property and then resell it at a profit in the lucrative L. A. real estate market.
Charlie’s mother-in-law, Nora Bannister, is the “queen of murder mystery writers.” She is also into the house flipping business big time. As a matter of fact, she started the business and invited her daughter to join as a partner. Later she asked Tony Dominguez’s wife, Marisol, to opt in and supervise the renovations. Recently Marilyn Biggs, and Diana Trantanella, Mike’s mate, joined the firm as junior partners.
Ms. Bannister has a novel take on crime writing and property profiteering. She writes a book about a murder which occurs in the actual house the women are having renovated. When the book goes on sale, so does the house. Her first novel hits the bestseller charts and stays there. As a result, a bidding frenzy occurs over the property. Prospective buyers want to live in the house that’s on the dust jacket. She calls her series “The House to Die For.” Her latest thriller, and its corresponding house for sale, along with a fictional homicide to boost the price, will hopefully make a small fortune for the women. That is, until another detective’s wife is slain and the crime scene is no longer a fiction.
Suddenly there are widowers to console, all friends and colleagues. The killings have become very personal now, as a serious serial killer is on the loose and targeting LAPD wives.
I so enjoyed Marshall Karp’s first book, The Rabbit Factory, and hoped he would write another Lomax/Biggs thriller that would equal his earlier work. He has! I read this in one sitting on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The storyline is original and full of suspense. The characters are characters(!), funny and compelling. Marshall Karp’s humor is wonderful. It really enhances the plot and entertains the reader, making a nice break from all the tension surrounding the brutal murders.В And there’s a wowser of an ending.
Flipping Out leaves the reader wanting more Lomax and Briggs.
|AMAZON READER RATING:||from 56 reviewers|
|PUBLISHER:||Minotaur Books (March 31, 2009)|
|REVIEWER:||Jana L. Perskie|
|AVAILABLE AS A KINDLE BOOK?||YES! Start Reading Now!|
|AUTHOR WEBSITE:||Marshall Karp|
|MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION:||our review of The Rabbit Factory|
Lomax and Briggs, L.A. Police Dectectives:
- The Rabbit Factory (May 2006)
- Bloodthirsty (May 2007)
- Flipping Out (March 2009)
- Cut, Paste, Kill (June, 2010)