Flipping Out by Marshall Karp

Flipping Out by Marshall KarpFlipping Out is the third book in a wonderful series by Marshall Karp featuring LAPD Homicide Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs. If you haven’t read the first two yet, never fear. Karp’s style of writing is such that you can jump right in and hit the ground running… then go back and order books one and two, The Rabbit Factory and Bloodthirsty.

Flipping Out revolves around a group of women who form a business to renovate and “flip” houses for profit. Lomax & Biggs are called in when a member of the house-flipping group, who was also the wife of one of their fellow detectives, is murdered at the location of the group’s most recent house-flipping project.

Before Lomax & Biggs can figure out whether the victim was targeted because she was a police officer’s wife or because she was a member of the house-flipping team, a second murder occurs, also of a woman who was a member of the house-flipping team and a police officer’s wife. Clearly, Lomax & Biggs have their hands full with a serial killer, and from there the pursuit is on in a race against the clock to catch the killer before he/she can work their way through the entire house-flipping team.

It’s not easy to write a book that is both edge of your seat mystery as well as laugh-out-loud funny, but Karp pulls it off effortlessly. The black humor banter between Lomax & Biggs is razor sharp, and the one-liners fly fast and furious. But beneath the surface jocularity there is real depth to the characters in Karp’s novels. Even the most bit player comes across as three-dimensional, and Lomax & Biggs are fully realized characters, wonderfully painted in a million shades of grey… there is nothing “stock” about these Hollywood Detectives.

Far from putting it into cruise control for his third book, Karp just keeps getting better. This is easily the most complex mystery of his three offerings to date. The “who” of the “who dunnit?” is never obvious, and even when you think you’ve got it figured out Karp manages to serve up a wicked curveball of an ending. If you like mysteries, police procedurals, characters with depth, and laugh-out-loud writing then look no further… Flipping Out has it all, and then some.

Flipping Out is available from Minotaur Books (ISBN: 978-0312378233).

Flipping Out is the third book in the Lomax & Biggs series, following The Rabbit Factory and Bloodthirsty. To learn more about Marshall, visit his website.
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