Terminal (Lomax and Biggs #5), by Marshall Karp

Eight stars

The binge of Marshall Karp’s LAPD police procedural series is back! I remain dedicated to the books, enthralled by the characters, and eager to see how Lomax and Biggs will solve their latest case. Karp has kept things edgy and allows readers little time to catch their collective breath, as there is so much to digest in this latest piece. Building on earlier story arcs and adding some new ones, the series takes off once more, keeping readers highly entertained.

During a routine medical follow-up, LAPD Detective Mike Lomax is shocked when gunfire erupts in the facility. Following the sound, Lomax comes upon a gunman who’s killed one of LA’s most prominent fertility doctors. No amount of cajoling can help the gunman, who soon turns the weapon on himself, in front of Lomax. After some preliminary investigation, Lomax is baffled, learning that there was absolutely no connection between the victim and the shooter.

When Lomax and his partner, Detective Terry Biggs, are asked to look into a routine traffic accident that led to a fatality, they are baffled once more. What looks to be a routine case of a pedestrian not paying attention and a hapless driver striking him soon turns into a murderous affair. Again, the victim and driver do not seem to have any connection. However, there is an odd connection between both crimes that Lomax attended; the killers were both terminally ill and attended them same support group.

While Lomax and Biggs begin probing into the support group, they find a common thread. These members are being recruited to serve as hitmen, targeting a select group. Not only that, there appears to be a connection to a large pharmaceutical group who has been putting out a tainted drug, one that has been killing many.

While the case races towards the finish, Detective Lomax struggles with his own health issues as he is faced with a daunting task. He can only think back to how he lost his wife a few years ago and wonders if he wants to put his family through the same. A major development on the home front has Lomax doubly worried and in a state of tension, hoping that he can stand up to protect those he loves. Marshall Karp has done a fabulous job with this piece, spinning stories and adding depth to the overall plot. One can hope there will be another case to come, though I know Karp keeps busy with many other projects.

Marshall Karp keeps finding stories to impress readers while tackling murder outside the box. The flow to the narrative makes reading the books easy and a handful of relatable characters keeps the reader wanting to come back for more. Mike Lomax has been a central figure throughout, allowing the reader to see his growth, as well as the daily struggles that burden him. While I have binge read all five books in just over a week, I have come away with something strong and feel fully a part of the series, as well as many who grace the pages of each chapter. A book filled its humour to offset some of the darker moments, this is one series that is perfect for those seeking something light and yet impactful.

Kudos, Mr. Karp, for another great novel. I hope you have more to come when time permits.