AN ANIMATED DEATH IN BURBANK by Michael Joens

AN ANIMATED DEATH IN BURBANK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No Mickey Mouse murder here.

Forget warm and fuzzy; it’s not your grandma’s animated industry anymore. Gentle Mickey, docile Minnie, and those who limned them have been superseded by a new, decidedly more tempestuous breed. Figures on drawing boards are larger, louder, more agitating, and more aggressive. So are their creators. Block their careers, appropriate their love objects, out-glam their status symbols, and you run the risk of de-animation, like Parker Stewart, brilliant, famous, fading but still a force in the industry, who’s found with a bullet in his brain. On his computer, in 36-point Helvetica, is his valedictory: “That’s All Folks.” But is it a suicide merely because it looks like one? Uh-uh. As the detectives who catch the case soon learn, funny business in the funny business is not merely predictable; it’s downright unavoidable. Hunkish Sergeant Tom Rigby of the Burbank PD and gorgeous Sergeant Sandy Cameron of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office are the investigative duo who wind up investigating the daylights out of each other. Their quarry is a ruthless, cunning serial killer intent on downsizing the industry through homicide, converting Looney Tunes into a funeral march, and exacting a brutal vengeance that will come within a pencil line of erasing our heroes.

Not as lean and tight as it should be, but the leads are a lively pair: a promising debut.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-312-30716-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2003