Friday, June 30, 2006

Just read: "Tilt A Whirl" by Chris Grabenstein

Just read: Tilt A Whirl by Chris Grabenstein, 2005, 0786715847

Good. Good characters (mostly) and plot.

Narrator Danny Boyle is a 24 year old summer cop at the seaside resort town of Sea Haven, NJ. Danny is a partial cop with no gun, daytime hours, a polo shirt with sewn on police logo, and a baseball cap. Boyles primary job is to be the driver for new cop John Ceepak. Ceepak was recently discharged from the Army where he was an MP for 13 years or so. Ceepak joined the Sea Haven department after an invite from an old Army buddy who is now Chief of Police.

One morning, at their daily 7.30 AM pancake shop breakfast, a 12 year old girl walks by the restaurant's front window covered in the blood of her just murdered father. Ceepak and Boyle investigate and are in the thick of the investigation from then on. The murder investigation wraps up early, of course, and carries over to the real mystery over who was framed and what authority figures are behind it all. Not an original plot idea but well done and quite fun to read.

The book has a fair amount of humour from Danny Boyle. Danny only takes the job semi-seriously since hes only a semi-policeman. Hes also intrigued by Ceepak and his personal Code of honesty, patriotism, and kindness. That humour is well balanced with coverage of crime scene forensics and setting description.

The Boyle and Ceepak characters are interesting and well drawn out. The supporting characters are not as well drawn. But, so what? There is a mystery plot to follow and Grabenstein does not blather on and on over philosophical issues like some other authors do.

There is a second novel with Ceepak by Grabenstein called Mad Mouse; Ill read it.

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