Thursday, November 2, 2006

Finished: "Mad Mouse" by Chris Grabenstein

Finished: Mad Mouse by Chris Grabenstein, 2006, 1786717602

Second novel by Grabenstein featuring NJ seashore cops John Ceepak and Danny Boyle. This story is set only a couple months after the first novel's setting. In Tilt-a-whirl Ceepak and Boyle solved the bloody murder of a famous real estate mogul. The aftermath of that case had their police chief arrested for murder. Now, a new chief is in charge and Boyle is hoping to get hired on from his seasonal baseball-cap-with-polo-shirt status to full time cop-with-a-gun status.

Ceepak is still a "by the book" nut. He tickets his partner, Boyle, for an illegal left turn with, "The law is the law. It should be applied fairly, without fear or favoritism." He says things like, "Then have a cold one for me, partner…But pace yourself. It takes a full hour for the effect of each beer to dissipate." He talks using radio code short hand, says "Roger that" constantly, and his code to never "lie, cheat or style or tolerate those who do" is always referred to.

The mystery is okay. It starts with Boyle and old high school friends on the beach one night getting attacked by a paintball gun. The same thing happens the next night outside a restaurant with Boyle and a pal getting targeted. After the second event Boyle and Ceepak realize that a rifle has been shot at them as well. After Boyle's would be girlfriend gets shot in the chest, and the shooter narrowly misses Boyle, things speed up.

The character interaction and storyline is more important than the mystery. Tilt-a-whirl was more interesting with the characters being introduced. This was good but Grabenstein will have to work to keep things interesting.

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