Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rolling Thunder by Chris Grabenstein

Ceepak and Danny are back!  And if you aren't already excited, it's possible you've missed out on these great police procedural thrillers.  Rolling Thunder is the sixth book about this pair of cops in the Jersey Shore resort town of Sea Haven.  John Ceepak is an Iraq war vet who lives by a very strict moral code.  Danny Boyle is his younger partner.

The book opens with Ceepak and Danny working security on opening day for the new wooden roller coaster Rolling Thunder.  Unfortunately, the owner's wife has a heart attack part way through the initial ride.  Ceepak is suspicious since none of the kids seem that broken up by her death.

A couple of days later, another body turns up, this one cut up into pieces and left in a suitcase.  While investigating this one, they keep wondering about the first death.  Is there a connection?  Was the first one murder?

Yes, this is definitely out of my normal cozy sub-genre, but I just love these characters.  Danny and Ceepak keep growing in each book.  Danny especially has really matured.  Ceepak is still hard edged and serious, but he is softening, if not as quickly as Danny matures.  As usual, Ceepak is our star, although Danny provides a couple of clues and stars in a couple of the more intense scenes.

The plot moves very quickly from one plot twist to another.  I did feel a sub-plot involving Ceepak's dad could have been put to better use, but that's my only real complaint about this great book.

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