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chris grabenstein

John Ceepak Mystery #6

Rolling Thunder

 Nominated for the Watson Award for Best Sidekick!

A prominent citizen dies on a brand new boardwalk roller coaster's first trip around the tracks. Was it a heart attack or did it just look like one? Then, one week later, a curvy beach babe is gruesomely murdered. Are the two incidents connected? And why is Ceepak's skeevy father back in Sea Haven? Hang on for an adrenaline pumping read!

Read the first chapter!


IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Audible | Amazon

It's All Good Tank Top

Ceepak Shop

Pegasus Books (Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co.) Hardcover, May 2010, ISBN: 978-1605980898



"Vivid local color and sharply drawn characters—especially as dramatized in the contrast between the partners' attitudes—help make the pages fly."
   —Publishers Weekly

"This detail-rich series appeals on multiple levels: vivid atmospherics, rich characters, and a wonderful sense of the absurd."

"Ceepak and Boyle are back, and better than ever! Rolling Thunder is terrific, and it's great to go back to Sea Haven. Although so much of this is fun for long-time readers, there's no reason new readers couldn't pick up this book, and enjoy it. And, once you've discovered Ceepak and Boyle in Rolling Thunder, I predict you'll go back and read the earlier ones in one of my favorite series."
   —Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critiques (read the full review)

"Where mysteries are concerned, homicide and humor are often an uneasy mix; rare is the author who is able to handle the combination successfully. Chris Grabenstein is one of the few, as he proves once more with this latest addition to his John Ceepak series, starring a straight-laced, order-obsessed former military police officer turned cop in a small resort town on the Jersey Shore. There he is teamed with his polar opposite, Danny Boyle, an irreverent youngster who entered law enforcement as a lark. Grabenstein serves up a most agreeable mystery, but his thriller's true delight lies in the complexity of his characters and the whimsical manner in which they are presented. Above all, his mismatched cops are a pleasure to know—which makes them something of a rarity in today's Whodunit World."
   —Robert Wade, San Diego Union Tribune

"As with all previous entries in this outstanding series, Grabenstein serves up a wonderfully complex mystery for Ceepak and Danny to tackle. Along the way they must deal with a jealous, potentially criminally complicit colleague, prominent members of the community engaging in organized activities of questionable legality, a mayor who wants nothing more than to not upset the tourists, and a family with Shakespearean levels of dysfunction.
  Engaging mysteries notwithstanding, it has always been the characters of Ceepak and Danny themselves that truly set the Jersey Shore series apart from run of the mill crime fiction. Though they're easy to describe in broad brush terms for a book jacket—Ceepak the straight-laced, by the book former Military Police Officer, Danny the young, wisecracking local who got into part-time law enforcement on a whim—there is so much more going on.
  Over the course of the series we've learned about the chaos in Ceepak's early life that drove him into the military and shaped him into a man who craves extreme order as a means to feel in control of his life. We've also seen glimpses into the darkness that lurks beneath Ceepak's ordered surface, reminding readers that he's much more than the "Dudley Do-Right" his foes often describe him as.
  Likewise, Danny has shown himself to be more than a wisecracking side-kick. Initially only caring about his part-time job with the Sea Haven PD because "chicks dig the cop cap," Danny has grown to appreciate and take pride in his individual role as a police officer, as well as his status as Ceepak's partner. He's also grown into a formidable investigator in his own right, and the events that unfold in Rolling Thunder set the stage for Danny to take a tremendous step forward in his maturation as both a police officer and a man.
  Yes, in Ceepak and Danny Grabenstein has, with a sure hand, brought to life over the course of the series two of the most interesting, multi-faceted protagonists in modern crime fiction. Those who've been reading the series since its Tilt-A-Whirl debut will love the continuing evolution of Ceepak and Danny, while those new to Sea Haven will find ready-made friends they'll feel as though they've known forever. No doubt about it, everyone should be in line for a ride on Rolling Thunder."
   —Elizabeth White

"This sixth novel in a very enjoyable series marks a new publisher as well as a return to what made the series so good. Not just the fact that Michal Fusco is once again designing the colorful covers. The humor that started this series was always so strong that it became its own character. The last two books have sorely missed the humor angle and while the reads were good in their own way, they suffered from not being funny. Obviously the subject matter in those two books didn't easily lend itself to wise cracks and attempts at humor. Finally, in this book, Boyle's private and public wise cracks are back as they should be. His realistic cynicism about tourists, high profile local people and others, along with a number of other topics provide are a reader treat in this book and the series. The chase is on again and for those of us who really liked the first several books, this read is the return of an old and trusted good friend. If you haven't read this series, you better get with it because you are really missing out."
   —Kevin Tipple

"Chris Grabenstein writes one of the most engaging and funny mystery series in existence. I was completely enthralled with this book. We've had time to get to know more about the darkness behind Ceepak's straight arrow personality and why he is the way he is. Danny Boyle is the character that has grown and changed the most, however. I have been happy to see that Danny has matured in so many ways. The heart-pounding conclusion of Rolling Thunder takes Danny to levels that he has never experienced before, and he is up to the task. The humor in Rolling Thunder is plentiful and the give and take between the two partners shines. It was fun to take a walk through Sea Haven again. Chris Grabenstein's powers of description are fabulous and he makes you want to actually taste "wonderful" treats such as Fried Snickers Bars and Fried Twinkies in "sunny, funderful" Sea Haven. I was also glad to see that the cover is back to the eye-screaming colors and great artwork that the first books in this series carried."

"It's so nice to have John Ceepak and Danny Boyle back again. Grabenstein creates an interesting yet not overly complex mystery that is populated by familiar characters, both likable and otherwise, resulting in a story that is entertaining without sacrificing word craft.
One of my favorite elements of these mysteries is that each novel moves the lives of Ceepak and Boyle along, at least a bit. Rolling Thunder is no exception. While Ceepak's ready-made family is kept off the pages for most of the book, an element of the past comes back once again to haunt him, with an unexpected conclusion. And Boyle experiences some potential changes in his life, ones that have the power to challenge his dedication to his job—or perhaps to make it stronger. Readers who have been around from the beginning of the series will be delighted, as always, while those for whom this is the first ride will no doubt buy return tickets for earlier volumes."
   —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com

"Faced with the evils of the world, a friend is all you have in finding justice. Rolling Thunder is a mystery following John Ceepak and his partner Danny Boyle as they try to find who is responsible for the mysterious deaths of a senior citizen and a young woman. Their investigative skills will be tested as Chris Grabenstein brings readers on a fun mystery ride, making Rolling Thunder a choice pick."
   —Midwest Book Review