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chris grabenstein


Slay Ride

Two weeks before Christmas, Scott Wilkinson goes on a routine business trip. The young advertising executive calls for a car service to take him from his home in the New Jersey suburbs to the airport.

But, the driver is late. When he finally shows up, he drives like a maniac—frantically changing lanes, tailgating, narrowly avoiding collisions. Scott feels lucky to reach the airport alive.

Then, he makes a big mistake. He calls the limousine company to complain. Customer service assures him the bad driver will be "dealt with."

But this driver is worse than bad. He is pure evil. Nicolai Kyznetsoff may look and sound like all the anonymous drivers who whisk successful young executives back and forth to the airport all day. But the man behind the wheel of this particular Lincoln Town Car is something much more sinister: a psychotic Santa Claus, an avenging dark angel who will stop at nothing to wreak revenge on the one man he holds responsible for ruining his life.

Read the first chapter!


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

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

Audible | Amazon

Carroll & Graf Hardcover, September 2006, ISBN: 978-0786718207
Carroll & Graf Paperback, September 2006, ISBN: 978-0786718771



"Lively characters."

"Nicely done."

"There's enough whacked-out gruesomeness and solid action to hook readers."
   —Entertainment Weekly

"There are more twists and turns in this carefully plotted novel than there were in Scott Wilkinson's wild limo ride to the airport. For the characters in Slay Ride this is no way to spend the holiday, but for readers it couldn't be more thrilling."
   —The Strand Mystery Magazine

"This is the start of a promising new series, with Chris Miller as the protagonist, from Mr. Grabenstein, previously the author of the much-enjoyed Tilt A Whirl and Mad Mouse, and in mostly the same light-hearted vein [if one doesn't count the violence and murders] as the previous novels. Not to be taken too seriously, it's a lot of fun, with just enough suspense, and just in time for the holidays."
   —Gloria Feit, Midwest Book Review

"Slay Ride is a bit different than Grabenstein's series with the amusement park ride names. It's darker and a bit more of a thriller. It's also wonderful.... This book will have you clutching the arms of your chair while you read and leave you exhausted from the tension. Truly great reading from Anthony Winner Grabenstein."
   —Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine

"Slay Ride is an exciting book with lots of puzzle pieces to put together before the stunning climax. I loved Christopher Miller and his family and hope to read more books about his life with the FBI."
   —Patricia Reid, Mysteries Galore

"Slay Ride is a rollercoaster of twists, turns, and genuine surprises—Chris Grabenstein has written a killer thriller for the holiday season."
   —Jeff Abbott, bestselling author of Fear

"This little noir gem packs quite a punch."
   —Mystery Lovers Books

"The publication of Slay Ride, Chris Grabenstein's third novel, raises an interesting question: is there anything that this author cannot do well? Grabenstein seemingly burst from out of nowhere onto the mystery and suspense scene with what has become known as the John Ceepak/Jersey Shore mysteries: the award-winning Tilt A Whirl and Mad Mouse. Ostensibly a stand-alone work, Slay Ride in some ways is a more ambitious endeavor for Grabenstein. Certainly, if his intent was to tell a story that would keep the reader up all night, he has succeeded admirably.

Slay Ride centers on Christopher Miller and Scott Wilkinson, two very different yet driven men whose lives come to intersect briefly but meaningfully. Miller is an FBI agent, a specialist in kidnapping cases and a legend in the agency. Wilkinson is a wunderkind in the advertising industry who sees the world in terms of seconds and minutes, causes and effects. Both men value only one thing above their jobs: their families. Wilkinson's life, though, is dramatically changed when he complains to his car service about his driver's erratic behavior. Nicolai Kyznetsoff, the driver in question, is a dangerous, rabid wolf with the ability to wreak havoc and revenge at whim. He slowly and methodically begins researching Wilkinson's life, plotting a dark and final retaliation with a number of bloody rewards.

Meanwhile, Miller, riding a desk job since incurring the displeasure of a superior, finds his path intersecting with Wilkinson and Kyznetsoff as the result of a seemingly innocuous strong-arm burglary of a Russian immigrant's apartment. Kyznetsoff is indirectly tied to it, and it has attracted the attention of a number of people. Kyznetsoff, the hunter, finds that he is the hunted as well—by more than one party and for more than one reason. Nothing, however, will prevent Kyznetsoff from carrying out his revenge against Wilkinson, even as Miller races against time and distance to keep Kyznetsoff from destroying not one but two families.

Slay Ride is a thriller best read on the edge of your seat. Kysnetsoff is an unforgettable villain—Grabenstein does for Santa Claus and limo drivers what Stephen King did for clowns—whose danger quotient is exceeded only by his animal cunning and intellect. The plan that Grabenstein constructs for the climax of the book is nothing short of amazing, all the more so because it's so workable. The author, however, does not give his characters short shrift either; Miller is an immensely and immediately likable protagonist. Slay Ride is supposed to be a stand-alone work, but Miller is too good a character to limit to a single novel. Hopefully we'll see more of him in the very near future."
   —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com