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Rolling Thunder: A John Ceepak Mystery (John Ceepak Mysteries) Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Anthony Award–winner Grabenstein's enjoyable sixth John Ceepak mystery (after 2009's Mind Scrambler), the wife of Paddy O'Malley, an entrepreneur whose company has just built a roller coaster on the shore of the struggling resort town of Sea Haven, N.J., suffers a fatal heart attack on the new ride during the grand opening. As supercop Ceepak and his less obsessively straight-arrow partner, Danny Boyle, begin to doubt whether Mrs. O'Malley died of natural causes, the dismembered body of a party girl turns up in two suitcases. Since the most obvious suspect is too conveniently set up, the two cops must wade through a rancid swamp of local politics, sleazy sex, and family hatred for the truth. The corruption Ceepak sees drives him to be even more vigilantly upright. Vivid local color and sharply drawn characters—especially as dramatized in the contrast between the partners' attitudes—help make the pages fly. (May)
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Review

“Thoughtful, funny and exciting.” (Dick Adler - Chicago Tribune)

“A fast-paced thrill ride with lots of twists and turns and good writing from start to finish.” (James Patterson)

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

“A fun series.” (Marilyn Stasio - The New York Times)

“A nearly perfect read.” (Mystery Scene Magazine)

“Briskly paced, well plotted, and narrated with a cynical humor that makes it a real joy to read.” (The Detroit Free Press)

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Product Details

  • Series: John Ceepak Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605980897
  • ASIN: B006CDILAK
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,783,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Grabenstein is the author of many fast-paced and fun page-turners including the New York Times bestsellers The Island of Dr. Libris and Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Currently nominated for 34 different state book awards, Mr. Lemoncello has spent 38 weeks in the top ten of the New York Times Middle Grades bestseller list. Nickelodeon has optioned the book to become a movie. Chis is also the co-author with James Patterson of the #1 Bestselling I Funny, Treasure Hunters, and House of Robots series. He is the critically acclaimed author of over thirty books, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Previously, Chris wrote for Jim Henson's Muppets and co-wrote the CBS-TV movie The Christmas Gift starring John Denver. His dog, Fred, has better credits. Fred starred on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.www.ChrisGrabenstein.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. White on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"I used to round up shopping carts in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. Then I met Ceepak and life's been one big roller coaster ride ever since." - Danny Boyle

Officer Danny Boyle isn't the only one going for a roller coaster ride in Rolling Thunder, the sixth entry in author Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak/Jersey Shore mystery series. Memorial Day weekend in Sea Haven, New Jersey finds Danny and his partner, John Ceepak, working crowd control at the grand opening of the Rolling Thunder roller coaster. "Big Paddy" O'Malley, owner of the Rolling Thunder, his family, and assorted town dignitaries are also on hand to be the first to experience the seaside town's newest attraction.

They get more than they bargained for when Mrs. O'Malley has a heart attack and dies during the coaster's initial run. Though the death appears on the surface to be nothing more than an unfortunate tragedy, Ceepak and Boyle are bothered by the lack of distress exhibited by several members of the family and begin looking into the workings of the O'Malley clan. As they are doing so another death, this one unquestionably a murder, confirms their suspicion that something is fishy in Sea Haven.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Craig on May 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From start to finish, this book is as exciting and entertaining as the ride for which it is titled! From "clanking up the hill" (by having Ceepak and Danny check kids in line for height requirements) to reaching that first peak (when a woman has a heart attack on the roller coaster) and then dashing down the hill into the rest of the ride, this book has as many twists and turns, ups and downs as the real thing. I found it well paced - just like a roller coaster - because sometimes you have to have little "rests" in there or it just all gets too exciting. (Love Ceepaks facts about heart attacks and stress and roller coasters!). Roller coasters are fun for me because there's definitely a scare factor involved but I feel enough confidence in the basic safety of a fixed attraction to enjoy the ride. Chris does the same thing in his books. There's always an excitement about what will happen next but I can safely rely on Ceepak's code of honor to keep things on track. I love watching Danny grow and become, as he puts it "Ceepak Jr." The Sea Haven mysteries are filled with humor, wisdom, quiet strength, and nail-biting tension and I knew before I read it that I would love this book because of the author and the series subject matter/characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Davidson on July 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First, I have to confess that this was my first John Ceepak mystery. I usually start at the beginning of a series and work my way through, but in this case I went to see the author read and was completely intrigued. ROLLING THUNDER is well-written and well-plotted, and a perfect summer read. I can't comment on character development, the way that many of the other reviewers have, but I can tell you that the book is a great thrill ride even if this is your first taste of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patty on July 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is so much fun to fall back into the world of Ceepak and Boyle. The Jersey Shore is so vividly drawn that I would swear I've been there, except for the fact that I've never set foot in the state!

This time round Danny and Ceepak are at the grand opening of a new ride on the boardwalk, an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster called, you guessed it, Rolling Thunder. The owner and his family are taking the first ride and have just started into the second hill when the wife suffers a heart attack. Although it appears to be natural causes, questions arise when the coaster owners "girl friend" turns up dead.

I absolutely love these characters, Ceepak has relaxed a little but not a lot from the first books but the changes in Danny Boyle have been wonderful to watch. He has basically grown from a cocky teenager (even though he is over 20 when the series starts his behavior is very immature) to a responsible police officer who is learning from his older partner. They make a fascinating contrast as well as a smooth partnership. Can't wait for the next in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's so nice to have John Ceepak and Danny Boyle back again. If you are unfamiliar with Chris Grabenstein's mysteries, then ROLLING THUNDER, the sixth installment in the series, is a great place to start. Ceepak and Boyle are senior/junior partners in the Sea Haven, New Jersey Police Department. Sea Haven is a semi-seedy Jersey shore resort destination with enough trouble to give them job security for years to come. Ceepak is a war veteran who is all right angles and, by reputation and in reality, never lies; Boyle is his somewhat younger understudy and the narrator of the series.

Grabenstein is a wonderful author who has quickly moved to the A-lists of the readers who have encountered this series, in part due to the endearing traits of his memorable characters. He also has that rare ability to give readers plenty of detail without bogging down the narrative in minutiae. The result is a story that flows swiftly but with heft, much like a roller coaster, which is precisely what the book happens to be.

Let us put things in context. Rolling Thunder is the name of a brand-new roller coaster that is all set to take its inaugural run in Sea Haven on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, which, as Boyle hastens to inform us in the opening paragraphs of the book, unofficially starts the resort season. But Rolling Thunder hardly gets out of the gate before claiming its first victim: Paddy O'Malley's wife, its owner. The O'Malley family is interesting, and each member is worth the price of admission to the novel all by themselves. It appears that Mrs. O'Malley's already overstrained heart succumbed to the excitement of the roller coaster ride.
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