cover image Mad Mouse

Mad Mouse

Chris Grabenstein, . . Carroll & Graf, $23.95 (322pp) ISBN 978-0-7867-1760-6

Grabenstein's second humorous procedural (after 2005's Tilt-a-Whirl ) reunites that incongruous pair, Sea Haven, N.J., police officer John Ceepak, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who lives by the code "I will not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do," and his callow young sidekick, Danny Boyle, who's promoted from part-time summer cop to full-time status. Paintball vandalism becomes something more serious when the assailant switches to actual gunfire, targeting Boyle and his circle of friends. In scenes reminiscent of Jaws , the local mayor, anxious that tourist dollars not be scared away, tries to conceal the significance of the shootings, but the politician offers little resistance to the detective duo's investigative efforts. Some readers may find that the jokey tone jars with a plot that echoes the real-life D.C. sniper case, but those for whom a laugh counts more than realistic action will be amused. (July)