cover image Rolling Thunder: A John Ceepak Mystery

Rolling Thunder: A John Ceepak Mystery

Chris Grabenstein, . . Pegasus, $25 (304pp) ISBN 978-1-60598-089-8

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)