Thursday, May 24, 2012

MAD MOUSE by Chris Grabenstein

Chris Grabenstein’s Mad Mouse had one quality that interested me most of all.

John Ceepak’s sidekick Danny Boyle and a group of friends become the targets of a want-to-be mass murderer. Someone shoots and almost kills Boyle’s girlfriend. The same assailant kills another of Danny Boyle’s high school group, Mook.

And the murderer’s motive goes back to high school days.

That’s what interested me about this book. This was a book about bullying. As a former high school teacher and then a minister, I know how terrible bullying can be. Bullying is never humorous. Bullying is never something we should forget.

In Mad Mouse, teenage bullying has a long-term effect.

It doesn’t matter that the book is much like the other John Ceepak books. Ceepak has his code. He is a real Boy Scout in the “helping little old ladies across the street” sort of way. But he is a good man too.

Ceepak’s sidekick Danny, who has just become a full-time cop, sees Ceepak as a father figure.

The two of them patrol Sea Haven along the Jersey shore. They see all the kitsch of a resort town --the Tilt-a-Whirl, the large two-story elevator drop, the Mad Mouse, the candy shops, the bars, the places where you can buy the equivalent of little Ozark outhouses made in China, the places with almost open prostitution.

The resort area quality of the town is well-portrayed. For about ten years, we lived in the Missouri Ozarks, one of the major tourist areas of our state. I know what a place like that can be.

I think Grabenstein portrays Sea Haven well.

So, this was another enjoyable John Ceepak book. It had the same formula as the others, including a wild chase (which seems to be de rigueur in these books). But it is a perfect book for good quick reading.

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