Saturday, May 12, 2012

TILT-A-WHIRL by Chris Grabenstein

          “….some guys have a code they live by, some guys don’t.
          John Ceepak? He has a code.”


Chris Grabenstein’s Tilt-a-Whirl is a Stepahnie Plum-type novel with two male protagonists.

The book takes place in Sea Haven, a resort area in an unnamed state. Tilt-a-Whirl’s square, tormented hero-cop John Ceepak and his sidekick Danny Boyle investigate the murder of the local billionaire.

Ceepak is an Iraq war veteran hired by the Sea Haven police chief. The chief was once Ceepak’s Army commander. 

Ceepak’s backstory involves the kinds of things that make war terrible. In other words, Ceepak suffers from carefully-hidden PTSD.

The local billionaire and his teenaged daughter Ashley were sitting on the turtle Tilt-a-Whirl ride early in the morning, long before the park opened. According to Ashley, they often did this. She loved turtles, and they often sneaked into the park to sit on the turtles and talk.

Apparently a local bum, homeless and confused, uses a pistol stolen from the police department to gun the rich man down.

And the story goes from there.

For me, the saving grace of this book was its unusual plotting. At first I enjoyed the book. I would have called it a “quick read,” just simple fun, very much like I found the early Stephanie Plum books.

Then I got tired of watching Ceepak chase the bum through car washes and the like. There is only so much humor in seeing some poor homeless man whipped around by the rotating brushes of the car wash where he used to work.

But by the time I got to the end of the book, I had to admit that the story has a clever plot. I would never in a thousand years have worked out what Grabenstein says happened.

So again, this book became a quick fun read.

I got this book at a bargain price as an electronic book from Amazon. I read it on my iPad. I bought three Ceepak novels that way, and I plan to read them all.


Anonymous said...

Our library lists several books by this author, so I've requested this one. Sounds like fun! Enjoyed your review.

Joe Barone said...

Yes. I thought it was fun. I think this author is a popular author.

Anonymous said...

Another of your finds that I enjoyed. In particular, I got a kick out of Gladys. Will read Whack A Mole next.
Thanks again for the great reviews!

Joe Barone said...

You can also thank Lisa of Lisa's Book Critiques. She is the one who clued me in to this author. That's one of the wonderful things about blogs. The knowledge of books spreads from person to person.