There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real-estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven.
John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war. Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation. He is partnered with Danny Boyle, a 24-year-old part-time summer cop who doesn't carry a gun and only works with the police by day so he has enough pocket money left over to play with his beach buddies at night.
In the first novel in a new series written in the spirit of Carl Hiaasen's work, the Tilt-a-Whirl murder pushes Ceepak's deep sense of honor and integrity to the limits, as unexpected twists and turns keep the truth spinning wildly in every direction.
©2006 Chris Grabenstein; (P)2007 Audible, Inc.
"A fast-paced thrill ride with lots of twists and turns and good writing from start to finish." (James Patterson)"From page 1, this debut stands out as refreshingly different....an absolute triumph." (Booklist)
This was a great book, but not great literature. If you are looking for a sophisticated crime drama with deep meaning this book will not please. It is however a a fast paced read with very likeable characters that catch your interest and create a desire to know what is next. It was the first book in a while that I couldn't wait see what was next and found myself making time to finish listening to.
I'm a huge fan of crime fiction, legal thrillers, etc., and this book wasn't the most challenging story. But two things made it a great listen for me: the reader was outstanding and the author nailed the entire Jersey Shore -- from the peculiarities and vulgarities of Jerseyans language to the tacky and freewheeling world of beach life. As a native of the area, it was just like being there. This book won't enlighten you or change your life, but it is a good listen and a fine bit of mind candy to pass some hours - maybe while you lay on the beach at the Jersey Shore.
This book--and the rest of the author's "John Ceepak" mysteries--are hilarious and entertaining visits to the New Jersey shore, where local cops--a former MP and a surfer dude--track down bad guys in fictional Sea Haven. TILT-A-WHIRL, the first in the series, won the 2006 Anthony Award for "Best First Mystery" and will hook you on going back for more (all available here on audible.com). The dialog is crisp and full of sharp humor, made even better by the delivery of the excellent narrator. (If you've spent any time on the "Joisey" shore, you'll appreciate him even more!)
I got such a laugh from this book I visited the author's Website, which is also funny and entertaining. Be sure to download the perfectly believable Sea Haven visitor map, which shows where all the best spots are located! I'm hopping the next installment will be on audible in time for summer!
I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha
I can't tell the readers or author how important this series of books have become to me. I am nearly a senior citizen (74 years old) who recently became a widow after 35 years of being more than happily married. Now I am struggling to find out just who I really am & to try & go forth in life. Reading at least 4 of these books so far they have spoken to me on more than a literary way. John Ceepak & his side kick Danny & all those who deal with them are teaching me something I should have known & followed in Kindergarten. The stories themselves are simple & enjoyable, life like & challenging when I ask myself "Could I do that?" Could I be like J. Ceepak with his code of honor? I had to give that a lot of thought. It is so easy to skip over. Be aware readers, I am 74 yrs old so this is a serious & meaningful question for me. And by the way it is in the ten commandments. Say what? But I am not going there per se. I did realize the "code" was very meaningful to me although I knew it also take compassion, patience & courage. So here is the rub….. what does it take to follow the example of the author Chris Grabenstein's description of being someone 'who does not lie, does not steal or does not cheat,' & more importantly does not tolerate those who do! I know I know what a Pandora's box this can become. & I can see the wall of resistance coming down like Niagara falls. And I agree it isn't for everyone, but I also know life can be much simpler, less stressful & so much less dramatic by taking this code seriously. So as I continue to read this entertaining & enticing series I have decided I am going try to try & do just this. Wish me luck in a world where none of this code is taken very seriously.
Incredible job by the narrator with a fantastic story filled with twists and turns on top of twists and turns. The author captures how people really speak --especially in New Jersey. No wonder this book won the coveted Anthony Award for BEST FIRST MYSTERY!
The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.
Chris Grabenstein's debut novel offers exactly what you would expect from any amusement park fare ~ a bit of excitement ~ treats that are tasty but not especially filling ~ plenty of twists and turns ~ a fun ride. Add in a couple of well-drawn, likeable characters and a plot that is well-paced and at least a little unpredictable and you have a terrific escapist listen.
Tilt-A-Whirl is the first in an ongoing series of mysteries, set in a New Jersey beach town and featuring MP turned beach cop John Ceepak. Ceepak seems to be modeled after Dragnet's Joe Friday ~ straight-laced and spare with words. He is every bit as engaging as is his young partner, and our narrator.
This is an escapist mystery ~ a guilty pleasure, perhaps, but a pleasure all the same. Not great literature, to be sure, and worlds will not end if our heroes fail. But this a great good time, which is pretty much everything you can expect from a novel named after an amusement park ride and bearing a pink cover. We get the full ride with this listen and it is more than enough to satisfy.
Spend the credit here. You won't be disappointed.
My favorite genre is mystery/thriller especially espionage. I dislike the paranormal. Some non-fiction. 1000+ books in my Audible library.
Grabenstein's novels are less complex than the best ones, but they are fun to listen to. The John Ceepak character is so straight laced that it is almost painful. Ceepak, and right, always win. Jeff Woodman does a good job as narrator.
I'm not looking for deep meaning, strong messages or socially redeeming. Give me interesting characters, some laughs and fun plot twists!
Danny and Ceepak are great fun! The plot has some real twists and goes deeper than your average quick and fun listen!
About the time you're sure you know what's going on there is a twist. The humor slides in and keeps sneaking up at just the right times too.
I found myself walking saying "focus Danny" to myself in that same tone whenever I started chasing squirrels in my head. :)
I not only wanted to listen in one sitting - I downloaded the rest of the series. Love 'em!
Like Springsteen? Like fun reads with humor and some substance? Been to the Jersey boardwalk? If you answered yes to any of these give Danny and Ceepak a try!
When heard the first book I thought it seemed like it was geared to a teen age crowd, but now I'm on my third book. The books are based on telling the truth, they have humor, and are non violent. The books are a refreshing break and can be shared by the non mystery people.
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
I am a real fan of mystery and detective fiction of all sorts, and I really enjoyed Tilt-A-Whirl for what it was - a light, humorous book, with good characters, and, of course, one where the good guys win.
The two main characters are Danny, the narrator, who is a 24-year-old beach bum/ part-time cop earning a few dollars over the summer; and Ceepak, his very straight-laced ex-military partner. Danny is a great foil for Ceepak - Danny is naive and young, whereas Ceepak is experienced and worldly and...not so much up to speed on pop culture!
While this is a fun book, it is not a "cozy" mystery (no old mansions, locked-room murders or elevenses!). There is murder, conspiracy, some swearing, serious crime and crime-solving, however!
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and yes, I plan to go through the series!
I wasn't sure what it would be like. Narrator was great straight away, easy listen straightaway. Storyline good with twists and turns.
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