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Publisher's Summary

Hell Hole is the fourth book in the mystery series featuring hardened former military PD and current Sea Haven, New Jersey, police officer John Ceepak and his partner, wise-cracking Danny Boyle.

In Hell Hole, Ceepak is confronted with his most personal case yet when he must investigate the alleged suicide of a military corporal who recently returned from Iraq. When it turns out that this "locked stall" rest-stop suicide is anything but an open-and-shut case, Ceepak and Boyle realize that the corporal might have been privy to information that opens up a much larger conspiracy - one that strikes at the heart of our involvement in the Middle East and puts them on the wrong side of some very unpleasant people.

Don't miss other adventures featuring Sea Haven's finest, including (in order) Tilt-a-Whirl, Mad Mouse, and Whack-a-Mole.
©2008 Chris Grabenstein; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Grabenstein again shows his intimate knowledge of Jersey shore towns, whose populations swell in the summer....But this series offers far more than a beach-book romp; Hell Hole is taut and satisfying crime fiction." (Booklist)
"Hell Hole - named after an amusement park ride, like his other novels - moves at a brisk pace...The relationship between John and Danny, how each grows and learns from each other, continues to be the heart of Grabenstein's four novels." (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"Jeff Woodman's natural exuberance is a fine fit for Hell Hole's ingenuous, smart-alecky cop, Danny Boyle....Additionally, Woodman creates a perfect foil in Boyle's NJPD partner, hard-nosed, by-the-book John Ceepak....Chris Grabenstein writes a tight, well-constructed mystery, and Woodman's performance keeps the interest high and the listening upbeat." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Susan
  • bergenfield, NJ, USA
  • 07-30-08

Another Terrific Ceepak Mystery

I've read all of the Ceepak Mysteries and was not disappointed by Hell Hole. The anticipation and mystery unfolds at a nice pace and I really enjoyed the ending. Based on the ending, I'm looking forward to the next book. Of course, I always enjoy Jeff Woodman's narration too.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Kathy
  • United States
  • 08-10-08

Love that Ceepak

If you are a John Ceepak fan, you have to listen to this book. It isn't as good as the first three books (mainly because there is less Ceepak and more Danny Boyle) but Grabenstein still spins out a smart, funny and dependably entertaining story

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Stronger story than books 1-3

This is an excellent addition to this series. It has the same tone and humor and setting as the first 3 books but the story has a bit more punch to it (i.e., it's quite "serious" in nature, and believable, and... well, kinda sad too).

It's probably a bit far-fetched in that I don't think so many people in real life would be complicit in such bad goings-on, but it's all believable within the story, and very suspenseful...

It's fast and enjoyable - though I think it has more swearing than the other books so that might put some people off, but it all fit with the storyline. The narration is very well done.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Fun series set at the Jersey Shore

This is a fun series to listen to -- Jeff Woodman does an amazing job with all of the different voices required and really distinguishes them. I have to laugh when I think of some of them.

I can't remember how I found these -- probably through a Kindle bargain day where I could get a an amazing deal on the audio, too. I listened first to one of the later books from the series, but then wanted to hear them from the beginning, so I am working my way through them. The books are named for amusement park rides found at many Jersey Shore boardwalk amusement piers

Grabenstein does bring the listener into the fold in each book by explaining a bit about the main characters and the setting. The two main characters are straight-arrow John Cepak and his young sidekick Danny Boyle, cops in the town of "Sea Haven" New Jersey, which is a south Jersey town at the shore that's a cross between Seaside Heights, Beach Haven, and Wildwood. So they can be read as stand-alones, but why do that when you can enjoy following the relationship of these two cops and their adventures from their first months on duty?

Hell Hole is a more complex mystery and a bit darker than the first books, and the puzzle here is not so much whodunit but HOW-dunit. The language is not for the faint of heart, because this tale is peopled with a lot of young Army guys who do not mince words and some additional characters who use the F-word as their choice of language for about one third of the words out of their mouths (one of which is a salty older lady, by the way). It's actually pretty funny, if you don't mind that sort of thing, since it helps paint pictures of these characters.

I won't say more about the story except to recommend this one, and tell you if you want to start from the first in the series, it's called Tilt-a-Whirl.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Another fun Ceepak mystery

A great mix of intrigue, comedy and jersey shore which helps take the reader to the beach. Chris Grabenstein does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the Jersey Shore in this well written story which takes more turns than a mad mouse. Grab some scrapple and settle in for a fun ride!

The Ceepak series is one of those where the narrator adds another whole dimension. I think this series is so much more enjoyable as an audio book because of Mr. Woodman's excellent performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth the wait!

I really enjoyed this one as I did the three that preceded it. I thought it was very well thought out and it left me going until the very end. I think Grabenstein gets better at this with each Ceepak mystery he writes. I highly recommend this. I'm going back to read Hell for the Holidays but hope that Grabenstein releases his next Ceepak mystery real soon!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Best one yet

The story line in Woodman's latest effort develops and culminates better than any of the previous books.
Very entertaining and good fun.
Jeff Woodman, again, is absolutely brilliant in his portraying of the characters!
I can enjoy listening pretty much anything if the narrator does it right, and Woodman makes all the right choices - so good I forget he's reading. It's like watching a brilliant actor, forgetting they are reciting a script, and really believing in the character.
If you like a listen for the good narration, this series is a must.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Too Dark!

Series started well. Antagonists are now too nasty. Little humor left. Lots of crude put downs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Juvenile and obviously biased..

Would you try another book from Chris Grabenstein and/or Jeff Woodman?

Juvenile and obviously biased fairytale about shadowy government and military figures--with plot to cover up war crimes in order to further political career.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Predictable.

Was Hell Hole worth the listening time?

Not for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • GILBERT, AZ, United States
  • 08-25-16

I'm sorry I bought it

What would have made Hell Hole better?

Perhaps a good plot rather than referring everything to the Dudley DoRighth

Would you ever listen to anything by Chris Grabenstein again?

No and never again

What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

He was ok

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

Listened to the first 45 minutes then the end in the next 5 minutes what a wast of time. I wanted to like it but there was no redemption

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Louisa Simpson
  • 09-06-16

Another incredible Ceepack novel.

I literally finished this in one go. And while I'm waiting to get the next one, I will be listening to them again. xxx

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  • Miss C Walsh
  • 07-08-16

Great story as ever

Fast paced, enjoyable story if not a little predictable this time around. Would listen again.