Friday, August 08, 2008

Pg. 69: Chris Grabenstein's "Hell Hole"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Hell Hole by Chris Grabenstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hell Hole is the fourth book in the mystery series featuring former hardened military PD and current Sea Haven, NJ 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 that strikes at the heart of our involvement in the Middle East, and puts them on the wrong side of some very unpleasant people...
Among the praise for Hell Hole:
"Chris Grabenstein has raised the stakes in Hell Hole, the latest offering in the Ceepak mystery series. All the reasons I fell in love with the series are still there: Danny is still the Candide-like character through whom we see the honorable, lie-hating John Ceepak, the writing is still as smooth as glass and as honest as a boy scout, the dialogue still rings as true as a dinner bell. But in Hell Hole, Grabenstein has taken it to a whole new level. Like the boardwalk ride he describes, he drops the bottom out of what we think we know, and gives us a story that's as dark and mesmerizing as the Hell Hole itself. Don't let the sunny weather of Sea Haven fool you, Hell Hole is one spectacular, gripping ride."
—Louise Ure, Shamus Award-winning author of The Fault Tree

"Like its three predecessors, this one is narrated breezily by the cynical Boyle, and Grabenstein again shows his intimate knowledge of Jersey shore towns... But this series offers far more than a beach-book romp; Hell Hole is taut and satisfying crime fiction."

"[E]ntertaining... As ever, the fun derives chiefly from the comic byplay between Danny, who's young, inexperienced and interested in girls and beer, and Ceepak, a straight-shooter who speaks like a robot and adheres to a strict moral code...even the grumpiest won't be able to resist the occasional smile."
Publishers Weekly

"A solid entry in the Ceepak series. Grabenstein... has a great ear for dialogue..."
Kirkus Reviews

"Required Reading... perhaps the perfect nexus of war, politics and beachside bravado..."
New York Post

"Hell Hole... is every bit as wonderful as the previous books.... Grabenstein once again kept me up late with a thrilling novel full of twists and turns. The pacing in these books is perfect and Grabenstein really knows how to grab the reader's attention and run with it. It this book was music I would have the volume all the way up."
—Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine
Watch the Hell Hole trailer and read the first chapter.

Learn more about the author and his work at Chris Grabenstein's website.

Chris Grabenstein won the Anthony Award for "Best First Mystery" (given at Bouchercon 2006) for his debut novel Tilt A Whirl—the first in a series of John Ceepak stories to be set "Down The Shore" in a New Jersey tourist town called Sea Haven. The second book, Mad Mouse, arrived in June 2006 and the third, Whack A Mole, in June 2007.

The Page 69 Test: Slay Ride.

My Book, The Movie: Slay Ride.

The Page 69 Test: Hell Hole.

--Marshal Zeringue