TILT A WHIRL (Police Prod-New Jersey-Cont) - G+
Grabenstein, Chris - 1st book
Carroll & Graf, 2005- Trade Paperback

Danny Boyle is a 24-year-old, part-time summer cop--he gets the baseball cap, but no gun--in Sea Haven, New Jersey. He is partnered with John Ceepak, a former MP back from Iraq who lives by the Code and plays by the rules. While having breakfast one morning, a young girl, covered in blood, runs from the area of the Tilt A Whirl screaming that a crazy man just shot her father, a billionaire real estate tycoon.

Grabenstein's protagonists of Danny and Ceepak are what make this book work. They are a delightful study in contrasts giving humor to an otherwise less-than-perfect book. The story is written in first person, present tense with the narrator being Danny, allowing the reader to uncover the facts as do the characters. There is a good deal of profanity and I enjoyed when Ceepak admonishes Danny on its use. There are constant references to songs by Springsteen, which is appropriate for the setting, but if you're not a fan of the Boss, it's a bit meaningless and distracting. To me the plot was weak; I suspected where the story was going half-way through and the killers-tell-all scene unrealistic at best. As to the fact that the cover is bright pink with a rollercoaster on the cover certainly proves I don't buy a book for its cover. I am certain I shall read the next book in this series because of the characters, but I desperately hope for a stronger, more logical plot.

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