MAD MOUSE by Chris Grabenstein
Kirkus Star


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More fireworks at the Jersey shore when a rookie cop confronts a vengeful paintball gunner in this dandy sequel to Tilt-A-Whirl (2005).

Young Danny Boyle, about to make the longed-for transition from part-timer to full-timer in the Sea Haven PD, finds himself in a role he didn’t want: as one of several victims. Danny and some old buddies are enjoying quiet beach-blanket time when a well-aimed paintball barrage scatters them. Danny’s hit. His friend Becca takes a missile dangerously near her eye. The culprit escapes. Pranksters, says the chief dismissively. John Ceepak, Danny’s mentor, isn’t convinced. Sure enough, the attacks suddenly intensify and become terrifying. Now the missiles aren’t paintballs but cartridges made for an Army issue M-24. Danny’s beloved Katie goes down, severely wounded, and another of his posse is killed. Who hates Danny? Ceepak wants to know, since it’s no longer possible to construe the attacks as random. And then the sniper taunts them with a note: “You’ll never remember, I’ll never forget.” But finally Danny does remember an act of seeming inconsequence, the kind of mindless cruelty from which the ripple effect is always incalculable and sometimes lethal.

Likable good guys, plausible bad guys, a sensible plot and a supple prose style that moves from breezy to poignant. 

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7867-1760-2
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2006


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