WHACK A MOLE by Chris Grabenstein


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A misogynistic murderer takes the fun out of sunny Sea Haven.

It’s the height of the season down at the Jersey Shore, and folks have flocked to Sea Haven beaches psyched, many of them, by the prospect of a sandcastle construction event that could have national implications. At the same time, figurative storm clouds gather, boding ill for nubile, promiscuous young ladies. John Ceepak (Mad Mouse, 2006, etc.) and his partner Danny Boyle, both of the Sea Haven PD, are first alerted to the menace by an unexpected find. Fishing boater Cap’n Pete, town character and member of the Sea Haven Treasure Hunters Society, has recovered a charm bracelet lost for decades. His innocuous catch turns unnerving when it’s linked to a grisly series of homicides. Once again Chief Baines calls upon Ceepak and Boyle to “get out there and keep Sea Haven a safe haven.” Skilled and indefatigable, Ceepak is able to connect his clues to a veritable parade of mysterious disappearances—young women who vanished in the 1980s. There’s been no action since, until suddenly there’s reason to believe the beast may be stirring once more.

By-the-book but judicious Ceepak and Boyle, his ardent young Boswell, remain an amiable pair, though poised perhaps on the slippery slope of the formulaic.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-78671-818-8
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2007


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