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Free Fall: A John Ceepak Mystery
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Free Fall: A John Ceepak Mystery

3.5 2
by Chris Grabenstein

The new novel in the award-winning mystery series that "moves like lightning" - Kirkus Reviews
“I didn’t do it!” is something cops hear all the time. But when the plea comes from a close friend who’s fallen on hard times,it’s tougher to ignore, especially for young Officer Danny Boyle. It’s the start of another action-packed


The new novel in the award-winning mystery series that "moves like lightning" - Kirkus Reviews
“I didn’t do it!” is something cops hear all the time. But when the plea comes from a close friend who’s fallen on hard times,it’s tougher to ignore, especially for young Officer Danny Boyle. It’s the start of another action-packed summer for the wise cracking Boyle and straight-arrow cop (now Chief of Detectives) John Ceepak down the Jersey Shore as they do their best to help Danny’s friend, a young nurse who claims she has been falsely accused of aggravated assault by a prestigious Sea Haven doctor. Ceepak’s unshakable code of honor is tested when he trusts that the nurse is telling the truth. It’s stretched to the limit when one of the nurse’s home health care patients turns up dead.Now Ceepak and Danny must answer the hard and horrible question: “Did we just help a friend get away with murder?”Get ready for another fun and fast-paced page-turner from Anthony and Agatha award-winner Chris Grabenstein.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Clever plotting and empathic characterization lift Grabenstein’s eighth John Ceepak mystery (after 2012’s Fun House). Ceepak—now chief of detectives of the Sea Haven, N.J., police—and officer Danny Boyle intervene in a physical altercation between home nurse Christine Lemonopoulos, a friend of Danny’s, and a Mrs. Oppenheimer, who employs her.When Mrs. Oppenheimer fires Christine, Ceepak’s mother decides to use her new inheritance to help the latter get a good lawyer. But when Christine becomes a suspect in the poisoning death of another patient, Arnold Rosen, Danny is torn between trusting his friend’s reports of the deep conflicts in the Rosen household and finding out the truth. Meanwhile, Ceepak is distracted by the reappearance of his violent, delinquent father, who hopes to extort a million dollars from his mother. Grabenstein deftly mixes the flow of a standard police procedural with the complexity of smalltown personal and professional dynamics. Agent: Eric Myers, the Spieler Agency. (May)
The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
“Cleve Jersey Shore mysteries. A perfect satire.”
Marilyn Stasio - The New York Times Book Review
“Cleve Jersey Shore mysteries. A perfect satire.”
The New York Times Book Review
Cleve Jersey Shore mysteries. A perfect satire.— Marilyn Stasio
The Boston Globe
“There’s plenty of fizz in the chemistry between the two protagonists to keep the novel and the reader spinning.”
“I can think of few better ways to herald the beginning of summer than to crack the binding of a new John Ceepak mystery by Chris Grabenstein.”
The New York Post
“Required reading.”
Library Journal
It's back to the Jersey Shore (after Fun House) for the dynamic cop duo of Ceepak and Boyle. Case number eight finds them suspecting a home health-care nurse of offing her client.
Kirkus Reviews
Sea Haven detectives Ceepak and Boyle (Fun House, 2012, etc.) investigate the murder of a 94-year-old dentist who has a very pretty nurse. There are two good reasons that Danny Boyle can't believe that Christine Lemonpolous tried to strangle her nighttime employer, Shona Oppenheimer--and they become even clearer to him when she changes from her nurse's scrubs into a T-shirt. Straight-arrow Detective John Ceepak also believes Chris' claim that Shona attacked her, and so John's mother, Adele, putting her inherited millions to good use, hires Harvey Nussbaum to defend Chris. Harvey gets Shona to back down but realizes that he may have a harder time getting Chris off the hot seat when Arnold Rosen, her daytime employer, drops dead after she hands him a cyanide-laced pill. Arnie's daughter-in-law, Judith, who's also Shona's sister, is screaming for blood, while Arnie's sons David and Michael fight over who's more deserving of their father's love and his money. While Ceepak and Boyle try to track the poison to its source, Ceepak is distressed to learn that Sinclair Enterprises has hired his no-account dad, now a certified Free Fall technician, to run its StratosFEAR ride. Ceepak senior hopes to serve himself a cut of Adele's moolah. Will Sea Haven have to trade in its status as a summer funland for the title of dysfunctional family capital of New Jersey? Ceepak and Boyle's eighth blasts the energy of a tilt-a-whirl into an offbeat procedural.
The Chicago Tribune
“Thoughtful, funny, and exciting.”

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Chris Grabenstein is the Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed thrill reads Tilt A Whirl, Mad Mouse, Whack A Mole, Hell Hole, Mind Scrambler, and Rolling Thunder, plus the young adult chillers The Crossroads and The Hanging Hill. He lives in New York City.

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Free Fall: A John Ceepak Mystery 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Free fall is the first time I’ve been a bit disappointed in the Ceepak series. Most of the enjoyment I get from the series is for Ceepak and Boyle running around Sea Haven to all of the great locations (with the sunny funderful names) but this story is a bit darker and more static location wise. In addition the ending is a bit of a cliff hanger but leaves a cloud hanging over the head of our two heroes. All this combined to make it feel as if it rained on my Jersey Shore vacation rather than leaving me smiling and waiting for another adventure as the others in the story have.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Super Storm Sandy did a lot of damage to the Jersey Shore, but at least John Ceepack and Danny Boyle survived. After a short stint as Chief of Police, John hired his successor and became Chief of Detectives, a department of one. Danny, because of budget cuts, is reduced to patrol duty, except when John needs another “detective.” And in this, the eighth in the series, the two are once again a team. The gist of the plot is the death of a popular 94-year-old retired dentist. The possibility of murder rears its ugly head, and the list of suspects is several, including a potential love interest for Danny in forthcoming novels (John is now married), the dentist’s two sons and daughter-in-law, and two health aides. To complicate matters, John’s father, Joe Ceepack, turns up in town to operate a boardwalk ride, providing some element of drama. The plots of the Ceepack mysteries are not overly complicated. The real asset of the novels are the charming characters, especially strait-laced John and his acolyte Danny and the amusing style of writing moving the tales ahead at a brisk pace. Always good fun, and recommended.