Book Reviews

Last Exit In New Jersey by C.E. Grundler | Book Review

Last Exit In New Jersey by C.E. Grundler | Book Review Last Exit in New Jersey by C.E. Grundler
Genres: Fiction, American Literature
Original Publication Date: 2010
Source: I purchased this book
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon

Last Exit In New Jersey shows that nice young ladies really shouldn’t be dumping bodies at sea. But when twenty-year-old Hazel and her father become the targets of some unsavory characters hunting for her missing cousin, their stolen tractor-trailer, and a delivery that never arrived, she knows it’s time to heed a lesson learned from her favorite hard-boiled paperbacks: playing nice will only end in tears. It’ll take all her ingenuity, not to mention some fishing tackle and high voltage, if Hazel hopes to protect her family and unravel this tangle of greed and betrayal. And anyone who gets too close, no matter the intent, will discover just how dangerous

Last Exit In New Jersey by C.E. Grundler is an intricately plotted thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end.

I kept thinking that I knew where the plot was heading – but I didn’t! I was initially intrigued by the settings since I am a Jersey girl and some of the towns and highways are familiar to me. However, it was the plot that drew me in.

Last Exit’s Hazel Moran Is A Tough And Determined Woman

Hazel Moran is a tough young woman who knows her way around boats and trucks. The book opens when Hazel and her father are dumping a body from their boat into the water.

Hazel’s cousin Micah is also missing, and Hazel is determined to find him. There are some very bad people who very clearly do not want her to do so.

The seedy underbelly of New Jersey is something that I really don’t know much about. I certainly learned more about it by reading this novel.

Part of what makes Last Exit in New Jersey different is the author’s obvious vast knowledge of boats and the denizens of the boating world. It gives the book a distinctive flavor.

These are not yachts with millionaire owners, but rather those who use boats in their work – sometimes rather shady work.

The point of view of the novel shifts between several characters. This includes Hazel, the junk-food-addicted and seriously disturbed Hammon, Hammon’s mysterious girlfriend Annabel, and other assorted characters.

I like Hazel because even though she is fearless and brave, she is surprisingly naïve and vulnerable when it comes to men. She just doesn’t like to show it.

Final Analysis

My only problem with the book was that it is so long and densely plotted that my interest started flagging about halfway through the book.

This might also be because I rarely read thrillers and I rarely read novels with such complex plots.

However, after misplacing my Kindle for over a week, I missed the book and was happy to get back to it to find out what happened.

The ending is satisfying but will leave you wanting more!

The author is currently writing a sequel, No Wake Zone, that is scheduled to be published in Spring 2012. I can’t wait to read it and continue Hazel’s adventures.

You can read more about the author here.

You can also read my review of No Greater Sacrifice by John C. Stipa.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About C.E. Grundler

C.E. Grundler has sailed single-handed since childhood and has first-hand experience in everything from boat restoration and repair to managing a boatyard and working in commercial marine transportation.

I love books, writing, film, and television.

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