Last Exit In New Jersey

Mystery & Thrillers

By C.e. Grundler

Publisher : Indie

ABOUT C.e. Grundler

C.e. Grundler
I've spent far too much time around boats and trucks, sailing, working on engines and generally not behaving according to expectations. A life-long resident of New Jersey, I've grown up on and around boats, sailed the region's waters single-handed since childhood, and done a little of  More...



Nice young ladies from the Garden State really shouldn’t be dumping bodies at sea. Then again, 20 year-old Hazel Moran is anything but your typical Jersey girl. Raised aboard a schooner and riding shotgun beside her father in their old tractor-trailer truck, there's little on the road or water that she can't handle; it's her people skills that need work. Normally that isn’t an issue – behind the wheel of a Kenworth most people tend to leave her alone. But when Hazel and her father become the targets of some unsavory characters hunting for her blue-haired cousin, their stolen tractor-trailer truck and a delivery that never arrived, she knows it's time to heed a lesson learned from her favorite hardboiled paperbacks: playing nice will only end in tears.

For ten sweltering days Hazel navigates the Garden State's highways and shorelines, contending with a suspiciously wealthy stranger, white trash, Born Agains, appliance salesmen, an unstable stalker and his curiously troublesome companion. 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 their intent, will discover just how dangerous shy little Hazel truly can be as she sets in motion a twisted plan to uncover the truth, settle some scores, and if possible not wind up dead in the process.

For each copy of Last Exit In New Jersey sold from December 1, 2010 through January 31, $1.00 will be donated to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( The NJSPCA, a non-profit organization, receives no government aid or tax dollars. It is funded solely by donations, grants, bequests and fines levied. My goal is to raise not only funds, but public awareness for the NJSPCA as they aid the welfare of animals throughout the state. Donations can also be made directly to the NJSPCA through their website: For more information, please visit the author’s website: Or

Red Adept Reviews gave Last Exit In New Jersey 5 Stars and named it one of the three best mysteries of 2010. She said: 

This is one of the best books I have read in quite awhile. And, with as many books as I read, that's saying something. The plot was a winding road leading across a vast coastline of mayhem. The storyline had me guessing right up until the last chapter.

The narrative was fast paced and nerve wracking. From the rather passive opening to the nail -biting action scenes, I was held enthralled.

The tale opened with the main character, Hazel, disposing of a dead body, along with her father and friend. The story climbed to several crescendos from there. The chapters alternated between being told from the point of view of Hazel to the viewpoint of Hammon, the other main character. Each chapter left me unable to stop reading until I had started the next.

Expertly composed, this novel kept me glued to my Kindle. I had question upon question about what was going on and how it was going to end. There was zero disappointment as the ending tied up everything neatly.

Character Development: 5 Stars

As noteworthy as the plot, the characters were terrific. Hazel was sassy and strong, yet with a compelling hint of vulnerability. She was completely believable.

Hammon was my favorite character. He was insane and confused, but that made him the most fun. His friend Annabelle was my second favorite character. They played off of each other with humor and melancholy in a wonderful mix.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

The composition style worked perfectly for this story. I loved the switching of viewpoints and the way it kept me guessing without contrived cliff-hangers. The dialogue was crisp and completely realistic. There was just the right amount of humor injected to give the tale a little lift, without downplaying the gravity of the situations. The descriptions were vivid enough to make me feel like I was watching this book on a movie screen.