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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monkeewrench by PJ Tracy

It has taken me a while to get around to reading PJ Tracy.  No particular reason why, just not on my radar.  But, thanks to a friend who loaned me this on audio, I am hooked. 

From Haunted by a series of horrifying and violent episodes in their past, Grace McBride and the oddball crew of her software company, Monkeewrench, create a computer game where the killer is always caught, where the good guys always win. But their game becomes a nightmare when someone starts duplicating the fictional murders in real life, down to the last detail.

By the time the police realize what's happening, three people are dead, and with seventeen more murder scenarios available online, there are seventeen more potential victims. While the authorities scramble to find the killer in a city paralyzed by fear, the Monkeewrench staff are playing their own game, analyzing victim profiles in a frantic attempt to discover the murderer's next target.

In a thriller populated by characters both hilarious and heartbreaking, a rural Wisconsin sheriff, two Minneapolis police detectives, and Grace's gang are caught in a web of decades-old secrets that could get them all killed.

First, I've come to the conclusion that physically reading a book when compared to listening to a book, especially when the narrator is particularly good, give the reader a completely different perspective.  The eye can pick out nuances on the page that are not so much lost in the narration as, just lost in the inflection and emotions the reader is able to impart.  I'm not saying all audiobooks are this good, I've 'read' a few that have the PBS effect - instant land of ZZzzzz.    

Monkeewrench was anything but dull.  I really enjoyed the characters and character development, I thought the plot was engaging and for once kept me guessing, and keeping the setting within the realms of reality (no fake counties here) maintained my necessary perception of reality.   That's a biggie for me and one of my main  complaints with Willliam K Kruegers books.  If you are going to base a book in "real time" don't be making up fake counties or switching towns around.  That just pisses me off.  So far PJ Tracy has not done that. 

I enjoyed Monkeewrench enough to immediately start Live Bait (#2 in the Monkeewrench series).  Though it was disappointing to hear it's a different narrator.  Darn it. 

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