Customer Reviews for

Monkeewrench (Monkeewrench Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

exciting thriller, filled with misdirection and secret agendas

In Calmut, Wisconsin, an elderly couple is found murdered in church, a bullet in each of their heads. Upon further investigation, the police discover that the couple had moved frequently, changing their names with each new address. They were obviously running from someb...
In Calmut, Wisconsin, an elderly couple is found murdered in church, a bullet in each of their heads. Upon further investigation, the police discover that the couple had moved frequently, changing their names with each new address. They were obviously running from somebody but they had no friends because they were harsh and unforgiving religious fanatics who kept everyone at a distance. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, five friends have formed a software company Monkeewrench and the latest game they are beta testing on the net is called Serial Killer Detective. Life imitates art because someone is killing people in the exact same way as in the game. The police look into the background of the Monkeewrench Team, which hits a blank wall because the group has gone to a lot of trouble to change their identities. While the police are trying to figure out why, a connection is made to the double homicide in Calmut and Grace McBride, the leader of the software development team, finds herself the target of a sociopath who wants her dead. This is P.J. Tracy┬┐s debut novel and it is an exciting thriller, filled with misdirection and secret agendas. Grace is constantly on guard 24/7 because she escaped from a killer several years ago but she has no peace because he was never caught. The fact that she is still sane says a lot about her inner strength and the loyalty she inspires in her friends. MONKEEWRENCH is a suspense thriller that allows no time outs. Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A good debut; work to be done

I stayed up to finish 'Monkeewrench' because of the characters, not the plot. It's obvious the writers really enjoyed creating the characters and writing their dialogue -- they do an excellent job. I hope future books demonstrate the same level of skill in pul...
I stayed up to finish 'Monkeewrench' because of the characters, not the plot. It's obvious the writers really enjoyed creating the characters and writing their dialogue -- they do an excellent job. I hope future books demonstrate the same level of skill in pulling the plot elements together, because I thought the overall framework was weak. My book club loved it; I guess I'm just fussier.

posted by Anonymous on February 15, 2005

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting thriller, filled with misdirection and secret agendas

    In Calmut, Wisconsin, an elderly couple is found murdered in church, a bullet in each of their heads. Upon further investigation, the police discover that the couple had moved frequently, changing their names with each new address. They were obviously running from somebody but they had no friends because they were harsh and unforgiving religious fanatics who kept everyone at a distance. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, five friends have formed a software company Monkeewrench and the latest game they are beta testing on the net is called Serial Killer Detective. Life imitates art because someone is killing people in the exact same way as in the game. The police look into the background of the Monkeewrench Team, which hits a blank wall because the group has gone to a lot of trouble to change their identities. While the police are trying to figure out why, a connection is made to the double homicide in Calmut and Grace McBride, the leader of the software development team, finds herself the target of a sociopath who wants her dead. This is P.J. Tracy¿s debut novel and it is an exciting thriller, filled with misdirection and secret agendas. Grace is constantly on guard 24/7 because she escaped from a killer several years ago but she has no peace because he was never caught. The fact that she is still sane says a lot about her inner strength and the loyalty she inspires in her friends. MONKEEWRENCH is a suspense thriller that allows no time outs. Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Most fun I've had in a long time!

    This mother-daughter writing team has created an unusual cast of characters that bring fun to "murder". They provide a backdrop of laughter to a very thrilling and edgy "serial-killer" based story. The twists occur naturally and suprisingly. This is a real "can't put it down" read. I'm looking forward to the other books in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great BookClub Read

    Monkeewrench was our most recent BookClub read. I found it a very easy read and one fun for those of us from the Twin Cities area. Upon completion of the book, I went and purchased the other three books of the series. They are all very good ..... I am now anxiously awaiting the next release!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    No Monkeying Around

    >> Monkeewrench is action-packed from the start. It's got complex characters and a twisted plot. It's sure to keep you on your toes every step of the way.I picked up this book and couldn't put it down. Warning: If you picked this book up to fill a few minutes of your time, wait until you've got longer because it's extremely captivating.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Waiting

    Picked up this book after seeing her newest in hardback on the shelf. Spent all day reading and went back to store that night so that i could get all the other ones. Then spent the rest of the weekend reading these. I am now waiting for the next installment of the Monkeywrench bunch.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2007

    REAL

    Laugh out loud funny in places and a page turning thriller the rest of the way. The characters are real. I'm so used to reading characters who are not what they seem or have arrogant attitudes but in these books the people are refreshingly like people we meet every day. Truly fabulous storylines. Best things I've read in years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2005

    A good debut; work to be done

    I stayed up to finish 'Monkeewrench' because of the characters, not the plot. It's obvious the writers really enjoyed creating the characters and writing their dialogue -- they do an excellent job. I hope future books demonstrate the same level of skill in pulling the plot elements together, because I thought the overall framework was weak. My book club loved it; I guess I'm just fussier.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2003

    AN INGENIOUSLY PLOTTED MULTI-LEVEL THRILLER

    Look out thriller world here's P. J. Tracy ( pseudonym for a mother/daughter writing team)! In an interview the mother half of this formidable writing duo is quoted as saying that she has 'absolutely no qualifications for such a profession, except a penchant for lying.' This reviewer isn't lying when she says that 'Monkeewrench,' the first in a promised series of four, is one of the most amazing, imaginative, compelling, off-the-wall debut novels in many moons. For starters, double murders simply do not occur in a sleepy Wisconsin community, especially not in a small Catholic church which was 'old and almost Protestant in its plainness' and 'The blessed Virgin wore the gleam of plastic and bore an unsaintly resemblance to the mannequin in the window of Frieda's House of Fashion....' Nonetheless, the crime did occur - two elderly parishioners were shot while praying, making the first homicide in five years for Sheriff Michael Halloran. During his initial investigation of the case a shocking tragedy occurs. Even if he were not shaken Halloran would never dream that these double killings will be linked with diabolical murders in Minneapolis. Nor does he realize the powers of deputy Sharon Mueller who aims to be a full fledged part of this investigation and Halloran's life. Grace McBride is beautiful, unapproachable, and lives in a house protected like Fort Knox. She has a past that haunts her every waking hour, and is surrounded by the oddest assortment of characters to grace a page. Outre' they may be, but they're also brilliant. Together with Grace they make up Monkeewrench, a software company that has devised a computer game. Rapidly becoming popular in Minneapolis and environs the game is basically the challenging search for a murderer. Players follow a series of made-up murders and clues to catch a psychopathic killer. Art imitates life in a horrorificl way when someone begins to copy the game in real life. By the time detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth become aware that this is happening three people are already dead, and there are 17 more episodes on line. When word of this is leaked to the press the city is wracked with fear - there are 17 more possible victims. One of the first to come under Magozzi's scrutiny is Grace McBride. He is both puzzled and attracted - stumped when he discovers that Grace and her crew had assumed new identities some years before. Compounding this puzzle is the fact that the FBI is tight lipped about why the new identities were given. Have I mentioned zippy, state-if the art dialogue rife with humor, computerese, and police-speak? I should have because Monkeewrench is loaded with it. Mother/daughter teams can probably come up with a lot, but few, I'll venture, can match this ingeniously plotted, multi-level thriller that's as artfully knit as an argyle sock.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Instantly Hooked

    After reading this book, I immediately purchased the rest of the series. So far, I'm up to #4. Initially, I was a little nervous when I noticed the books getting a little shorter, but, luckily, each subsequent book has been as good as the first in the series!

    The writers do throw a LOT of characters at you in this 1st book, but they manage to develop them quickly and well. I was sucked into their world immediately. The mysteries and the action are solid. The story lines have humor, tragedy, hope, and pathos. The books and the characters feel real. I've known many cops, and the authors truly capture the dichotomic nature of many of them: funny as a stand-up comedian and serious as a soldier on the front lines.

    I hope this series continues.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    terrific

    There are a handful of writers whose books I want to read all of and fewer still that I want to actually buy. This series is worth the money. The mysteries are good, but the humor and banter and dialogue is even better. Fans of CJ Box, Robert Crais, Nevada Barr... will enjoy the writing team of P.J. Tracy.

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  • Posted February 16, 2013

    Great start to a series. Great characters. I couldn't wait to read more!

    I discovered the second book in the series, Live Bait, and as I started to read it I realized it was a series and I wanted all the background so I stopped reading Live Bait and got Monkeewrench. Loved it and quickly gobbled up every book in the series. And I want more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    If you like Sandford and live in MPLS

    I thought the book was good reading,suspenseful right to the end and also humorous at times.I live in the MPLS area and read Jhon Sandford so i enjoyed the book and will read the next in the series.

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The story was mediocre if you can get past the excessive profanity.

    The story line was very difficult to follow. It jumped from scene and situation too sporadically. The profanity was very distracting. I doubt it would have been one third as long if the profanity was taken out. The language doesn't add to but rather distracts from the plot.
    I won this in a giveaway and although I appreciate authors offering their books to these giveaways, I would never add this one to my library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The authors have a way of bringing the story together so it is hard to figure out the "who dun it" until the end. Even though the writers are female, I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how they captured the banter that goes on between the cops who worked together. The book was very entertaining, had humor and a good mystery twist. I have since purchased more of their books and I am enjoying those as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Read this book!

    A worker at my local Barnes and Noble told me about this book, and I'm glad she did. To keep it simple its a very good book. I recomend to anyone who likes a good police story.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Monkeewrench has a monkey wrench in the plot

    Fell in love with the characters on the spot! Introducing the crew and the police force they end up butting heads with. I was ready for the next one and was not disappointed. A quick witted and fast paced story that keeps the pages turning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2008

    Great Book

    I couldn't put this book down. Had to get online to find other titles by this mother daughter duo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    One to keep on the shelf and reread!

    I loved this book. I was looking for something along the lines of a mystery and wow! A pace that keeps you in the book and wanting to stay in the world long after your done. It takes a great writer (in this case writers) to keep you wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    Loved It!

    Loved it, loved it! Really reminds me of John Sandford books. Great storyline and characters. I have already ordered the followup books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    Hoorah for PJ Tracey

    Picked this up on a bargain table for some light reading. Once I started .....I couldn't put it down.... The characters became people I knew.....and although I guessed the end before the last page was turned and the book closed, I have been smiling for an hour. Keep up the good work ladies.... Definitely finding the next title. Gotta love the BN Bargain tables.

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