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Off the Grid (Monkeewrench Series #6)

Off the Grid (Monkeewrench Series #6)

4.3 30
by P. J. Tracy

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On a sailboat ten miles off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a fifteen-year-old girl is discovered in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that day, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed


On a sailboat ten miles off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a fifteen-year-old girl is discovered in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that day, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed execution-style. The next morning, the dead bodies of three more men turn up, savagely murdered in the same neighborhood. 

As Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the three crimes, they learn that there have been similar murders in other cities around the United States. Piece by piece, evidence accumulates, pointing to a suspect that shocks them to the core, uncovering a motive that puts the entire Midwest on high alert and Monkeewrench in the direct line of fire. Before it's all over, Grace and her partners, Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, find themselves in the middle of a shocking collision of violence on a remote northern Minnesota reservation, fighting for their lives. 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of the exciting sixth Monkeewrench novel from the pseudonymous Tracy (a mother-daughter writing team), Minneapolis computer entrepreneur Grace MacBride and FBI cybercrime expert John Smith, with whom she worked on a case in 2010’s Shoot to Thrill, are sailing on his boat off the Florida Keys. When two men sneak aboard one night intent on killing John, Grace shoots them both dead and dumps their bodies over the side. Meanwhile, back in Minneapolis, a 15-year-old Native American girl, who’s been missing from her reservation in northern Minnesota, turns up with her throat cut in a vacant lot, the apparent victim of a kidnapping ring made up of Somali immigrants who exploit Native American girls for the sex trade. The execution-style murders of first two, then three Somali men that follow prove to be part of a larger national pattern. The two main story lines converge in a gripping finale in the Minnesota woods. Agent: Ellen Geiger, Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Library Journal
If you haven't been introduced to the Monkeewrench gang of eccentric but brilliant software designers, you are missing out on complex characters, witty repartee, and exciting thrills. In the sixth installment (after Shoot to Thrill), trouble follows Monkeewrench partner Grace McBride on a sailing trip off the Florida Keys with ex-FBI agent John Smith when she thwarts an assassination attempt against him. Back in Minneapolis, homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth investigate a series of murders that lead to a remote Indian reservation. VERDICT Tracy, a mother-daughter writing team, skillfully incorporates a diverse array of elements—Native Americans, war veterans, a terrorist plot, and kidnapped children—while keeping the thrill level high and the writing sharp and frequently funny. Readers can't help but root for love-struck Magozzi and Grace to finally work it out. The twist of an ending leaves fans waiting for the next installment. For newcomers, this could be read as a stand-alone, but the history behind all the main characters really makes it a top-notch title for series followers. Readers who enjoy Harlan Coben or T. Jefferson Parker might want to give this series a try.—Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD
Kirkus Reviews
Amazing but true: The Monkeewrench gang, that misfit quartet of lovable cybergeeks who moonlight as the nemesis of Twin Cities serial killers, actually gets upstaged by the Minneapolis Police Department. Battered, paranoid Monkeewrench founder Grace MacBride's recuperative sailing trip through the Florida Keys with retired FBI desk-jockey John Smith is rudely interrupted by a pair of killers who climb aboard Smith's boat and start to cut his throat. Grace handily dispatches them both and rolls the bodies overboard, but she's seriously rattled to find Smith's particulars on one of them. Clearly these men weren't pirates, but assassins who specifically targeted her host. Back in Minneapolis, Ojibwe teen Aimee Sergeant, abducted from Sand Lake Reservation for the sex trade, has her own throat slit when she tries to escape. Ojibwe Officer Bad Heart Bull just happens to be on hand to rescue the four even-younger girls who were snatched with her. In the meantime, even more surprisingly, Joe Hardy, a cancer-ridden Special Ops sharpshooter, executes Aimee's Somali kidnappers. A sizable stash of weaponry and a remarkably similar murder spree in faraway Culver City confirm Minneapolis PD Detective Leo Magozzi's hunch that the sale of the kidnapped girls was intended to provide financing for a gang of Somali terrorists who've gone after Smith for mysterious reasons that provide the slender mystery's most pleasing surprise. The rest of the Monkeewrench crew--Annie Belinsky, Harley Davidson and Roadrunner--don't have much more to do than the abducted Ojibwe girls; for better or worse, this show mostly belongs to Magozzi, his partner, Gino Rolseth, and the imperturbable Smith. Despite the high body count, Tracy (Shoot to Thrill, 2010, etc.) seems to have taken something off her customary manic formula: The murders are much less florid than usual, and the regulars seem almost subdued.
From the Publisher
“A writer who can walk that thin line between humor and serious crime.”—Chicago Tribune

P. J. Tracy “makes me jealous.”—Robert B. Parker

Praise for the Monkeewrench Novels
“[A] smart thriller.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A killer read in every way.”—People
“Icicle-sharp.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Fast, fresh, funny, and outrageously suspenseful.”—Harlan Coben

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Monkeewrench Series , #6
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
If you haven’t been introduced to the Monkeewrench gang you are missing out … Tracy skillfully incorporates a diverse array of elements …while keeping the thrill level high and the writing sharp and frequently funny…. A top-notch title for series followers.
Library Journal
“Exciting…The two main story lines converge in a gripping finale in the Minnesota woods.”
Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

 P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of the mother-daugher writing team of Patricia Lambrecht and Traci Lambrecht. They each live in rural Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis . 

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Off the Grid 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PJ Tracy does it again. Lots of action. Worth it just to read the last chapter.
merlyn63 More than 1 year ago
MONKEEWRENCH fans will fall right back into the characters' lives as I did with OFF THE GRID. A few changes are in store but ones I found likable. Wish the wait was shorter so I didn't have to strain the brain to bring back my fave foursome!
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
In total uncharacteristic style Monkeewrench partner Grace McBride traded in her usual armor of boots, black and guns for attire more appropriate for sailing off the Florida Keys where she ended up after solving a case and taking former FBI agent John Smith up on his offer. But just when she’s feeling safe danger appears in the form of assassins targeting John. About the same time back in Minneapolis homicide detectives Magozzi and Rolseth are investigating the murder of a Native American girl who was kidnapped from the reservation, which leads to rescue of the other girls kidnapped with her who are found hidden in the house where a double murder has been committed, soon after another blood bath occurs which has the cops scrambling and the FBI not far behind. With John Smith “Off The Grid” and Grace back at the Monkeewrench headquarters leading the charge to find out what’s going on, things are back to normal after her months at sea, back with her associates and her conflicting relationship with Leo Magozzi. The investigation is telling them that these incidents are related and there’s a much bigger threat on the horizon and the connecting dots are all leading back to John Smith, which puts the Monkeewrench team smack dab in the middle of the bulls eye. The mother/daughter writing team that makes P.J. Tracy produces one of the most exciting, entertaining and terrifying series of crime drama out there and this is one of their best. This novel deals with real threats we’re under today and they’ve dealt with it in their usual irreverent style. Their dialogue is fast paced, nail biting action that took my heartbeat from zero to sixty that’s a mix of intense drama and humor. Their starring characters of Monkeewrench are a group of misfits that made a family from tragedy that always win my heart, along with the cop duo of Magozzi and Rolseth that are a fitting tribute to all they represent. Their villains are some of the most terrifying and degraded I’ve ever read. So if you’re looking for an exceptional crime drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat this should be your next must read. P.J. Tracy thank you for this incredible journey and I can’t wait for the next one.
pen21 More than 1 year ago
Monkeewrench is back! It has been quite a while since the book #5, but the Monkeewrench team is back. The book got us right into the storyline and keeps a great pace. I will be looking for the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect marrage of computers,detectives and action,with a little romance thrown in.Great summer read.Can't wait for the next one!
Traann More than 1 year ago
P.J. Tracy does it again... “Off The Grid”, A Monkeewrench Novel is the sixth book in the series by P.J. Tracy and they do not disappoint. I’m not going to repeat what is said on the back of the book or what others are saying. What I am going to tell you is that if you liked the other books in the series, you will love this one. Before I read this book I re-read all of the preceding ones and got immersed in Magozzi, Rolseth & the Monkeewrench crew and they get better with each read. There are all kinds of books written about all manner of police cases but P.J. Tracy approaches these stories in a fresh and utterly believable manner that leaves you wanting more. I just wish they wrote faster. Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth’s banter entertains and humanizes their characters as not much else could when you are dealing with Homicide detectives. They are as human as they come and you feel their emotions as they deal with their current case. I laughed, cried and held my breath and if that doesn’t tell you this is a great book I’m not sure what else will. Grace McBride and her partners at Monkeewrench, Annie, Harley and Roadrunner grab at your heart but in a different way. You want to heal them, and you cheer on all of their successes as much as you are awed by their fortitude and dedication in assisting the detectives in the most recent case that ends up being tied into the threat on retired FBI agent John Smith’s life even as you see them deal with their own personal demons and back burner themselves to save others. Your heart races as they explain how the technology they are developing to assist the law enforcement agencies works and you want to be a part of it. I could feel myself wanting to get on a computer to help them in their searches. I think I differ from others in that the development of the characters is as important to me as the story is. That is what P.J. Tracy does best in my opinion. They create deep complex characters that you want to know more about. One of the best parts of this book that you know there are more books to come and there is so much still to be said about all of the characters and more cases to be solved. I look forward to the next chapter in the Monkeewrench series.
Twink More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 I picked up the first Monkeewrench book back in 2003 when the cover caught my eye. Off the Grid marks the sixth book in this series by mother/daughter writing duo P.J. Tracy. Monkeewrench is a company comprised of four eclectic computer whizzes who design programs but also work closely with law enforcement agencies who can utilize their specialized talents. They're based in Minneapolis and frequently help Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth. The 'leader' of Monkeewrench is Grace. At the end of the last book, she had broken out of her self imposed isolation and gone sailing with retired FBI agent John Smith. When they are attacked at sea, it looks like John has a target on his back. But why? Who? He decides to go off the grid while Grace returns to Monkeewrench. Back in Minneapolis, Magozzi and Rolseth are dealing with the unthinkable - young Native girls are being snatched right off the reserve. When one of the girls is found dead, it isn't long before the two men who took her are found murdered as well. As other bodies are found, it looks like someone has taken justice into their own hands.....and the case is bigger than they imagined. I've quite enjoyed the other books in this series, but found this latest offering just okay. The members of the Monkeewrench crew have always intrigued me - they are all 'damaged' to some degree, but highly intelligent, determined to help the law where they can - and they consider themselves a family. This book, although it involved the crew, was focused much more on Magozzi and Rolseth. While I enjoy these characters as well, they aren't my favourites. Other characters such as a retired vet and his friend, a local Native Police Chief, seemed a bit clichéd. John Smith was flat and I never really bought into him or Grace's attraction to him. I ended up heading to the Internet to see if there was indeed a Native Mafia/Somali gang connection and yes, there is in Minnesota. The plot line begins with this idea, but then veers into territory that has been travelled before. It was pretty easy to see where the rest of the story was headed. Some of the clues were glaringly simplistic, such as the circled calendar dates. And I had issues with some other small things. For instance - Monkeewrench prides itself on being uber prepared, yet fails to check if someone has put a tracker on their vehicle? I felt the ending came far too abruptly. I was caught up in the action scenes which suddenly jumped to the end, leaving me with questions about one character's demise and feeling like I had missed a few pages. This book did feel like there were two sets of keyboards at work. I found there to be odd interjections at crucial moments that were truly awkward. For example, we're at the end, waiting to hear what an FBI agent has to say and "Gino reached for a butterscotch candy in a dish on the coffee table, then remembered getting one of those evil things caught in his throat at the fourth-grade Halloween party. Just relax and let it melt, the stupid school nurse had told him as he was choking to death. He put the candy back in the bowl and looked at Agent Dahl." Now, that being said, I did enjoy the book, but not as much as I wanted to. If you're looking for a lighter style of mystery that will keep you entertained, then pick this one up for the beach. I'll be watching for the next in this series, hopefully with a return to the tone of the earlier books. Those who enjoy James Patterson's mysteries would also enjoy this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny and terrifying! A fabulous read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A huge disappointment. Only read up until Chapter 7 and gave up. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth reading again. Great detail in the characters involved. Humorous in a quirky way.
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dl1244 More than 1 year ago
Was a good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Monkeewrench keeps getting better and better. I've loved the series from the beginning. I can't wait for the next one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one took some turns I didn't expect, but contained all the intriguing twists and turns and wisecracks characteristic of the previous Monkeewrench books. I am impatient for the next book to be released!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and was excited when this one came out. It did not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Last Monkeewrench novel was sad. The story was sad and the characters were out of their role. This is an improved story line with the charactors truer to their personalities. The chase for the bad guys is moretraditional. Deals with some bad situation and make it through with the good guys winning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book and this series are favorites...these authors always deliver!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PJ Tracy books are some of my favorites. I am so glad they have come back with another great book. Funny, exciting and easy reading. The only problem is that I read them faster than they can write. I think starting with Monkeewrench is a good. It is one of the best crime novels I have ever read. Their isn't a bad one. Off the Grid certainly doesn't disappoint.