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Monkeewrench

Monkeewrench

Written by P. J. Tracy

Narrated by Buck Schirner


Monkeewrench

Written by P. J. Tracy

Narrated by Buck Schirner

ratings:
4.5/5 (42 ratings)
Length:
11 hours
Released:
May 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781543611939
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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.
Released:
May 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781543611939
Format:
Audiobook

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Reviews

What people think about Monkeewrench

4.4
42 ratings / 41 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    The first Monkeewrench mystery introduces the various and unique individuals who are part of that computer/technology company. They have been working on a new game called Serial Killer Detective. Grace had the idea. Harley, Annie and Jackrabbit think it's a good idea. But Mitch who handles the business end of the company is worried about the new game.Mitch's worries seem justified when someone starts killing people in imitation of the crimes in the game. Detective Leo Magozzi and his partner Detective Gino Rolseth are on the case for the Minneapolis PD. But they don't know about the link to the computer game until Grace brings the similarities to the police's attention.Magozzi and Rolseth immediately suspect that the Monkeewrench gang might be involved. Their suspicions grow when they learn that all of them seem to have sprung into existence ten years earlier. Even the police department's best tech guy can't find out more. Magozzi, especially, doesn't think that Grace had anything to do with the crime. But the way she lives raises lots of questions. Extreme security at her home. She's always armed. Meanwhile, a small town cop in Wisconsin is trying to find out who killed a reclusive couple in a local church with a .22 and carved a cross on their chests. That case gets even more complicated when a deputy is killed by a booby trap when they go to the couple's house to try to learn more about them. The cop learns that the couple has lived under a bunch of names and in a bunch of places. They were frightened but no one knows why.I loved the fast-paced action and all the intriguing characters. I can't wait to read more books in this series.
  • (4/5)
    This book was very enjoyable. It was fast paced and interesting. The identity of the killer was not easily apparent, which is a good thing in a murder mystery novel. I liked all the central characters. Grace was an interesting, complicated woman. All of the employees at Monkeewrench were unique, and I would love to read more about them. The police detectives were smart and dedicated to their jobs. The serial killers method was unique too. Killing people in the same was as a video game was a plot point I haven't read yet, so it was great to read something new. I really enjoyed Grace's budding relationship with Jackson and would like to see that explored further. I would recommend this book to all my friends who like mystery thrillers.
  • (4/5)
    Good mystery. Holds your interest throughout.
  • (5/5)
    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. This is a comfortable, fast-flowing read. Follow the investigation with Detective Magozzi, Detective Rolseth, and the Monkeewrench crew. It will spin you in circles, twist you around, have you adding suspects to your list, deleting suspects from your killer list. I enjoyed the story so much I went and got more to read.
  • (4/5)
    Monkeewrench is the first book in a crime series written by a mother-daughter team that calls themselves P. J. Tracy. While I quite enjoyed this book while I was reading it, I was a little let down by the ending. I think the authors were trying to insert a big twist with their ending but I felt that it disrupted the narrative and left too many questions unanswered. That said, I will probably continue on with the next book as I did really enjoy the interplay among the character and the story itself. The story follows two investigations, a double murder in a small town in Wisconsin and the tracking of a serial killer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When a connection is made between the these two cases, the small town sheriff, Mike Halloran and his deputies come to the larger city and work with the lead detective, Leo Magozzi and his partner Gino Rolseth. The intensity of the story is lightened by both plenty of humor and some romantic entanglements.Monkeewrench moved quickly even though it was the first in a series and there were many characters to be introduced. I am not sure which of the many characters from this first book will be carried on, so I am looking forward to the second book to finding that out. The idea of a serial killer replicating the deaths from a computer game and the use of an interesting medical phenomena brought a lot of originality to the story and the authors developed their clever plot into a very good thriller.
  • (5/5)
    This was excellent; well-plotted, funny, and with a hint of a romance between two of the police officers. I was racing to find out the conclusion.
  • (3/5)
    When I entered this book into LibraryThing, probably back in 2009, I did not remember it. I put two stars on the book, as that was my SOP for this type of novel. In April of this year, 2018, I noticed the average rating was very close to 4.0. I thought I'd try it again. I bumped the rating to three stars. Event though I did not recall the details, I wrote down the "who done it" in this "who done it." Big time spoiler. There was no way to figure it out until the end, when the cops found information from the past the reader did not know. The killer was revealed at the end, just before the cops found out, by the evil one pointing a gun at the main character. I felt ,'big deal' as there was no way for the reader to figure out 'who done it,' and also the main character was annoying. I would rather have the person die then live. 1,428 members; 3.9 average rating; 5/27/2018
  • (5/5)
    Short review: I loved this book. I loved the characters, the humor, the writing style. I have been reading this series totally out of order, this is the 4th I have read.

    I'm very happy to have stumbled across this author and this series.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the writing of this mystery a lot, enough that I didn't even mind the plot holes in the final resolution. It hits the ground moving and maintains its pace throughout; the characters are quite likable; there's a reasonable amount of suspense and good excitement.
  • (3/5)
    fun, twisty, thriller - tech inspired -
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this book! I ate it up in less than 3 days. If you love suspenseful murder mysteries, then this should be your next stop. Monkeewrench hits the ground running with a fast tracked story that keeps you turning the page. There is never a dull moment in this book.
  • (4/5)
    Two sets of detectives in two states are dealing with murders that have them stymied. An elderly couple is shot to death in church and a series of murders are imitating a computer game with 20 murders to solve. The inventors of the game have no recorded past before ten years ago, so they are high on the list of suspects, but meanwhile, the perpetrator is making his or her way through the game's scenarios faster than law enforcement can respond adequately.
  • (4/5)
    Very exciting mystery. There is murder in Wisconsin. A serial killer in Minneapolis is doing a video game in real life. Couldn't put it down.
  • (4/5)
    The team at Monkeewrench are in the final stages of developing a game focusing on catching a serial killer. 20 murders were staged and clues hidden throughout the game. The advance orders are pouring in. And then their murder scenes become reality. The Minneapolis police focus on this group of weird individuals and uncover things best left in the past. But somehow the past reaches into the present. I really liked the strange group at Monkeewrench and the interplay between the police team members. Looking forward to read more of this series.
  • (5/5)
    Developers of a video game about a serial killer notice that local crimes start to look like someone is copying their murders. Is it related to past events in their lives or is it just about the video game?I really enjoyed this book. Creative, well written, with good characters. A fun summer thriller.
  • (5/5)
    This mother-daugher duo is fantastic! I absolutely love the quirky cast of characters and they are all computer geeks which is my forte so I was so excited to find a good tech based mystery series! I remember when I first read this series I was so dissapointed that they had only written four or five books so far because I just wanted to keep on reading them. If you're tried of your run of the mill mysteries and want something with a little flaire you should check this one out. I guarantee you'll fall in love with this rag tag geek squad!
  • (5/5)
    I can't believe I haven't heard of this book until now. It's a lovely series. I'm beginning to think that mother and daughter writer teams know their stuff! Not that solo authors aren't great, of course. I love how while this book was serious and full of suspense, it was also witty and funny too.

    I fully recommend this book. It was a was a wonderful book! I can't wait to read the rest of the series! Hoping there will be more coming out. Right now, there are nine books in this series! I have a feeling I'm going to love the other eight as much as I loved this one!
  • (4/5)
    P.J. and Traci Lambrecht are the mother/daughter writing team behind this fantastic debut novel.
    A group of five friends with a mysterious past have banded together to create the company ‘Monkeewrench’, a successful software company in Minneapolis. Instead of their usual educational software, they’ve developed ‘Serial Killer Detective’, a game about a series of 20 unique murders. The horrors of their past come back to haunt the five technogeeks when a killer strikes out to recreate the murders in the game.

    On the case is Minneapolis Detective Magozzi, who becomes drawn to the complicated, hostile yet fragile Grace McBride, one of the owners of Monkeewrench. Magozzi becomes increasingly frustrated and desperate as the body count climbs with no witnesses and no leads. Finally a country sheriff in rural Wisconsin links a bizarre murder to the ones in Minneapolis, and the action really takes off. There are a host of funny, sad, sympathetic and sexy characters, each with a personality that seems to jump off the page.

    I really have no complaints or nit-picks about this story. The writing is engrossing, the seemingly diverse threads of multiple stories come together smoothly and are all resolved satisfactorily at the end, the characters are vivid and sympathetic, and the dialog realistic.
  • (4/5)
    The first in a series about Grace, two Mpls cops, her software gang, and assorted other characters, like Sheriff Michael Halloran, or “Mickey” as Father Newberry calls him, and Deputy Bonar Carlson whose belt hung so low it would never see his belly button and who “ would have to kneel to reach his gun.”

    It begins quite humorously, with Father Newberry trying to keep down the last creation of the well-meaning Sister Ignatius attempting to serve him with a “proper meal” which in that part of Wisconsin usually meant some mixture of hamburger and multiple canned soups, although on one occasion some kind of “rolled tubes that looked disturbingly like a casserole of severed penises.” Now that line truly brought a chuckle. Off to a good start.

    He discovers John and Mary Kleinfeldt in the sanctuary, kneeling in a pew, and he wonders if they are there to yet again, to complain about some imagined homosexual in the congregation. Not this time. Each has a bullet hole in the base of the skull, and Mary has a cross carved in her chest.

    Minneapolis detectives are faced with their own crime wave. It would seem that a killer is emulating scenes from a brand new online game designed by the Monkeewrench crew, a team of nerdy misfits who have managed to erase any trace of their former lives and also have the ability to retrieve just about any piece of information one might want about someone. Soon, despite being suspects, they are in league with the cops to track down the bad guy. And there are links to the Monkeewrench gang who seem to have no identify-able backgrounds.

    The ending was a bit over the top, but this is the second of the Monkeewrench books I have listened to and will listen to more.

    The characters are memorable, some of the lines LOL funny, and they all hate Minnesota winters. I suggest reading this one first as it adds a lot of backstory.
  • (3/5)
    Audio book performed by Buck Shirner.
    3.5***

    On a particularly cold October morning a priest in a small Wisconsin town discovers his two most devoted parishioners have been murdered while in their pew. As the sheriff begins his investigation he soon discovers that they have a mysterious past, and were obviously afraid of someone or something. Meanwhile in Minneapolis / St Paul, a serial killer is recreating the scenes in a newly popular web-based game. The Monkeewrench crew – a group of high intelligent computer geeks who develop computer games – is first to recognize the connection, but as soon as they go to the police they find themselves considered suspects rather than potentially valuable allies in finding the killer.

    The two cases are connected … but it will be awhile before the police (and the reader) discover how.

    Tracy has crafted a good suspense thriller. The plot moves quickly, the clues are not obvious (but they are there), and there’s an undercurrent of sexual tension between a couple of characters that keeps things interesting. If I have a complaint it’s that the main female character – Grace McBride – is just a little too detached and weak-kneed., yet she ALWAYS carries her Sig and has her home and office made into veritable fortresses. Just doesn’t quite add up. In fact, most of the female characters were poorly written in comparison to the men.

    Still, it kept me turning pages (or changing CDs as the case may be). I would definitely read another book by Tracy, but I’d much rather read about Halloran (the Wisconsin sheriff).

    Buck Shirner does a respectable job of the audio version. His pace is good and his voice inflection lends the right tone of seriousness or levity as required. He’s not quite so skilled with the female characters, but I love his voice for the many male detectives (and suspects).
  • (5/5)
    I had never heard of this series until I saw one of the future books recommended for a group discussion. I decided to read the first two in anticipation and am I ever glad I did! What a fantastic debut filled with everything I personally look for in a great story. The characters are exceptional and the detectives are filled with both personality and humor. There were twists and turns I never saw coming and I really wanted to know “who dunnit” but at the same time was reluctant to have it end.

    The premise of the story is that a group of computer game designers (Monkeewrench) are severely disturbed when images from their online game, Serial Killer Detective, conceived and designed by Grace McBride are used in a series of murders. They reluctantly team up with the police, even though all five of them have something to hide. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this story is about one lone detective on a solo mission to solve a serial murder case. This is a whole group of detectives and their crews from two different states working together to find a serial killer. The plot was constructed brilliantly and everything came together smoothly. There were no leaps in logic....just a straightforward thriller.

    There are two secondary characters that found their way into my heart. Jackson, a nine-year-old black foster child and Grace's dog, Charlie, who has a pathological fear of everything that breathes, but who all together is genuinely adorable. Even if you don't like this book you will love those two. But, I guarantee, you won't hate this book. You might not love it as much as I did, but you won't be sorry you read it. I can't wait to get to the next book, Live Bait.
  • (4/5)
    A really great, engrossing story about a group of people who find someone living out their new crime computer game is gruesome fashion. The characters and likeable and realistic, and the plot is well designed. I hope to read more in the Grace MacBride series in the future.
  • (4/5)
    I thought this was a good first book in a series. The Monkeewrench group is an interesting mix of characters, forever joined by tragedy. Their lifestyle may be a bit of an over-reaction, but it tells you a lot about them. And for once, the advanced technology used in the book doesn’t seem like too far of a stretch. The killer was well-concealed, so I enjoyed the reveal. This is a series I’ll definitely continue.
  • (5/5)
    I just finished one of the best mysteries I've seen in quite some time! Very brief overview: Monkeewrench is a software company in Minneapolis- they do educational things, games and the like. Their newest game, Serial Killer Detective, has the player trying to find and stop a serial killer before he commits 17 murders. It's just a game, right? Then why are these murder tableaux happening in real life and in exact game order? Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, an elderly couple has been brutally murdered (in a church, no less). Police learn that the couple had moved from place to place and changed their names every time they moved. The Monkeewrench people have similar secrets. Are the killings related and can the police solve what is fast turning into multiple mysteries before anyone else dies?The mother/daughter writing team that is PJ Tracy sculpt a mighty compelling story. The story is solid, multi-layered and buzzing with tension. The characters are wonderfully likeable and I found myself quite invested in their lives. The pace varies but that only adds to the intensity of the mystery as it unfolds. But our authors also know how to lighten things up. The comic relief within the story is some of the best I've come across. A scene in an art gallery where the characters discuss abstract art with a patron will make you laugh out loud. And that levity is definitely welcome in the midst of the nail-biting tension as layer upon layer of the story becomes known. The conclusion of both the mystery was satisfying but the ending of the book itself left me feeling like I've just had Chinese food. It was good and I am satiated... but I will be hungry for more very very soon. I've already ordered the next one in the series. Definitely recommended!
  • (4/5)
    This book took me by surprise. I haven’t read/listened to a mystery for awhile and I forgot how fun they can be. The setting for this book is northern rural Wisconsin and Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minnesota. I happen to love this setting because I know it and in books set in locations that are in a way off beat (like not in New York City or London), make the story more accessible to me. But I am also a midwest gal, so I get a giddy feeling everytime I realize the book I am reading takes place in an area near where I live. So, there is a large cast of characters that are introduced and in the beginning it was slightly hard to keep track of everyone. But within a few chapters I had everyone down because thankfully, the characters are written as distinct three dimensional people. Monkeewrench involved some interesting murders, a few spooky and creepy moments, and great character development. There are nice little details, but not too many of them, despite being a mystery the characters take front row in this book. The humor is speckled throughout, but it is not mean spirited or overly done. The characters are both police officers and highly skilled computer programmers. The contrasting lifestyles and talents make it even more enjoyable to read. If you like audio books, then definitely listen to this one as the narration for the audio is really well performed. Oh, and one thing about this mystery book that I absolutely was so thankful for was that a certain method of storytelling was not utilized – the point of view of the murderer. I hate that story telling method and I usually end up skipping the murderer’s point of view entirely. Thankfully Monkeewrench does not use this style. So if you have an aversion to that method – you will be safe with this book.The Monkeewrench series is written by a mother and daughter team, which I cannot help but think is a pretty cool gig for a mom and daughter to have together.
  • (4/5)
    Software company creates computer game with murder.
  • (4/5)
    This was just a really fun mystery. It featured a curious group of eccentrics that made video games, that happened to notice that the newest crime scenes in the news looked like the scenes in their new game. Throughout the book, you realize that they are not what they seem and a whole separate mystery comes forth. I loved that it left me guessing until the end of the book. All the characters were enduring from the cops to the side characters like the priest. I definitely would recommend.
  • (4/5)
    I have to say I was suprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I bought with the idea that it would be one of my filler books, you know, a book to fill the time until I get one I really want. As it ended up, this book was one that was started and finished within a 24 hour period. I stayed up all night to finish it, and was amazed that a writing team (mother and daughter) could write such a cohesive, well thought out story. Normally these thriller fillers don't even rate a mention, but this one definitely does.
  • (5/5)
    Monkeewrench, a computer software company, is developing a serial killer game, in which the player views crime scene photos in order to try to solve the case. However, when a murderer begins killing innocents in the exact manner depicted in the game, the five members of Monkeewrench know they’re in trouble. I really liked the characters, it was extremely suspenseful, and I loved that I didn’t guess who the killer was!
  • (5/5)
    Want to Play? is an easy going serial killer novel, with good characterisation, clever dual plot lines and sharp dialogue. The central characters are likeable and diverse which creates a flowing narrative; coupled with the fast moving story a page-turning read has been created. A good introduction to a series of standalone books - definitely recommended.