P. J. Tracy

Play To Kill

""Throughout, the prose is taut, tense and interspersed with some wonderfully comic lines. " "


Minneapolis homicide cops Gino Rolseth and Leo Magozzi are called to fish a body from the Mississippi. They expect it to be just another day at the office and do not think of it as anything other than routine, until a video appears on the internet of the murder. Further investigation reveals that there are other murders posted on the web as well. Before they know it they are embroiled in a case which may be a serial killer or a group of killers working together.

Desperate to make a breakthrough or connection they turn to computer genius and maverick Grace MacBride and her friends at Monkeewrench for help. But as the videos and bodies stack up the team moves ever closer they uncover terrifying news that could spell grave consequences for all concerned.

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This is the fifth and best in the series by mother and daughter P.J and Traci Lambrecht. Together they weave a fascinating tale of intrigue, suspense and murder which holds the reader's attention in a vice like grip. There is a strong sense of place throughout along with the background theme that the Internet is a breeding ground for all kinds of misanthropes. The novel is centred on the two detectives, yet is as much about the four Monkeewrench members as well. Rolseth and his partner Magozzi are typical homicide detectives and could be picked up and put down in any major city worldwide. Rolseth is a family man who barters his wife's lasagnes for favours, while Magozzi is a bachelor lusting after Grace MacBride. MacBride along with Annie and the improbably named Roadrunner and Harley Davidson make up Monkeewrench a computer software firm that can do almost anything. The four misfits are drafted in to help the FBI trace the web posts and agent John Smith is sent to work with them. Underplayed in this novel compared to previous ones the Monkeewrench team are a joy to behold and stick together in the way that any dysfunctional family would. Throughout, the prose is taut, tense and interspersed with some wonderfully comic lines. The tension is ramped up with a clever use of drip feeding information and clues whilst proceeding with events. I absolutely loved the way the authors brought a whole different twist to the serial killer/multiple killers theme with nobody ever knowing how many killers there were. The Internet gives us all so much enjoyment, entertainment and information that as with all fun things, somebody would always go too far and it would end in tears. I'm just glad that it was P.J Tracy who was on hand to wipe those tears away.

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