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Publisher's Summary

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 17 more murder scenarios available online, there are 17 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 all caught in a web of decades-old secrets that could get them all killed.

©2004 P. J. Tracy (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 02-11-12

It’s not bad, but I had some problems with it.

It’s interesting enough to pass the time if you like murder mysteries. This book was recommended to me by a minister’s wife. There are a few religious symbols and ideas which I suspect delighted her. Although I am surprised that she didn’t complain about the volume of vulgar and religious swear words.

This is a long and complicated process of slowly uncovering clues about a killer. It kept my interest. There’s a curiosity urgency of when are you going to call this guy, or when are you going to figure this out. There is no suspense other than during the final climactic scene with the killer.

There wasn’t much police work or evidence. It was mostly conversation and speculation. And then in the ending climax, the killer explains everything in a ten minute monologue. I would have preferred learning motivations and evidence along the way rather than have the killer tell all at the end. I also would have preferred some cool police work or investigating.

I was annoyed with three stupidities during the ending climax. A cop did something stupid. The good guys were stupid to split up. And then a good guy did something stupid. It’s the kind of thing that’s typical and overdone. It reminded me of made-for-TV-movies. I would have preferred something different - unusual - unexpected.

I would have liked more showing of how the killer lured victims, talked to them, killed them, and then got away - especially the one in the store. I had a hard time figuring out how the killer could do what was done without a store clerk seeing something suspicious.

Straight mysteries are not my first choice in reading. But I enjoy them if there is something special, unique, or fun. This did not hit me that way.

I have never loved a book that was written by two people. But I try to be open to it. This book was written by a mother and daughter team.

Genre: murder mystery. Ending: reasonably happy.

NARRATOR:
I’m sorry but I did not like the narrator’s accent. I’m used to and prefer generic TV anchor speak. The narrator Buck Schirner used a long e sound instead of a short i. For example: detecteev, talkateev, collecteev, Wednesdeey, hees (his), heem (him).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Excellent listen. My first experience with this author. Good police procedural that did not get bogged down with too many details. Good character development. Lots of plot twists without getting to confusing. I suppose ending was predictable (aren't they all) but just off center enough that I did not guess it completely. Would not have known the gender(s) of the authors if I had not been told. Only my second experience with this narrator and he did an excellent job this time.(my first was more forgettable) Will definitely add the sequel to my wish list.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

I loved it. the characters are hilarious. the mystery is good. figured it out but it took a long time. Def recommend

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful

Any additional comments?

I am excited to have found a new series. I didn't want to stop listening until I finished. Very suspenseful story and I enjoyed all the character development and how they came together in the end. I just bought the second in the series and hope to find it just as good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Liked the cops... didn't like the climax...

More than a 3... not quite a 4. I thought the police characters had good development... and the plot had the makings of something really good. I felt like it didn't come together with the pizazz that I expected after 7-8 hours of building you up to something. It fell a little flat compared to what it set you up for. Worth the listen but I was left wanting a little more substance to the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Summer Read

I read this in book form soon after in was released in 2003. I'd forgotten about the series until recently. A few weeks ago the local newspaper ran a review of an upcoming title by PJ Tracy. That prompted me to check Audible to see if any books in the series were available.

Fourteen years was enough time for me to forget almost all of the details of the story - I had no recollection of the plot. It's a good story with a pretty good mystery. The final complete solution came as a surprise to me - that's a good thing in this case.

There is some violence. There is more rude language than I care for - I notice it more when listening than when reading the printed page. I've seen and heard much worse in current books, and on television. There is humor in the book - one scene in particular had me laughing out loud.

Narrator Buck Schirner did a good job. The only thing that irritated me just a little was the way he "voiced" female characters.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

Love the way they are written... great series... laughing out loud with the humor... at the edge of my seat with the suspense...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

it's the best

This book was so good, that I had to read it with my socks off. The story that follows a string of murders related to a video game that had me on edge the entire way through the book. Oh, and the twist at the end! Classic!!! Didn't see that one coming, at all! I can't believe Hollywood hasn't had it's way with this beautifuly crafted story.