Lynne Perednia's Reviews > Shoot to Thrill

Shoot to Thrill by P.J. Tracy
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Apr 18, 10


The wait for a new Monkeewrench novel is over. At last. And it was worth it.

The FBI has asked the brilliant Monkeewrench gang for help with a new twist in cyber crime. Film of murders -- real murders in progress -- are being posted on the Internet. There is bragging in
advance. Even finding the bodies and tying the crimes together is a challenge.

With evil this audacious, the Monkeewrenchers can't resist the challenge. Even if it means allowing an FBI liasion into their HQ. Special Agent John Smith is near the end of his career as a federal agent. He's true blue. Boy, are Grace, Harley, Annie and Roadrunner going to eat him up and spit him out. Guaranteed.

Meantime, the murders coincidentally come under the purview of Minneapolis's finest, Magozzi and Gino. Besides stone-cold camera-loving assassins, the cops have an alcoholic judge who trawls the Minneapolis banks of the Mississippi River as if he was a Carl Hiaasen character to worry about. It's a given that the Monkeewrench gang and the cops will discover their mutual interests in sharing information. But it's the ability of mother-daughter writing team Patricia J. and Traci Lambrecht to combine the extreme individuality and geekiness of the Monkeewrench folk with a solid procedural that keeps the action spinning.

And although the plot is drawn well and executed deftly, it's the characterizations that make this series one of the best out there. Even the victims and potential victims are drawn in brief yet thorough portraits that make these characters as full-bodied as any series regular. They'd all be interesting to learn more about, especially a certain older lawman and a waitress.

To reward longtime fans for the long wait, there's an ending that most probably won't see coming. And what it bodes for the future means it better not take this long for the next P.J. Tracy novel to come out.
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