Summary and book reviews of Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy

Monkeewrench

(UK title: Want To Play?)

by P.J. Tracy

Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy X
Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2003, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2004, 432 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

The odd-ball crew of a software company create a computer game where the good guy always wins, but their game becomes a nightmare when someone starts duplicating the fictional murders in real life.

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.

CHAPTER 1

The brandy had been absolutely essential. It always was on Sunday nights, when Sister Ignatius took it upon herself to cook and serve Father Newberry a "proper meal." In this part of Wisconsin, that usually translated to hamburger cooked in canned cream soup.

The shape varied with the good sister's whims-sometimes meatballs, sometimes meat loaf, and on one memorable occasion, rolled tubes that looked disturbingly like a casserole of severed penises-but the basic ingredients and the resulting indigestion were always the same.

Father Newberry had learned long ago that antacids couldn't touch it. Only the brandy helped, blessing him with a quick sleep where he passed the time in happy oblivion while his stomach fought the demons of Sister Ignatius's kindness.

On this particular Sunday night the demons had been multiple. In some sort of aspiring gourmet fit the sister had baked meat loaf in God only knew how many different kinds of canned soups. When he'd asked ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
From the well-drawn, intelligent characters to the perfect pacing, Monkeewrench is that rare mystery that stays ahead of the reader. You might think you've figured it out three-quarters of the way through, but rest assured, even the most overly confident reader will be delightfully surprised at the ending. Grade A

The New York Times Book Review
This smart thriller works all three story lines into a daunting plot involving a computer game called Serial killer detective that goes haywire when someone in the real world starts replicating its 20 staged killings.

Publishers Weekly
A mother-daughter writing team pens a soundly plotted thriller that fires on all cylinders ... an accelerating, unpredictable plot ... an array of well-drawn characters and, most importantly, witty repartee.

Booklist - Carrie Bissey
An engaging debut thriller by a mother-daughter writing team who lace their suspense with humor a la Harlan Coben.

Kirkus Reviews - Ellen Geiger/Curtis Brown
Late-night alert Don't settle down with this wacky, supercharged maiden voyage at your bedside till you've cleared your schedule for the following morning.

Author Blurb Robert B. Parker
Funny and convincing. P.J. Tracy's taut storytelling makes me jealous.

Author Blurb Jayne Ann Krentz
An exhilarating, roller-coaster ride of a story... Can't wait for the next book!

Author Blurb Nevada Barr
This book is not only original but genuinely funny...a truly satisfying, terrific read.

Author Blurb Harlan Coben
Fast, fresh, funny and outrageously suspenseful ... debut thriller of the year.

Reader Reviews

Cloggie Downunder

A stunning debut novel.
Want To Play? (also titled Monkeewrench) is the first book in the best-selling Monkeewrench series by award-winning American mother-daughter writing duo, P J Tracy. At their office in Minneapolis, the owners of software firm Monkeewrench are almost ...   Read More
Nick Walker

I'm 15 and first bought this bought this book quite a while ago. Then I had a standardized test coming up and needed domething to read. I flipped through my books and found this one. It still had the book mark in it about half way through the book. I...   Read More
Mark Lawlor

I received the book as a christmas present,discovered that my favourite author Harlen Coben had recommended it so jumped in and could not put it down .Great plot genuinely likeable characters even though Grace could chill out a bit.Both detectives ...   Read More
Alex

I am 16 years old, and i absolutely LOVE to read. I usually dont read books from the adult section, but i just happened to be looking around. I know that people say to not judge a book by its cover, but i usually do. If the cover looks cool, or ...   Read More

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