Shoot to Thrill by P.J. Tracy

Monkeewrench is back, baby!  Monkeewrench is a haunted, eccentric, close-knit team of computer geniuses who’ve turned their skills from creating computer games to developing anticrime software.  Harley Davidson, Roadrunner, Annie and Grace must a) crack the code killers are using to communicate online  b) create software which will separate staged murders from the real thing and c) trace the online snuff films to the killers.  Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are along for the ride, as is series newcomer FBI agent John Smith.

Shoot to Thrill offers a chilling premise and some moments of intense suspense.  I love the series regulars:  they are among my favorite fictional characters.  Although we didn’t see much of Annie or Roadrunner this time around, Grace has a surprise for us—one that I’m still puzzling over.  Hopefully another Monkeewrench title is already in the works . . . .  Shoot to Thrill can be read as a standalone but you’ll have a better appreciation for the characters if you read the preceding novels.

Book 1:  Monkeewrench. Haunted by a series of horrifying and violent episodes in their past, Grace MacBride 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 learn of the connection between the murders and the game, three people are dead, and the game is just beginning. (description copied from the P.J. Tracy website)

Book 2:  Live Bait. A murder-free spell in Minneapolis is shattered when two elderly men are found murdered in one night – both self-sufficient, utterly innocent, and beloved. As the victim toll mounts, homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to find a connection between victims in a demographic group rarely targeted by serial killers, and find elusive threads that uncover a series of horrendous secrets, some buried within the heart of the police department itself, blurring the lines between heroes and villains. Grace MacBride’s cold-case-solving software may find the missing link – but at a terrible price. (description copied from the P.J. Tracy website)

Book 3: Dead Run. Monkeewrench founders Grace MacBride and Annie Belinsky – along with Wisconsin deputy Sharon Mueller – are en route to Green Bay when their car breaks down deep in the northern woods. A short walk through the forest leads them to the eerily quiet town of Four Corners, where they find severed phone lines and a complete absence of any life. But the quiet is deceptive. Before they know it, they witness a horrifying double murder – and discover that this is only the beginning of a race to save their own lives…and countless others. (description copied from the P.J. Tracy website)

Book 4:  Snow Blind. With the holidays over and the long cold winter looming, January can be a bleak month in Minneapolis. So what better way to bring a little cheer to the good people of the city than sponsoring an old-fashioned snowman-building contest? In a matter of hours, a local park is filled with the innocent laughter of children and their frosty creations. But things take an awful turn when the dead bodies of police officers are discovered inside two of the snowmen – sending the entire department and Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth on high alert.

The next day, Iris Rikker, the newly minted sheriff of rural Dundas County, comes across another body in another snowman. Fearing that Rikker’s inexperience will hamper the investigation, Magozzi and Rolseth head north, in a blizzard, to hunt for clues. As Grace MacBride and her crack computer jocks at Monkeewrench comb the Web for connections, a terrifying link emerges among the dead cops, Magozzi and Rolseth, and Monkeewrench – a link that must be broken before it’s too late. (description copied from the P.J. Tracy website)

P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of the mother-daughter writing team of Patricia Lambrecht and Traci Lambrecht. They each live in rural Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis.  For more information, please visit


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] you like P.J. Tracy’s Monkeewrench series, I think you’ll like Anna Pigeon. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  2. 2

    […] we last saw Grace MacBride in Shoot to Thrill, she was contemplating a sailing trip with retired FBI agent John Smith.  As Off the Grid starts, […]

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