Monkeewrench ~ by P.J. Tracy

I read this for the 4-Mystery Addicts reading group and it’s one I likely would never have picked up on my own because it’s a relatively old book and I definitely go for the more recent releases. That said, it was a pretty good listen and who knows, I might even go on to the second book in the series. 

The thing is, had I read it 10 years ago, or when it came out in 2004, I would have been enthralled because I thoroughly enjoyed cyber novels for a long time, they were innovative and tremendous fun. I still enjoy them, but the newness has worn off.

*******
Monkeewrench ~ by P.J. Tracy
2004/ 429 pages
read by Buck Shirner 11h 9m
rating: A / cyber crime-thriller
(1st in series) 
*******

In this novel a small computer company, Monkeewrench, has a hit on its hands with its new release, “Serial Killer Detective.”

The trouble is that people start dying as someone enacts the digital violence in real life – or real death. And everyone is a suspect from the game employ-ees (long term friends) to the police or most likely perhaps, an unknown serial killer.

The action starts out a bit slow, but that’s only because there is no “prologue-type” hook to grab the reader’s immediate attention. It picks up naturally and smoothly and doesn’t really let go until the surprisingly twisty ending. .

The story follows the police as they investigate the crimes and prepare for the next one – there are 20 levels to the game and one murder to solve at each level. There is also a thread which follows the computer company employees who are very involved but mysterious in their own right.

As it turned out I enjoyed this book very much in spite of the fact the writing is only adequate (with some pretty fair humor scattered throughout) and the characters are kind of blah. It’s the plot which shines and the tension builds very smoothly, nice and natural, by the force of the story itself.

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