A double murder in Wisconsin and a series of murders in Minneapolis are somehow related to the mysterious employees of Monkeewrench Software. To tell any more would take all the fun out of letting this masterfully written thriller reveal the details itself.
Monkeewrench is the first in a series of books featuring Grace McBride and her eccentric partners at small Minneapolis software company, written by the Mother-Daughter writing team known as P.J. Tracy. First, the mystery aspect of the novel is intriguing. What do a dead elderly couple in Wisconsin, a series of serial killings in Minneapolis staged to look like those in a video game, and the mysterious pasts of a bunch of computer programmers have in common? The clues unravel efficiently and the twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read them. There's a clever double twist of the plot really threw me off, making the ending even more surprising.
But what I really loved about Monkeewrench was the intriguing cast of characters. First, there are the crew at Monkeewrench Software, especially Grace McBride, who is so scarred by something in her past that she is always heavily armed, has a veritable fortress for a home, and will only wear long heavy riding boots for shoes. Surrounding her protectively are a bunch of other misfits with lots of interesting personality quirks. Working to solve the mystery are two sets of likeable cops, the Minneapolis detective team of Maggozzi and Rolseth, and the Wisconsin sheriff and his deputy. Their interaction between the characters is well-written, making Monkeewrench an enjoyable read from start to finish.
Chalk this one up as a "must-read". Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy is a first rate thriller, and will keep you entertained from beginning to end.