“4.5 Stars”Andrew wrote this review Saturday, May 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was OK but I missed the computer company geeks from Monkeywrench.”J B wrote this review Friday, February 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of the genre and series
Trigger Warnings: Violence, murder, hate crimes
Disclosure: I purchased first a hardcover and later an e-book version of this book for myself. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored–-ever since they solved the Monkeewrench case, the Twin Cities have been in a murder-free dry spell, as people no longer seem interested in killing one another. But with two brutal homicides taking place in one awful night, the crime drought ends-–not with a trickle, but with an eventual torrent. Who would kill Morey Gilbert, a man without an enemy, a man who might as well have been a saint? His tiny, cranky little wife, Lily, is no help, and may even be a suspect; his estranged son, Jack, an infamous ambulance-chasing lawyer, has his own enemies; and his son-in-law, former cop Marty Pullman, is so depressed over his wife's death a year ago that he's ready to kill himself, but not Morey. The number of victims—all elderly—grows, and the city is fearful once again. The detectives' investigation threatens to 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.
My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Monkeewrench series, following Monkeewrench (review here where formatting allowed). I first read this second book in the series soon after it came out in 2005, but didn’t review it at the time. Since I have, subsequently to reading the first four, acquired books 5 and 6, I decided to re-read the whole series at a go before book 7 comes out next year, and actually do reviews for all of them this time (I believe I have an old review for Snow Blind out there, which I will share when I do the next one).
One thing of the very few things that bothers me in this book (and series) is the authors’ constant focus on the weight of a couple of the characters. Admittedly, Annie and Gloria are also described as sensual and sexy, with men always tripping over themselves to gain their attention, but neither woman can be mentioned without the additional mention of how heavy she is, like this is terribly important to keep rubbing in the readers’ faces. But that’s just a personal issue, I imagine. The only other thing I have to complain about with this book is the occasional head-hopping that will occur out of the blue. Fortunately, it’s generally only a paragraph and then the narration will return to the regular style used through the book.
None of that is enough to make me change my original assessment of this, given many years ago, as a five-star book. Let me tell you why. One of the truly outstanding things about this series is that the storylines, the ideas presented, they all make you think. Consider this line by Lily, wife of Morey, whose daughter was also murdered.
“You men. You always want to know who did this or that terrible thing, so someone can find them and make them pay. Always it’s been like this for men, the eye for the eye, as if it would make any difference.”
I mean, really think about that, about what that implies, about what that means. It’s wonderful. There are things like this in every single book in this series, something really profound that will make you question your motivations, make you question your beliefs. I love that—I love that they don’t allow you to escape by using easy answers; they insist that you question your beliefs, that you really take a good, hard look at your basic assumptions and then ask, “Is that really who I am? Is that really how I feel? And is that really right?” Not to mention that the authors are wonderful about hiding the villain until they are good and ready to reveal whodunit. That makes these among some of the best mysteries I’ve read since Agatha Christie.
So, despite any minor annoyances, these books are right up there with the best of the best, and I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a great mystery/suspense/thriller. Definitely check them out. Next up: Dead Run.”
“I read the first Monkeewrench book a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. I liked this book, too, but it didn't seem to feature the computer company as much, and more focused on the police.
The scenes with all the Monkeewrench people, with the exception of the scenes with Grace and Detective Magozzi, felt forced and awkward, like they were just stuck in after the fact. I'm going to read the next book in the series, and I hope it is more like the first one than this one.”
“This appeared to be everywhere at the time - highly marketed. Consequently, as much as I enjoyed it as a pretty standard crime thriller, I perhaps felt it didn't justify the hype. At times is was a bit too American for me (hence there were slight cultural frictions) and on more than one occasion I needed to check back on who was who because of the use of a couple of similar character names (one of my pet hates in a book). I liked it though - even with a touch too much 'cop' and a smidge too little 'thriller' in the blend of 'cop thriller'.”Monkey Davies wrote this review Thursday, August 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“In many ways, this sequel is a lot stronger than the opening book in the series, Monkeewrench. It flows a lot better and the cast of characters has been pared down to a much more manageable level. Despite it being a very plot-centric book, the plot itself is rather predictable. There are a few surprising turns, but for the most part nothing too shocking occurs. It would have been nice to see the series main characters develop a bit more - it seems like all of the character development is spent on characters new and surrounding just this storyline. Still, the bantering dialogue is a lot of fun and I am definitely interested to see where the series will go next.”Victoria K wrote this review Thursday, August 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not bad, not as good as Monkeewrench.”Bookworm wrote this review Saturday, July 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“a Little slow, but ok............”Tom wrote this review Wednesday, September 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Installment #2 of the Monkeewrench series was lots of fun to read. My only quarrel with it was that there simply wasn't enough of the Monkeewrench crew. Instead, this story focussed on Gino and Magozzi, 2 Minneapolis homicide detectives. Morey Gilbert, Holocost survivor, owner of the local nursery, and all round candidate for Sainthood (if he weren't Jewish) is found shot dead in front of his business by his wife Lily. The MPD is called in to solve the case. While they are working at trying to find a motive and a killer, more eldery Jews are found murdered. Who would want to kill these pillars of the community? I must say that the ending had a really big twist, which kept twisting to the very last page! A fun read!”Raspberrymocha55 wrote this review Monday, May 9, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was 2nd in the series of Monkeewrench. Grace is beginning to be a bit more trusting and less fearful. Annie wears outfits that compete with Roadrunner. As usual the violence is horrific. Senior citizens as serial killers stretches the imagination a bit. ”Boots S wrote this review Saturday, March 26, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No