Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Review: Off the Grid

Off the Grid
Off the Grid by P.J. Tracy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of the genres, fans of this series
Trigger Warnings: Terrorism, violence, terroristic threats

Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review (and was absolutely thrilled to find the latest in one of my favorite series available through the program!). All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: On a sailboat ten miles off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a fifteen-year-old girl is discovered in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that day, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed execution-style. The next morning, the dead bodies of three more men turn up, savagely murdered in the same neighborhood.

As Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the three crimes, they learn that there have been similar murders in other cities around the United States. Piece by piece, evidence accumulates, pointing to a suspect that shocks them to the core, uncovering a motive that puts the entire Midwest on high alert and Monkeewrench in the direct line of fire. Before it's all over, Grace and her partners, Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, find themselves in the middle of a shocking collision of violence on a remote northern Minnesota reservation, fighting for their lives. 

My Thoughts: This is the sixth book in the Monkeewrench series, following Shoot to Thrill (review here where formatting allowed), and the latest. A seventh book is scheduled to be released sometime next year, but that’s all I know about it—when I checked their website for details, they haven’t even updated to show the release of this most recent book, which was released way back in August! I noticed, however, that the books in this series all have different names in the UK—why is this done? It’s just confusing! I do wish someone would explain that to me... anyway. When I saw this available through Amazon Vine, even as an ARC, I was ecstatic and grabbed it up immediately, because I have loved this entire series.

I mentioned in the review for Shoot to Thrill that the epilogue of that book made me lose my mind—this was because of Grace MacBride going with John Smith on his boat to Florida. Why? Did she abandon Magozzi for Smith? But Smith had said to Magozzi that Grace loved him (Magozzi), so I was just frantic to learn more. I mean, Magozzi had been so patient with her, so careful, taken all this time, and then she spends a few days with John Smith and runs off with him? I was dumbfounded, to say the least. At least they don’t keep us waiting too terribly long for those answers, so I was happy about that. I was also not happy about the threat to John Smith, who was a great character. However, we are still left wondering—what does Grace really feel for Magozzi? She’s such a mysterious character, we just can’t seem to figure her out. Maybe someday!

There is a scene at the beginning of Chapter 9 that just makes me cringe, because it was obviously written by someone who has no understanding of gun culture and the proper handling of firearms. The two characters involved know how to handle guns, know how to respect guns, but the authors have one of them actually aiming his rifle at the other—in jest, mind you—and looking at him through the sights! Now, anyone who knows anything about proper gun handling knows: you never, ever aim a firearm at anything you do not intend to kill. My dad used to chastise me if I aimed toy guns at other people, for crying out loud, and I know anyone with any sort of sense of responsibility was taught the same when it came to handling firearms. In this case, the characters are both Vietnam vets, so I know they would know this basic rule of handling firearms. It’s unfortunate that in this day and age, when people are taught to fear rather than respect guns, that this basic piece of knowledge is not disseminated widely enough to allow writers to utilize it in an otherwise wonderful book.

Anyway, like all the rest of this series, I absolutely loved this book. We finally find out what happened to Roadrunner’s fingers, although not any specific details. And we had some great secondary characters in Claude and the Chief, as well as Joe Hardy. I hope we’ll run across Chief again, at least (since Claude is from Texas the odds against him showing up again are even higher). Fans of thrillers, mysteries and/or suspense novels should love this book—this entire series—so don’t be shy about picking it up!

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