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Want to Play? - P.J. Tracy

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Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    9 Reviews
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      24.01.2012 17:03

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      I was easily drawn into this book, but was disappointed by the ending and annoyed by some plot holes

      I bought this book a while ago but only got round to reading it a few months ago! I don't usually read thrillers, but I have enjoyed reading Tess Gerritsen so I decided to give this book a try. It was extremely easy to read and I found myself getting more and more into the story. The idea of a group of elite computer programmers (Monkeewrench) who have erased their pasts due to some event that happened whilst they were friends at university really intrigued me. There were nice twists and turns and I loved how suddenly a decade later, Grace, the main character in the story, is targeted once more when someone decides to copy scenes from a murder mystery game the group are developing. The murderer is killing one person a day in settings and circumstances exactly the same as the stages of the game. They only have a limited amount of time as they join forces with the police to prevent these murders from happening. As much as I wanted to like this book, I found that the ending wasn't much of a surprise. It confused me why the murderer would leave such a vital clue that would allow them to work out who they were. Unfortunately I found that parts of the story became less believable as I read on. Even minor details irked me for example, Grace is described as being this super paranoid person who has her home built with the type of security an army would be proud of...yet despite this a small boy manages to climb over her fence into the garden with no problem at all. I have given this book a 3 star rating since the basic storyline was really promising and left me wanting to finish the book till the end, but I found that the book and ending overall weren't very satisfying. It's not really a book I'd read again, but I think it's a pretty decent debut thriller.

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      06.05.2010 18:09
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      Computer games can kill...

      When a murdered girl is found draped across a statue in a cemetery, the ferocity of her murder is disturbing to all who see it. Yet this is only the beginning. Before long, a team of computer programmers, headed by Grace McBride, have approached the police because the murder is a carbon copy of part of a game they are currently working on. Minneapolis detectives, Magozzi and Gino, begin a race against time to stop more serial killings based on the game from happening. At the same time, it appears that there is a connection with the brutal slaying of an elderly couple in a Wisconsin church and a series of killings that Grace and her programming friends were involved in ten years before. Could Grace and her team be involved in the murders? Or is it someone wanting to implicate Grace at every turn who is just waiting for her to become one of the victims? Having read a couple of other books by the mother/daughter writing team who make up P J Tracy, I knew that I was in for a gripping read with this book, the first in the series. Gripping it most certainly is, from start to finish. I read a great deal of crime fiction and find it very hard to be completely sucked in these days - either because the read isn't eventful enough or it is too easy to guess what is going to happen next. This book, however, is both eventful and full of twists and turns that make it virtually impossible to second guess the next step - although towards the end, I had picked up on some of the clues that the author had left. Nevertheless, it is a seriously gory murder mystery that will appeal to most fans of thrillers. Part of the intriguing storyline stems from the descriptions of the characters. Grace is probably the main character, although Magozzi comes a close second. She is not particularly likable to begin with; she is prickly, unfriendly, and obviously has a great deal of difficulty in trusting anyone. However, as her experience of ten years ago is slowly fed to the reader, it becomes more of a surprise that she knows how to function at all. Her computer programmer friends, Harley, Mitch, Roadrunner and Annie, are her family and stick to her side like glue. Nevertheless, P J Tracy still keeps some of her character mysterious, so that the reader cannot completely rule her out of the role of serial killer. It's very cleverly done and makes for a great character. Magozzi is the other character who really stands out. Despite his initial reservations about Grace, he is slowly beginning to fall in love with her, while desperately wanting to catch the killer at the same time. His job has become his life, but he is beginning to realise that there is room in it for something else - and it could be Grace. He didn't develop hugely over the course of the book, but there is enough there to tempt the reader to carry on with the series, and his relationship with Gino, his partner, is both touching and funny at the same time. The Wisconsin Sheriff who is involved in the murder of the couple in the church is another strong character. His character is quite similar to Magozzi, but he has a love interest in one of the detectives who works for him and it turns out to be quite a highlight of the book. My only issue with the book is that there is just so much going on in it that at times, it was hard to get to grips with exactly what was going on. It also involves a serial killer who is a complete genius (very similar to some of Patricia Cornwell's killers) and manages to get things spot on every single time without ever being caught in the act. It's just a bit too hard to believe at times. And although there are plenty of twists to keep the reader guessing, they do add to the need to suspend disbelief. This is not something that anyone will necessarily notice while reading, but when mulling things over afterwards, everything just seems a bit too neat and tidy. I am being very picky there though, because at the end of the day, it's a great escapism and most people would rather that than an accurate real life depiction. The writing style is punchy and gets on with the job, which is precisely what is needed with this type of book. The chapters are short, which fits in well with the way that the story is told - it chops and changes between characters, particularly at the beginning of the book before the Wisconsin murders are connected with the Minneapolis ones. This does mean that the reader has to really keep on their toes for the first part of the book in particular, but the simplicity of the language really helps there. The main issue is getting to grips with all the names, which with names like Magozzi, Harley and Roadrunner is a little mind-bending to start with. In time though, the originality of the names wins through - it's hard to forget someone called Roadrunner who dresses in lycra and is described as looking like a long, thin pencil! This book is not flawless by any stretch of the imagination, but for a first novel in this genre, it really does deserve its place in thriller history. It isn't always a pleasant read - there are some fairly horrific descriptions of the murders to cope with, but that anyone who struggles with that probably wouldn't be reading anything from this genre anyway. Best of all, I think the authors have created a set of characters who are memorable - at least in Grace and Magozzi. If you're new to the series, this is definitely the place to start - it makes future books much easier to follow with regard to the character backgrounds. I highly recommend this book, 4.5 stars out of 5. The books is available from play.com for £5.99. Published by Penguin Books, it has 496 pages. ISBN 9780141011325.

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        28.11.2008 09:08
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        Action thriller

        Background: My boss has been singing the praises of P.J. Tracy for the past year. So under considerable pressure I finally relented and decided to give it a go. I am always conscious when someone recommends an author to you that opinions vary and what one person loves anything may loathe. The Author: This was a complete shock to me for a start. A book written by two authors! In this case it was a mother/daughter combination of Traci and PJ Lambrecht. I'm so glad I found this out after reading it otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered, as I would have expected the book to be very disjointed. This was their first best selling thriller. These were quickly followed by three more also best sellers, 'Snow Blind', 'Dead Run' and 'Live Bait'. All sharing this successful idea of two related writers. The story of the book: An elderly couple, the Kleinfedts are killed in a church in Kingsford County, Wisconsin. The local Police see this as a random act against two highly unpopular members of the small community. There are few clues and information is hard to come by on the pair. Eventually they discover they had a hermaphrodite child (with both male and female organs) many years before, who seems to have vanished of the face of the earth, having been dumped in a boarding school many years before. The couple have moved many times and during that time they have changed their name and lifestyle on many occasions. Meanwhile in Minneapolis a serial killer is on the loose and killing on a daily basis. The Police to start with are baffled as to the reason for these odd and random murders. They are soon helped by a team of five techno freaks who are developing an internet computer game in which gruesome murders need to be solved by the game player. The murderer is committing the murders as the game displays it. The game is immediately taken off the internet but the first seven murders have been down loaded by over 500 users. The owners of this company Monkeewrench upon investigation also have no details of any of their past beyond the last ten years. There seems no connection between the two investigations, different regions of Canada with different murders. However both sets of detectives find a link with a small Catholic School. Is this just a coincidence? Both groups must work together to try and peace together the truth and catch this very dangerous killer before more murders are committed. My thoughts on the book: I really enjoyed this book. It was lively, interesting and quite chilling at times. The idea of it being written by two authors would never have been known by the reader until you research the authors. I think that in itself says a lot about the close bond between the writers and quality of the work. The story was excellent. With the authors able to keep you constantly up to date with developments in the other region. This allowed the story to flow and develop. The pace was also good as you were never sure what was going to happen next in the story. The quality of writing description was first class, with fantastically amusing dialogue between the main characters. This made them appear more real and is often something missing in thrillers, as the writer concentrates much more on the plot itself. The idea of having Detectives I could relate to was something approaching heart warming for me. The author's style was good throughout, with a fast moving and very exciting conclusion which left me unsure of the killer until the final few scenes. As any of them could have been the murderer with so much unknown till towards the end of the book. The book read really well and with short punchy chapters, I found it difficult to put down and with excellent writing throughout it was a wonderful and fascinating book to read. As for a first novel I think it was outstanding piece of work. Conclusion: Excellent, enjoyable and scary thriller, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone. I certainly will be reading another book by P.J.Tracy in the near future. Maybe I should listen to my boss's recommendations in future!! Published by Penguin 496 Pages Price £7.99 on Kelboo Books ISBN:9780141011325 Author details: www.pjtracy.net Thanks for reading!! This review is also posted on Ciao.co.uk by me CPTDANIELS November 2008

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          08.04.2008 23:57
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          a very good read

          This is the best book I've read in a long time, it's a detective novel but a very clever one. The characters are realistic enough to make you really feel for them when somethinf goes wrong, which it often does, and the plot is fast paced enough to be gripping and interesting. Plot The basic plot is based around two police investigations for murder, one is a single shooting of an elderly couple and the other a series of murders in a different town in America that are following the pattern of a computer game on the internet. The makers of this internet game are in a panic as they know that they are major suspects for the murder, however the police are in even more of a state as the murders are totting up and they don't know how far this murderer will go. Through very clever twists of the novel the two seperate murder scenes are interlinked and the squuads of policemen are suddenly working together into a world where they don't know what will happen next, and having to bring up the past in very wierd ways. The question is: Will they do it in time? My views The characters are well thought out and planned and the plot itself is gripping, I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in either detective novels or psychological thrillers as this is both in one.

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            13.01.2008 17:24
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            A great read. Recommended!

            In Kingsford County, Wisconsin, the local priest prepares himself to listen to the vitriolic and homophobic outpourings of an elderly couple; regular frequenters of his church and part of his community. However, nothing prepares him for finding them dead. Murdered! Sheriff Michael Halloran, and deputy Bonar Carlson are immediately on the case. In Minneapolis, Minnesota detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are assigned to the case of a jogger found dead - and discover there's something odd about his mouth. A day later comes case two, a murder in a cemetery - in which the circumstances are even more bizarre. Also in Minneapolis are the Monkeewrench team; a group of five software programming friends, currently working on a new game, Serial Killer Detective. This is a game where you seek clues from a series of (carefully staged) murder scenes in order to catch the killer. When the news of the cemetery murder hits the press the team are chilled by the familiarity of the circumstances: it's seemingly a copycat killing of the 2nd murder in their game. Unable to let this pass as co-incidence, the group hesitantly go to the police. As Grace and the team share their concerns on the similarity of the 2nd murder, detectives Magozzi and Rolseth query the nature of the game's 1st. The detectives are shown a picture of a jogger, with a piece of liquorice in his mouth. Immediate suspicion falls on Grace and friends, as the game isn't on commercial release yet. However, it is live online, with hundreds of players, and 20 levels to solve. 20 levels, 20 different murder scenes... The suspect count rises to over 500 and anyone of them could be a serial killer, playing the Serial Killer game! In investigating the suspects, Magozzi and Rolseth's attentions keep turning to the programmers as it appears there's something in their history that they're running from something, a something for which they'll do anything to keep in the past... Meanwhile, the case in Kingsford County is taking a more sinister turn too. A search of the elderly couple's property suggests they probably knew their lives were in danger, and further investigation into their past by Halloran and Carlson leads to the conclusion they were running scared, for a long time, from something in the past... ...Or maybe someone? Want to Play? by P.J.Tracy is a fantastic crime thriller. The book moves at a fast pace from start to finish and whilst there are constant twists and turns and snippets of detail offering up new possibilities and ideas, the storylines remain solid throughout. I found myself gripped, racing through the book at speed as each revelation left me enlightened yet at the same time wanting, needing, to know more. Likewise the characters are built up strongly. I felt I knew enough about them to be able to relate, whilst on the other hand I suspected that there was so much more still to discover and I really wanted to know what it was. There's a tendency sometimes in books of this genre to stereotype characters through gender with the males being the dominant macho heroes and the females being timid and over-emotional. I certainly don't feel that's the case with Want to Play? There are strengths and weaknesses across the board. Sexist remarks come from unexpected sources as do heart-on-sleeve emotional displays. I didn't feel the book was padded out with insignificant details, plot or people for added word count. Everything and everyone was there for a reason. If I have any criticism of the book it's that you're introduced to a lot of characters and several seemingly independent storylines very early on which can get a little confusing. Another slight bugbear is that whilst you're still trying to get to grips with all the characters, names are then shortened - some get referred to by Christian name and others by surname - which again can cause confusion. It wasn't so much of an issue that it spoiled my enjoyment of the book, but I did find myself keeping a thumb and finger in a couple of pages for a short while so I could refer back to confirm who was who, and who was involved in what. I'd liken the style to Dean Koontz, (early character overload and concurrent story lines are a common trait of his books) but with an extra dose of humour, and some sexual tension thrown in. A winning combination. Want to Play? is the debut novel from a mother and daughter team - P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, - collaboratively penned under the name of P.J.Tracy. You'd be forgiven for not recognising that name, as the writing duo are perhaps not what you'd class as prolific (they've published 4 books to date) however quality over quantity is definitely order of the day. The other books from P.J.Tracy are "Live Bait" (you'll find a several chapter preview of this at the end of the 2004 print of Want to Play?), "Dead Run" and "Snow Blind". Whilst each book can hold its own as a standalone novel, in my opinion you'll get more from reading them in order. Many of the key characters from Want to Play? re-surface, and character development continues. You get the odd reference to events of previous books too, though I felt they were neither crucial to understanding the current plot nor major spoilers of the past happenings.

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              06.10.2007 23:55
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              Give it a try

              I have decided that recently I have spent far too much money buying books new when I have bookcases which are quite literally filled to capacity with books which range from very good to unlikely to ever get opened again, so it has become time to start re-reading some of the older ones or ones which are part of series where I might have started reading out of order. This decision was brought about by my recent purchase of PJ Tracy's fourth book, Snow Blind, and the fact that the previous three Tracy books have been nestled at the back of my book case and recently rediscovered (amazing what happens when you need to take your mind off things - the house is tidier than its been for a long time!). Want to Play introduces the characters which Tracy uses in the subsequent books, they include Grace, a partner in the computer games company Monkeewrench, primarily their output is of educational software but they are in the process of developing a new thriller game in which you are a Police Officer trying to solve a series of murders. Previews of the game are online but suddenly one of the murder scenes becomes real, a young woman is found shot on top of an Angel statue in a Cemetary, but this is the second scene in the game what of the first? And could there be more murders to come? Meanwhile in Winsconsin an elderly couple have been shot in a chuch while praying at night, aside from an obsession with 'outing' gay members of the congregation they dont appear to have any enemies. So why is there a shotgun rigged to go off if anyone enters their home, and even stranger why do they not seem to have any kind of a past? The two Police departments discover a link between investigations in an old church school, in New York state, but what are the Monkeewrench partners hiding and is it really relevent to the murder investigations. PJ Tracy is a writing duo, which to my mind usually means one fairly well known author putting their name to a piece they have only had a passing aquaintence with, though in this case the duo are mother and daugther neither of whom are a successful writer solo, hence the pseudonym. I found that unlike alot of team written books this doesnt have noticebly weaker sections as written by half the partnership, the style and language thoughout is consistant. While parts of the story line are far fetched (if you were hiding from the FBI would you rename yourself Roadrunner?) overall this is a very put together book which puts just enough in to the characterisations to stop the people seeming overly 2 dimensional, something which has also left room for the subsequent books to expand on. Broken in to reasonably lengthed chapters you could easily pick this up and put it down again over the course of a few days but I found I just wanted to know who dunnit so kept hold of it until I had finished it. My only quibble with the book is that the two investigations are being run by teams which seem almost indentical in make up two male leads who are described as phsyically similar, one overtly sexy female (one a cop the other the secretary/receptionist), maybe it was just because I was slightly tired but sometimes the skip between the two I overlooked and found myself wondering why one dectective was talking to one from the other investigation until I caught up. As far as I remember I bought this in a charity shop for around 50p, which was an absolute bargain, but it can currently be bought from amazon for between £5.99 and 1p (in the market place), though is also avaliable under the title Monkeewrench. It is 453 pages long, and really should be read before any of the other books by PJ Tracy.

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              14.03.2007 22:06
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              RECOMMENDED!

              A group of five friends are creators of a company called Monkeewrench. They produce computer games for pre-school children and have made themselves substantially rich in the process. One of the team, Grace MacBride, decides they need to branch out and they create a game called Serial Killer. The player has to decipher clues from each murder, to enable them to get to the next level in an attempt to catch the killer. However, one player seems to be slightly more excited by the game than the norm and begins to recreate the murder scenes, right down to the last tiny detail in real life. It’s a real problem for the police and with four murders in as many days; they are running in circles trying to catch the real killer with the knowledge there are twenty murders altogether in the game. No one is free from suspicion and everyone, including the Monkeewrench team, is considered and the more the Detectives look into Monkeewrench, the more they find they need to know! This is the first PJ Tracy book I have read and I am glad I chose this one instead on “Snow Blind”, which I was going to read first. Want to Play was the first book by the mother and daughter team and was heralded as Debut of the Year and I have to say, it is a tag line that I am pretty much in tune with. They have written four books that I am aware of so far and although each book is a standalone story, the characters seem to be constant, or at least the main characters anyway. Whilst this means each book could be read out of chronological order, I will find it easier to be accustomed to the characters before I continued with the rest of their publications. Having never really read crime books before this was a real pleasure for me and I have found a new genre to fulfil my literary needs. I say crime book in a very loose sense, because although it does cover detective work and gives a good deal of detail on how the Minneapolis police work the case, it is also very suspenseful and in some ways resembles thrillers I have read by Dean Koontz, “Intensity” for example seems to have a similar writing style in my opinion. Although Koontz does like a good bit of gore in his books, PJ Tracy have not held back with descriptions of the death scenes and this was something I found very addictive. Due to the nature of the serial killer, and the copycat way they were going about the killings, it lent itself to some very eventful and unique murders. For instance in one level of the game a young girl is found dead, on top of an angel statue in a cemetery. The game player is meant to look for clues as to how and why she died, but the real killer simply followed the game murder to the letter and PJ Tracy describes how she was led to the cemetery and how the murder actually took place. Very insightful! There is a lot of history with all the characters and I really enjoyed the back stories, as although they feel a little excess to the plot at times, they are all actually very necessary and tie in with the whole story at the end. Each sub-story was still, however, very interesting to read and I didn’t feel I was bored. As far as suspense goes, I can honestly say I did not work out who the was killer until it was revealed in the book, and thankfully that wasn’t until pretty much the last chapter. The authors manage to send you all over the place with your thoughts in terms of who dunnit, and I really enjoyed the way they gave you a little bit more with each chapter. But this was never too much, otherwise I could have figured it out and it was a genuine surprise when I read the answers. Again this was given to you in a really atmospheric way, that gets you totally caught up with the story, and you are riding the wave with the Detectives. As they find out, you find out and I really liked this style of writing. The only part of this novel I found irritating was the introduction of a lot of people in a short space of time. This led to some early confusion, as characters were mentioned and I found myself on a couple of occasions checking back to see who they were and how they fitted into the plot. It was about three quarters of the way through the book that I finally became fluent with everyone and how they slotted into the network of characters. However in saying this, it didn’t cause confusion as such, because the story was so well written, anyone I was unsure about initially, became an interesting and entertaining personality, meaning that even if I wasn’t entirely sure who they were, it didn’t seem to matter. This does however; help me to explain my preference to reading this novel first, as it kind of sets a base for the next few novels, allowing an immediate interaction with them, rather than having to scene set again. Overall this book is highly recommended, and PJ Tracy is definitely on my favourite authors list for now. Their second book – Live Bait – will be my next read and if you are interested there is a small taste of this at the end of Want to Play, although I didn’t read it as I already have the book ready, but it did mean the novel finished before I was expecting it to, as the last chunk of pages is taken up by this taster, and I thought it would be more of Want to Play. This was slightly disappointing but it meant that the story ended exactly where it needed to. Everything was tied up and there was nowhere else for it to go without becoming a long drawn out conclusion. I was only disappointed, as I had enjoyed it so much. Available from Amazon for £5.99 and is definitely worth the money, however if you are unsure, I would also recommend a book site like Bookhopper where you can request second hand books for free if you offer some up too.

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                09.03.2007 18:00
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                For fans of suspenseful thrillers who don't have a delicate stomach.

                Want To Play? This is the debut psychological thriller by an American mother - daughter team. It is part of their ongoing Monkeewrench series (the American title of this book), the latest being Snow Blind which was out in September 2006. The first three books went on to become National and International bestsellers. What made me pick us this book online was the fact that one of my favourite authors Harlen Coben spoke so highly of it, so in an instant I just new that the chances were I’d enjoy it. Grace MacBride is part of the Monkeewrench team, who are in the process of creating a new computer game which involves the player solving murders. Going on else where in Minneapolis are a couple of gruesome murders that at first glance seem unrelated to each other. Grace however soon realizes that these very murders are exact copies of the ones in the game. The game although not released to the public has partly been available to try out online. With already hundreds of players already signed up and getting into the game, the case for detectives Gino and Magozzi isn’t going to be an easy one to solve. Somehow they must unlock the secrets of the Monkeewrench’s past which up until 10 years ago has been erased, if they’re going to stand the slightest chance of stopping these killings. If I could sum this debut thriller up in one word it would have to be WOW! Obviously you’ll want to know more than that, so I’ll tell you why I’ll definitely be purchasing the other three books in the series. With some thrillers I tend to find that it can take a while for the story to get going, but in this case from the very first chapter you know you’re going to be in for a gripping ride. As the story went on and I was being fed more and more pieces of the puzzle to put together, I soon realized that this one wasn’t going to be an easy who dunnit at all. In some respects the book reminded me of the Agatha Christie novels, in as much that the story contains quite a few significant characters. I’ve found that I’ve never been able to get into Christie's books because of this, as if your unable to read the book in a short time frame, then you soon forget who’s who. I’m delighted to say however that this writing duo have got the balance just write, and never once did I find myself having to flick back through the book to reacquaint myself with a character. Each character was brought to life and made very believable and never once did I feel that they were there to pad the book out. As you would expect from a thriller, this book is certainly not for the faint hearted. Each of the killings is described very graphically, so it’s probably best not to eat anything while reading this book. Although the book none surprising takes on a very dark tone, the authors do try and instill some dry humour into the gruesome goings on to break up the proceedings as well as a romance, but neither detract from the main story. The story is split up into fairly short chapters, each one ending in such a way that you just have to keep on reading until you've finished the book. You almost feel as if you’re reading the book in ‘real time’, as the detective’s race against the clock in the hope of finding the next intended victim, before it’s too late. I found myself getting very emotionally involved with the story, as I felt the frustration of the detectives as they try to stop each killing which seems near to impossible. I felt the loneliness of the victims whose light was put out way too soon, but also the hope that the killer/s would slip up giving just enough chance to bring their killing spree to a halt. The theme of this book is that the past has a nasty habit of coming back and biting you on the bum. Without spoiling the story for you, it’s fair to say that some of the characters would rather leave the past just where it is. The authors drummed home this theme perfectly, and very clearly got across the fact that you can run from your past, but sometimes facing it is the only way you’ll ever be free. To be honest since my school days it’s not that often you’d find me curled up with a book. For a book to hold my attention it’s got to have an engaging plot, interesting and believable characters, and not something that would take me an age to read. This book ticks all of those boxes, and best of all much to my annoyance I wasn’t able to guess the outcome until the very last chapter. Since I enjoyed this book so much I can whole heartedly recommend it to fans of this genre. I will certainly being purchasing the other books in the series, and at the back of this book can be found the first four chapters of the next in the series which is ‘Live Bait’. This book is available to purchase on Amazon for £6.39 new and from £0.01 used (watch out for p&p). Paperback edition published in 2004 by Penguin Nooks Ltd, and contains 454 pages. Other books in the series so far are:- Live Bait 2005 Snow Blind 2006 Dead Run 2006

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                  09.08.2006 20:01
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                  good,cracking debut-enjoyable enough to maintain a high interest untill the end

                  I have only just discovered this author and can honestly say I really enjoyed this first novel from the mother-daughter writing team that is P.J.Tracy!!Although it had some faults ,overall this was good enough for me to want to read more of their work. The book begins when an elderly couple are found shot dead in a small town church in what appears to be an isolated,one-off incident.Investigating the couple's background,the local sheriff discovers the pair had booby-trapped their house prompting his curiosity into just who these people were... Meanwhile,in the city of Minneapolis,a series of bodies begin to turn up in the copycat style of a new computer game currently being finished for release by 5 computer software designers.Investigating the backgrounds of the designers reveals a series of inconsistencies and a certain level of paranoia and secrecy shared by the group.Considering that in the finished version of the game twenty murders in total are comitted,Detective Magozzi begins to feel the pressure from city hall and the mayor,his own police chief and several influential and powerful citizens as he investigates whether the designers are actually potential victims or the perpetrators themselves.....and what connects these murders to the deaths of the two elderly church-goers? Reading like a Hollywood blockbuster,the book is very cinematic in style and runs like a movie in your head.Some of the writing felt a little stilted in places for example in an early chapter where it states "Grace was mummified in a long terry robe;Charlie was naked"-only to reveal a few sentences on that Charlie is actually a dog(how can a dog be naked?) Mind you these are just minor niggles and overall like I say I found this thriller pretty satisfying-a diffrent style to the Karin Slaughter books I have been enjoying so much of late,but very reminiscent of the early Michael Slade books-Headhunter and Ghoul(well worth picking up if you ever see them along with many of the others in the series) that I read religiously some years back. To summarize,if you like slick Hollywood thrillers such as Seven,you'll probably enjoy this fairly easy read but don't expect too much from it if you've read Karin Slaughter or Patrica Cornwell and enjoyed them...this is almost like a lite version of Mo Hayder,enjoyable just don't dig too deep....a bloody good thriller though from a first time author-though Slaughter's Blindsighted was better!! The next book in the series,Live Bait is far superior so my advice-give this author a go.......

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