Advantages A gripping story, engaging characters, and you'll never guess who did it until the very end!
Disadvantages Some may find the murders too gruesome to stomach!
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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.
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.
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 wholeheartedly 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'.
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 Summary: For fans of suspenseful thrillers who don't have a delicate stomach.
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