Review: Two Evils by P.J. Tracy

@ Goodreads


Title: Two Evils (Monkeewrench #6}

Author: P.J. Tracy

Published: Michael Joseph Penguin Australia January 2013

Synopsis: When a missing teenage girl is found dead in a parking lot, her throat slashed, it’s only the beginning. Their discovery leads police directly to the bodies of two young immigrants killed in their run down apartment. The next morning three more men are found dead in the street nearby.  Welcome to summer in the city. None of it makes any sense. But as Minneapolis Police Department homicide detectives Magozzi and Rolseath struggle to establish what’s happened, they realise that the deaths may not be as random as they first appear. Nor, it seems, were they simply an isolated, freak twenty-four hours of violence in the Twin Cities.  As the killings continue, Magozzi and Rolseath turn to maverick computer analyst Grace McBride for help. But Grace’s contribution to the investigation depends on her staying alive long enough to provide it. And as the evidence mounts, piece by piece, it reveals terrifying intent. Ultimately, it forces the two detectives to make a dreadful choice: down which path does the lesser of two evils lie . .

Status: Read on January 20, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy Penguin Australia}

My Thoughts:

Two Evils, (also known as Off the Grid – a title that makes much more sense) is the sixth installment of mother and daughter writing team,  P.J. Tracy’s ‘Monkeewrench’ series featuring Grace McBride and her team of eccentric computer software developers who regularly find themselves embroiled in murder and mayhem, assisting the Minneapolis PD.

Homicide Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are baffled by a spate of murders in an area of Minneapolis known as Little Mogadishu. At first glance the cases seem unrelated except for a single piece of evidence found at each crime scene, a date, October 31st, circled in red. In the midst of the busy investigation Grace McBride appears after a three month absence asking Magozzi for a favour, one that eventually exposes a shocking plan of nation-wide violence.

Two Evils combines police procedural with action, mystery and a touch of romance. Though the plot is fairly predictable, seemingly separate cases merge in a clever manner to reveal a complex network of terrorists, vigilantes and law enforcement. Tension swirls around the main plot but really comes into its own in the climax, though I thought the ending a bit abrupt, even if the epilogue provides a nice little twist. There were moments I felt the plot was marred by the inexplicable behaviours of some of its characters – for example an experienced retired FBI agent who runs into a forest filled with enemy snipers targeting him.

It was quickly obvious that I was missing a great deal of background that would have connected me to the characters in this story. Grace has a complicated personal background, she and Magozzi have some sort of history and the Monkeewrench team are computer geeks but with a handy cache of weapons available at short notice. Unfamiliar with the finer nuances of personality and relationships, I wasn’t very invested in their story which detracted from my interest overall.

I don’t think Two Evils is the book to start with if you haven’t read any of the previous installments. This series seems to require an investment in the characters to complement the plot and without it unfortunately falls fairly flat.

Available To Purchase

@Penguin Australia I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

as Off the Grid

@AmazonUS I @BookDepository

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lakeshia Artis
    Feb 01, 2013 @ 01:37:03

    Sounds like a pretty grisly book. Great review!!



  2. Cynthia Vaughan
    Jan 19, 2018 @ 19:32:44

    What a great review. You sum up this book well and give your opinion, but you freely admit to not knowing the character history. Having just read the first five books in this series, I agree completely – the investment in (and enjoyment of) the characters and their interplay can be paramount to the enjoyment of the book.

    In fact, I’ve been pondering this exact phenomenon since book three. I love crime drama and I’m delighted when I discover an author who has written a series. However, usually by about book 4, I find myself becoming so annoyed or frustrated with the characters that I can no longer enjoy the crime story. With this PJ Tracey series, the opposite happened; I found the story fairly pedestrian, but couldn’t wait to hear more about the characters.

    What a delight it is to be a lover of books.
    Thanks for your insights, I’ll read more of your blog now



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