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Shoot To Thrill: A Monkeewrench Novel    by P. J. Tracy order for
Shoot To Thrill
by P. J. Tracy
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When Special Agent John Smith addresses an auditorium full of the country's most gifted hackers, he freely admits to the assembled crowd that the FBI desperately needs their help to stop whoever is responsible for producing and posting real time snuff films on the Internet. Whoever that person is, it's clear they've got the technical savvy to erase their cyber trail completely and then move on to the next thrill kill.

Now it's up the Grace McBride and her team of techno-geek Monkeewrench cyber geniuses to a) create a new cutting edge program to identify the postings as real or fake; and b) pass along even the smallest clues to Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, as they do their best to zero in on a whole new breed of silent and invisible killer.

It's been three years since the last Monkeewrench novel and it's great to have the team of hackers extraordinaire back in action, even though this time around they take more of a backseat role to the investigative skills - and quirky world observations - of detectives Magozzi & Rolseth and FBI special agent John Smith.

Neither is the story as intense as past instalments and the plotline, while timely and chilling in what it suggests, is at times inconsistent. Threads are left hanging or turned completely on their ear, especially with regard to Grace and Magozzi's relationship, which, given Grace's horrible past, was tentative at best. By the end of the book it seems to be hanging in limbo, especially after Grace's odd and rather hard to swallow attraction to Agent Smith. Despite these disappointments though, Shoot to Thrill is still a worthy addition to the series.

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