Book 1 – Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy


2018_EngelenmoordI’m trying to clear my backlog, and this book was definitely on that list in fact I first started reading it back in October of 2016! Yes, that was a while back, for some reason – I can’t remember why, but I stopped reading it half way through November. Then I picked it up in January 2017 but after a day I put it away again. I had at that point only read 59 pages. In fact I choose to read ‘The Death Cure’ the third installment in the Maze Runner series over this book.

Which right at this moment I find quite astounding and unexplainable. Because that book really wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It could have been wonderful and interesting. But it was not and instead I allowed this book to stay on my shelve and now that I actually read it I feel bad because it is a good book! And I could have read it years ago as well as a couple of the other follow up books because I have them on my shelve as well, like literally in my living room. Not the digital copies on my tablet but physical copies.

Anyway lets finally get on to this long overdue book review – I’ve been reading this book in Dutch so the tittle of it is Engelenmoord which roughly translated to ‘Murder of an Angel’ (however in English the first part of the Monkeewrench series is called ‘Want to play?’). Which could of course refer to one of the murders in this book where a young girl is killed and is placed on top of a large angel statue in the middle of a cemetery. A very graphic and interesting murder case but that is not the only murder. There is a couple killed in a church, a jogger killed in a forest and another man found murdered at a boat while the entire police force and a private security company was trying to prevent the murder from happening. Each and every murder is very different and on the surface nothing links them together – apart from the .22 bullets which killed the victims – until it becomes obvious that the murders seem to come straight out of a video game. The problem is that the game isn’t out yet and it has only been played by a group of test players. Monkeewrench the company which is developing the game is unwillingly being dragged into a game they don’t want to play.

They all know the game inside and out including all twenty murders which take place in the game which makes them suspect in the eye of the detectives investigating the murders and at the same time the Monkeewrench founders have a huge secret to hide. Because up until ten years ago none of the Monkeewrench founders existed. Not Grace MacBride, not Harley Davidson, not Roadrunner, not Mitch Cross and not even Annie Belinsky existed ten years ago.  The fact that they didn’t exist ten years ago did make them all look suspicious. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story and quite frankly that ending I did not expect that at all!

The book kept me captivated, from the moment I picked it up on January seventh this year and I finished the book on the twenty first. All in all it took me a long time to finish the book but once I finally got into the story I loved it. I should have read this book a long time ago. I immediately picked up the next book in the Monkeewrench series. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

The fascinating thing is that these books are written by a mom-daughter team, PJ and Traci Lambrecht – under the name PJ Tracy. I don’t know how that works, how do you write a book together? Does one person write one chapter and the other person the next chapter. Or does one person actually write and is there are lot of conversation and brainstorming going back and forth? I really do wonder about that process. It fascinates me.

Fun fact, whenever I read the way they describe Annie Belinsky I see a sort of Penelope Garcia type of woman (one of by me very beloved Criminal Minds characters). It’s the image of the type of woman which always pops into my head.

My plan for this year is to get through that backlog of books to read in my apartment. The thing though is that I don’t like to take books with me when I make a trip, first of all because they are mostly a lot heavier than my tablet and secondly because the books get easily damaged when you have them in your bag especially when they are paperbacks which a lot of my books are. So whenever I’m at home I want to read as many books as I can and when I’m out – during a trip with the train or something similar I want to use my tablet. That way I might finally do something about the so far unread books in my apartment. And who knows once I read them I might finally get around to bringing some of my books to a store which resells them and support Books4Life Eindhoven.


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