Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Shoot To Thrill by P.J. Tracy
A new type of murder is occurring in Minnesota. Someone is planning murders, advertising them on the Internet, then making movies of the murder and posting those. The Minneapolis police get involved when a transvestite dressed as a bride is drowned in the river, and the photo footage of the crime is found on the net. As they investigate, they find other cases in many different locations. The majority seem to have a Minnesota connection, so the investigation is centered there.
Several groups are pulled together to work on the case. There are the Minneapolis police in the form of two partners, Magozzi and Rolseth. The FBI gets involved and sends a man, John Smith, to work on the case. Then there is the Monkeewrench Gang, a group of offbeat computer whizzes who use their hacking skills to help the police in certain cases. Add in a drunken ex-judge and miscellaneous targeted individuals, and the field gets very crowded.
This is the fifth novel in the Monkeewrench series, and readers of the series will enjoy this one. The writing is sprightly and the plot flows quickly. The relationships between the various members of the investigative squad are interesting and keep the reader guessing. One quibble for this reader is the technology itself. As someone with a career in technology, the examples used in the book seemed dated with lots of discussion about how the net would ruin our kids, etc. This probably wouldn't be jarring to someone who wasn't in the technology field, however. This book is recommended for mystery readers.