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Off the Grid by P. J. Tracy
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Off the Grid (edition 2012)

by P. J. Tracy

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1933961,059 (3.67)9
Member:realfish
Title:Off the Grid
Authors:P. J. Tracy
Info:Putnam (2012), Edition: 1st U.S. edition, first printing, Hardcover, 305 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Off the Grid by P. J. Tracy

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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Monkeewrench is one of my favorite lite murder mystery series. It is funny, has engaging characters that I care about and which actually change over the course of the books, and the mysteries are not overly gruesome but are interesting. The series is written by a mother daughter team and typically most books are situated in Minnesota or northern Wisconsin. Being from the midwest, I love the setting. I can relate to it. Off the Grid is a book that I read, even though I had listened to the audio versions for the first five in this book. And I wish I had waited to listen to the audio book of Off the Grid. I think it is difficult to switch mid-series to print if it is started in audio. Having written that, I will say that I enjoyed the first 1/2 of Off the Grid immensely. I think I even enjoyed it more than the earlier books in this series that I listened to.

The book starts off with a literal bang. Book #5 ended with a complete game changer. Grace decides to make some improvements in her life and she leaves. I don't want to spoil anything if you haven't read #5, so I will just say -- she leaves at the end of #5 and #6 starts off with Grace's new life. But like the entire Monkeewrench series, Grace can't escape from murder and mayhem and so she is immediately fighting for her life and plotting to save the world. Off the Grid is fast paced and changes back and forth between the various characters that make up the series. There is the typical humorous exchanges with Leo and Magozzi. The impressive wardrobe changes of Annie and the funny comments and antics of Harley.

In Off the Grid, the entire gang is on the run (eventually). I enjoyed the change of location but ..... I didn't buy into the mystery. I am not going to spoil the what and the who of the story, but I will say I just don't believe in the threat and the scariness to the level it happens in Off the Grid. And yes, I know this is fiction but it was distracting to me. I am guessing it is hard to come up with complicated murder story lines that continue to affect the same characters and need to be solved by computer hackers. These authors have carried this storyline off successfully for multiple books. and they continue to be enjoyable.

So in the end Off the Grid was fun and enjoyable. A definite 3 star book. Nothing to get excited about, but for fans of the series it shouldn't be missed.

To read more reviews like this check out: www.badassbookreviews.com ( )
  ReginaR | Aug 3, 2013 |
Finished, Minnesota, mystery, murder ( )
  punxsygal | Jun 26, 2013 |
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. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jan 31, 2013 |
A little more straightforward than I had anticipated http://www.dnsmedia.co.uk/reviews/view/1128 ( )
  AnneHudson | Jan 30, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed revisiting the Monkeywrench gang in P.J. Tracy's Off the Grid, even though most members of the group were minor players in this story. I would have enjoyed more character development. I always enjoy their use of the magic of technology, even when it sounds more fantasy than fact - a lot of technology has slid from one side of that spectrum to the other and it’s fun to speculate.

Although the story sometimes jumped a bit from thread to thread, overall I found the pace kept me involved and kept the story progressing. There was some weak plotting (uh - tracking device). I had to juice up my suspension of disbelief to get past that point, but I’ve enjoyed the series enough that I was willing to do so. This time. There were a couple of other rough spots that pulled me out of the story momentarily - the butterscotch candy comment was one.

I’m not particularly fond of the “terrorist plot” plot in general, but it is timely and this had an interesting side that was a little different. I’m okay with the vigilante aspect - I understand it doesn’t work in real life but find it satisfying in fiction. I read that someone was unhappy with the funeral scene. It seemed a bit much to me at the time, too, but it made more sense after I read the epilogue.

All in all, this wasn’t the smoothest Monkeewrench story, but it’s been awhile since they visited and I’m glad to see them again. ( )
  margitc | Jan 28, 2013 |
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Sometimes the water was glassy and still, and the boat sat on it like a piece of paper on a flat table.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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'Off the Grid' is published in the UK as 'Two Evils'
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On a sailboat ten miles off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a fifteen-year-old girl is discovered in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that day, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed execution-style. The next morning, the dead bodies of three more men turn up, savagely murdered in the same neighborhood. As Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the three crimes, they learn that there have been similar murders in other cities around the United States. Piece by piece, evidence accumulates, pointing to a suspect that shocks them to the core, uncovering a motive that puts the entire Midwest on high alert and Monkeewrench in the direct line of fire. Before it's all over, Grace and her partners, Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, find themselves in the middle of a shocking collision of violence on a remote northern Minnesota reservation, fighting for their lives.… (more)

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