*review copy of e-book received from edelweis and the publisher*
Rating: 3 Stars/Grade B-
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.
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.
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