Sunday, June 30, 2019

Book Review: The Sixth Idea by P. J. Tracy

The Sixth Idea
Author: P. J. Tracy
Series: Monkeewrench (Book 7)
Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons (August 2, 2016)

Description: The peaceful Christmas season in Minneapolis is shattered when two friends, Chuck Spencer and Wally Luntz, scheduled to meet in person for the first time, are murdered on the same night, two hours and several miles apart, dramatically concluding winter vacation for homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth.

An hour north of Minneapolis, Lydia Ascher comes home to find two dead men in her basement. When Leo and Gino discover her connection to their current cases, they suspect that she is a target, too. The same day, an elderly, terminally ill man is kidnapped from his home, an Alzheimer’s patient goes missing from his care facility, and a baffling link among all the crimes emerges.

This series of inexplicable events sends the detectives sixty years into the past to search for answers—and straight to Grace MacBride’s Monkeewrench, a group of eccentric computer geniuses who devote their time and resources to helping the cops solve the unsolvable. What they find is an unimaginable horror—a dormant Armageddon that might be activated at any moment unless Grace and her partners Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, along with Leo and Gino, can find a way to stop it.

My Thoughts: Strangers meet on a plane and discover a very unusual connection. Lydia Ascher and Chuck Spencer discover that they are connected via a World War II science project around the invention of the hydrogen bomb. Chuck is in town to meet another man who has the same connection to that science project but Wally is killed and his house destroyed by fire before they can meet. Chuck is murdered outside his hotel in what looks at first like a simple mugging. Magozzi and Gino are pulled away from their winter vacation to investigate both crimes. They also find themselves investigating the kidnapping of a man is the end stages of ALS who is kidnapped from his home.

As they investigate they learn that the man with ALS was also part of that long-ago science project. Someone clearly wants to kill anyone with even the faintest connection to the project and Magozzi, Gino, and the Monkeewrench gang have to find out why.

When Lydia returns home to find two dead bodies in her house, Magozzi and Gino are sure that she is also connected. And she is. She has inherited a pulp paperback from her mother which was given to her by her father just before he died in a plane crash some sixty years ago. While all the other victims have had all their papers and computer stolen, Lydia's book escapes the sweep.

Meanwhile, the Monkeewrench gang which consists of Grace and Harley this time since Annie and Roadrunner are out east conducting a series of sales calls to get new contracts for the business, are trying to gather information and restore a deleted website created by Chuck so that they can figure out what is going on.

This was another fast-paced twisty episode in the long-running and engaging Monkeewrench series. I couldn't put it down.

Favorite Quote:
"We've done it before. Surely you've been alive long enough, Detective Rolseth, to realize that with great power comes great arrogance and a complete and utter lack of foresight."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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