Sunday, August 07, 2016

The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy

It was worth waiting four years for the new Monkeewrench novel, The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy. Once the first murder occurred, the story snowballed and I couldn't put it down. It just made my top ten list for the year. I can't rave enough about it.

Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are on the sixth day of a seven day vacation when they're called to a crime scene at a luxury hotel. One of the guests has been found dead. But, before he was murdered, he called in the death of another man, a man who was the victim of overkill, shot before his house went up in flames. The two men, Chuck Spencer and Wally Luntz, were strangers, scheduled to meet the same day Wally was killed. And, it isn't long before they learn about a young woman, Lydia Ascher, who met Chuck on his flight to Minneapolis. The two strangers, a generation apart, were surprised to recognize that they both owned a photo taken during World War II.

After meeting Lydia, Magozzi and Rolseth turn to Monkeewrench for help. Grace MacBride, the unofficial leader of the computer geniuses, is dating Leo. She and Harley Davidson, the giant biker, are in town while Annie and Roadrunner are out of town on business. As Grace and Harley input data, they come up with connections from sixty years earlier. And, the suppositions the detectives and their Monkeewrench team come up with are scary. "Forty-eight hours ago they were investigating a simple shooting in a downtown Minneapolis alley, now they were using burner phones and spinning government conspiracy theories." And, who are the players in this conspiracy?

Tracy puts forth more ideas than just conspiracy theories. Who are the good guys? What does it mean to be family? Weather plays a crucial role, as it often does in these books set in Minnesota. With a link to events and people sixty years earlier, there are historical elements. And, I've always appreciated the connection of police procedural and online information.

This is a riveting page-turner, one of the best in this series. It was worth waiting four years for the exciting novel. The Sixth Idea is one of the best books I've read this year.

The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy. G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2016. ISBN 9780399169359 (hardcover), 306p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


TFJ said...

Wow! This is quite an endorsement, Lesa. I have the book on hold at the library, so my waiting time will be four years plus a few weeks. Can't wait to read it. ~Tricia

Lesa said...

Definitely makes my top 10 list, Tricia. It's worth waiting for.

Kaye Barley said...

That is quite an endorsement coming from you. Ordering it right now!

Grace Koshida said...

Great endorsement, Lesa! Definitely looking forward to reading the latest Monkeewrench book...the 4 years' wait has been long!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

OK, you sold me. No, of course I was sold already. We just got back from D.C. and this one will be next so Jackie can read it after I finish it.

Then it will be back to the Crider book, which I own (so it can wait).