Tag Archives: Crime

Want to Play? by PJ Tracy

Recently my OH has been moaning about the amount of books in the house (shock horror, imagine, books in a house of readers, lol!), so to prove a point (he wants to sell the books on eBay) we embarked on a round up of the various books in the various rooms of our house. That was when I came across Want to Play (which I didn’t know I even had), by P. J. Tracy. I liked the looks of the cover, so decided to give it a read.

P.J. Tracy are a writing team – mother & daughter – & this is their first book. I LOVED it! I’m not aware of having read many books written as a collaboration, but I am a little wary of these kinds of books, as I think it would typically be pretty easy to tell where one writer ends & the other takes over. That certainly wasn’t the case with this book!

Want to Play was published in North American as Monkeewrench – I like the UK title & UK cover much better. I’m not sure I would have picked it up if I’d seen it with the US title.

About the book: (from the back of the book) – Minneapolis, a brutally cold autumn. And a killer is at work. Two bodies are found, two slayings that the police treat as unrelated. But games-creator Grace MacBride knows different. The murders are exact copies of those in a game she’s designing – one that already has hundreds of eager players. As the copycat killings mount up, Grace knows that she is both suspect and potential victim. And with the serial killer getting closer, she is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse…want to play?

Want to Play actually follows 2 different police departments – both with murders – in 2 different states. We are introduced to computer game developer, Grace MacBride, who is far from what she appears – and she appears odd! As the killings mount will the police be able to protect Grace, or is Grace the ultimate killer – able to kill at will and not get caught by the police who are investigating the game she has developed?

I thought that Want to Play was a really good book, with lots of twists & turns – and some genuine funny parts, too. All in all, a very very good read & I will definitely be searching out the rest of the series!


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Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein

I’m a big Linda Fairstein fan – I love her books! Ironically, I have never met anyone who has read any of her books & I really do not understand why. Linda is a fantastic writer & Alexandra Cooper is a brilliant character! I wait eagerly each year for the next installment & each time I am so disappointed because I devour the book in a day or two, then have to begin that bloody long wait all over again!

From Amazon:

“In District Attorney Alexandra Cooper’s line of work, the discovery of a corpse isn’t unusual. Not even the corpse of a young woman who was bound, bludgeoned and tortured to death. It’s the location which is unusual – an abandoned Ferry Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan. The ferries from here only went to one destination, the now uninhabited Governors Island. Also known as Ghost Island. The corpse is identified as that of a part-time prostitute with a side-line in kink and a high-end client list. A list to kill for and, clearly, to die for .. but the list is missing, and so is another girl. Alex, along with Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, fear the killer will find more victims before they can identify him. And when another young woman disappears at an isolated site not far from Governor’s Island, Alex has no hesitation in joining the desperate hunt for a singularly depraved murderer. A chase which catapults her into one of the most chilling encounters of her life.”

I have read some reviews for Killer Heat where people have said that Fairstein took an unexpected departure from her usual brilliance, but I don’t agree with them. I thought Killer Heat was as strong as any of the other 9 Alexandra Cooper novels before them.  There was the usual chemistry & friendly antagonism between Alex & Mike Chapman, Mercer provides his usual support & the book is chock full of interesting facts about New York. I think that’s one of the best things about these books – you get your standard Murder Mystery, mayhem, but you also get a history lesson, but not one that is in your face.

I think that Linda has a winner in Alex’s character & the relationship she has with the other lead characters in the books. Mercer, her protector, Mike her…….well, what  exactly is the relationship between her & Mike? Mike loves to ridicule Alex & do his best to drive her crazy & she always does her best to not react, but deep down I think the two of them are so in love with each other, but they don’t dare explore where that might take their relationship. This adds to the complexity of all of the books in this series & I really hope that at some point Alex & Mike realise just how much they belong together! What a great crime fighting partnership they are & could be!

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Too Close to Home ~ Linwood Barclay

Too Close to HomeWhat would you do if you discovered that the family who were your closest neighbours had been murdered? What about if you subsequently begun to suspect that they had been murdered in error, that it had been your family who were supposed to have been the victims of this supposed random killing?

These are the questions asked in Too Close to Home, by Linwood Barclay. To me, it’s a pretty scary proposition. Not one I would like to think about too much, thank you. Unfortunately, this is exactly the scenario in Linwood Barclay’s Too Close to Home.

Though this is the first book I have read by Barclay I have heard a lot of good things about his other book, No Time for Goodbye. I was in Waterstones one day & ran across Too Close to Home, so I picked it up & after reading the back, just knew that I wanted to read this book! Other than the ending, which I thought was a bit of a cop-out, I really loved this book.

Linwood Barclay wrote very believable characters – especially Jim & Ellen & their relationship with each other. Jim was by far my favourite of the characters in the book – he had a kind of sarcastic wit which I love in a person. The story flies, but by the time the killer is revealed the story starts to lose its way, which was a shame. Luckily, this didn’t ruin the story completely, but it did dampen the enjoyment of it & won’t stop me from reading Barclay’s 1st book & any others that may come.

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