Audio Review: Dead Run by P. J. Tracy

Posted May 6, 2015 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 4 Comments

Audio Review: Dead Run by P. J. TracyDead Run by P. J. Tracy
Series: Monkeewrench #3
Narrator: Burt Shirner
Published by Brilliance Audio on April 21, 2005
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Format: Audiobook
Length: 9 hours, 7 minutes
Source: Library
Audio | Goodreads

Monkeewrench founders Grace McBride and Annie Belinsky, along with Deputy Sharon Mueller, are driving from Minneapolis to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they believe a new serial killer is just warming up, when their car breaks down, deep in the northern woods, far away from civilization and cell towers. A walk through the forest leads them to the crossroads town of Four Corners, where they had hoped to find a landline and a mechanic, but instead find absolutely nothing.

Something terrible has happened in Four Corners, and the complete absence of life and severed phone lines in every building make it impossible to get help. Grace, her senses honed by a lifetime of justifiable paranoia, sees the sinister in every detail, and her intuition barely saves all three of them when they witness a horrifying double murder. Grace, Annie, and Sharon are suddenly running for their lives, while the rest of the Monkeewrench crew, along with Minneapolis cops Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, strike out on a blind search to find them. (less)


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For those unfamiliar with the series, Monkeewrench is the name of a software company formed by five partners who couldn’t be more diverse. Each brings a specialized skill to the party.

Grace, Annie and Sharon are on their way to assist a law enforcement group in Green Bay with the profiling and tracking of a suspected serial killer when their car breaks down in a remote town in Wisconsin. What happens when they slog to the town to find a mechanic is utterly chilling.


The story transitions between the women and their team members/men they left behind in Minneapolis. While the women are using their wits to stay alive, the men are trying to decide whether there’s cause for alarm when they don’t reach their destination on time. This contrast just adds excitement and tension, one due to danger and the other because of the anticipation that builds as we wait for the men to get a clue and sound the alarm.


I really enjoyed this story as it unfolds slowly, sometimes painstakingly so. There’s something horribly amiss in the town and there’s a third group, local law enforcement, who aren’t aware of the danger. You’re on the sidelines trying to hurry things up before the women are discovered.


The narrator does a fine job in the scenes where things are a bit laid back but misses the mark when the suspense builds. He just doesn’t capture the tension. Otherwise, his performance is fine.


I think this is my favorite to date. There seemed to be an underlying theme of misplaced stereotypes regarding the women, who are a formidable group and don’t fit any of them. And just maybe that’s what the author was illustrating. They took care of themselves.

About P. J. Tracy

PJ Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their first three novels, MONKEEWRENCH, LIVE BAIT and DEAD RUN, have become national and international bestsellers.

P.J. Lambrecht is a college dropout with one of the largest collections of sweatpants in the world. She was raised in an upper-middle class family of very nice people, and turned to writing to escape the hardships of such a life. She had her first short story published in The Saturday Evening Post when Traci was eight, still mercifully oblivious to her mother’s plans to eventually trick her into joining the family business. She has been a moderately successfully free-lance writer ever since, although she has absolutely no qualifications for such a profession, except a penchant for lying.

Traci Lambrecht spent most of her childhood riding and showing horses. She graduated with a Russian Studies major from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she also studied voice. Her aspirations of becoming a spy were dashed when the Cold War ended, so she instead attempted briefly and unsuccessfully to import Eastern European folk art. She began writing to finance her annoying habits of travel and singing in rock bands, and much to her mother’s relief, finally realized that the written word was her true calling. They have been writing together ever since. Traci now lives in Southern California and divides her time between there, Minneapolis and Aspen.

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I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

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4 responses to “Audio Review: Dead Run by P. J. Tracy

  1. This sounds like something I will enjoy, since this is your favorite, is it OK to jump to this one? Or would I be missing from the previews books?
    Thanks Jonetta 🙂

    • Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

      No, not a good idea to jump in this series. The first book sets the foundation for the series with loads of character building. That’s important for this story as the nature of the women plays a significant role in this story.

    • Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

      The alternate cover is much better, though none of them are that great:) I enjoyed this story so much better than Live Bait.