Series: Monkeewrench #4
Narrator: Mel Foster
Published by Brilliance Audio on August 3, 2006
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Length: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
With the holidays over and the long cold winter looming, January can be a bleak month in Minneapolis. So what better way to bring a little cheer to the good people of the city than by sponsoring an old-fashioned snowman-building contest? In a matter of hours, a local park is filled with the innocent laughter of children and their frosty creations. But things take an awful turn when the dead bodies of police officers are discovered inside two of the snowmen - sending the entire department and Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth on high alert.
The next day, Iris Rikker, the newly minted sheriff of rural Dundas County, comes across another body in another snowman. Fearing that Rikker's inexperience will hamper the investigation, Magozzi and Rolseth head north to hunt for clues. As Grace MacBride and her crack computer jocks at Monkeewrench comb the Web for connections, a terrifying link emerges, connecting the dead cops, Magozzi and Rolseth, and Monkeewrench - a link that must be broken before it's too late.
This story has one of the most original premises I’ve seen in awhile. Hiding murder victims in plain sight, using the weather to disguise the bodies was unsettling. Everyone loves a snowman and to defile something so treasured was gruesome.
The investigation was interesting, too, especially when it began to center around the newly elected sheriff of Dundas County, Iris Rikker. What was even more fascinating was the reactions of the other law enforcement professionals working the case. See, Iris unseated a man who’d been Sheriff for many years and, aside from some basic textbook and classroom training, she had no practical experience beyond her previous role as a dispatcher. This was her first day on the job.
The change in narrators was so subtle it was hardly noticeable and the voices of the characters seemed to stay the same.
There are some very strong and controversial themes in this story, most centered around women. The loudest messages stemmed from Detective Gino Rosfeld, who’s sexist attitudes were hard to bear. He was a distraction to the story, even though in the end, he looked foolish. But, his attitude and that of other recurring characters have bugged me in earlier stories and continue to do so, especially as they’re never countered. There are too many competent women surrounding these men for them to perpetuate such Neanderthal thinking. It undermined what would have been a compelling story with a psychologically and emotionally complex ending.