Series: Monkeewrench #3
Narrator: Burt Shirner
Published by Brilliance Audio on April 21, 2005
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Length: 9 hours, 7 minutes
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)
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.