P.J. Tracy






Penguin UK/Michael Joseph, August 2005
Reviewed by Sally Roddom
This fast paced story starts quietly in a rural Wisconsin backwoods settlement called Four Corners. A young boy, complete with puppy, is looking forward to his birthday the next day. His grandfather, parents and assorted country folk are laid back and friendly and have all the time in the world. Then there is a truck crash and they all die – and the reader is not even up to page twelve. Once you have recovered from the shock of their deaths, the book takes off, and does not let you go until the very end.

Switch to the Minneapolis office of the Monkeewrench software developers where Grace McBride and Annie Belinsky, along with FBI agent Sharon Mueller, are set to go off to Wisconsin. They want to try-out their newly developed software to track a serial killer believed to be operating in the area. On the way they take a detour and their Range Rover breaks down. Looking for a phone, they arrive at a settlement called Four Corners where everyone has mysteriously vanished, the phone lines have been cut, and there are no animals or birds; not one living thing is seen. Suddenly a series of violent events convinces the ladies they are in extreme danger and they need to use all their considerable resources to stay alive. "Trust no one" is the premise they live by as they spend the next few days attempting to escape the enemy who surrounds the town trying to catch and kill them. But who is the enemy? When the rest of the Monkeewrench crew, Harley Davidson and Road Runner, realise the three women are missing, they join forces with the detective team of Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, and set off after them.

DEAD RUN is a brilliant book: the third in a three book series and another hit. The mother/daughter team that call themselves P.J. Tracy have produced another story that I would describe as unputdownable. There is pace, suspense, horror and humour – and the plot gradually unfolds so that you start to know what is happening but not the why, and not the who. At first I thought the plot was a bit over the top, a sort of a “No, this couldn’t happen” attitude. But then, thinking of world events, I think that anything is possible, and conspiracies do happen, so yes, I could see this happening. The characters are built on from the previous books – progress is made – mental healing occurs. I read this book in a day, staying up to the early hours of the morning to do so. I’ve said this about the P.J. Tracy books before – but do yourself a favour and read them. SNOW BLIND is the next in the series and is due out sometime in 2006.
Review originally published on Murder And Mayhem, Oct 2005
Revised review Jan 2006


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