BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bea Reviews Ice Cold Heart by P.J. Tracy

Series: Monkeewrench #10
Can it be read as a stand alone? Yes, though there may be some confusion.
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 10th, 2019
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository  | Google Books | iBooks* | Kobo | * affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth join Grace MacBride and Monkeewrench to uncover a dark and ugly conspiracy that reaches deep into the safety of homes in this latest electrifying thriller from New York Times bestselling author P. J. Tracy.

It's a bitter winter in Minnesota--too cold to kill. There hasn't been a murder for a month, but the lull quickly comes to an end for Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, when they're called to the gruesome homicide of Kelly Ramage. Found in a friend's vacant house, this was no random attack, and clues reveal that she was living a very dangerous secret life.

Magozzi and Gino trace her steps back to an art gallery where she was last seen alive. The gallery seems like a dead end, but the art is disturbing and exploitative. It may very well be inspiring a sadistic killer, because in this instance, art doesn't imitate life, it imitates death.

Tipped off about a year-old murder that is a mirror-image of Kelly's crime scene, Gino and Magozzi enlist the aid of Grace MacBride and her eccentric, tech genius partners in Monkeewrench Software to help them decipher the digital trail that might connect the cases.

As coincidences emerge, Magozzi, Gino, and the team have to work around the clock at breakneck pace to unravel a series of clues that form the framework of a larger, more sweeping, and insidious conspiracy than any of them could have imagined. Is Kelly the last person to die or just the most recent? And is there any way to stop it?

My Thoughts:

Wow. "Ice Cold Heart" was intense and absorbing. I stayed up too late reading it but it was worth it. Tracy may be writing solo these days but the writing is still complex, detailed, tightly plotted, and hard-hitting.

After a lull in homicides Magozzi and and Rolseth get a doozy of a murder. As they investigate, they discover other cases that may be related. They dig and begin to make connections. Meanwhile, Grace and the Monkeewrench crew are hired to find out who hacked a digital coin company and stole millions. As everyone works their respective cases, links between them begin to appear and the cases converge. The coincidences were many but Tracy deftly made them believable and realistic. She combined some action, some suspense, police procedures, and character development into a gripping story.

I've been enjoying this series since the first book and the changes in the characters have been a delight to watch. Grace especially has changed, opening up a bit and taking emotional chances. We saw Roadrunner reach out in this story though I'll admit to some disappointment that he may not be asexual. That would have been something to see in a mainstream story.

The story itself addressed war crimes including rape, torture, and murder; suicidal ideation; infidelity; BDSM; torture; and touched lightly on mental illness. It was not a light and fluffy story, but then the Monkeewrench books never are. We get POVs from multiple characters that transition smoothly and provided insight into the characters. I became attached to several who didn't have much page time which speaks to Tracy's ability to create memorable and fleshed out characters. As for the various mysteries, Tracy drops clues and hints, some of which are red herrings of course. I was pleased that some of my calculations and theories were correct, but not all. There were a few twists and surprises.

"Ice Cold Heart" was a fantastic addition to both the series and the genre and well worth staying up to the wee hours of the morning to finish.


  1. Wow...that does sound complex. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That sounds intense, exciting, and perhaps a bit too dark for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's not a series or an author I've come across before, but now I'll be keeping my eyes open for them. (Also, I agree that it would be nice to have a canonically asexual character in a mainstream novel. Or more than one novel/series. Representation matters, and asexuality seems to be one of the least represented "letters" in the LGBTQIA+ spectra.)

    1. It is intense and somewhat dark. It has moments of joy and humor but it's not light. I do like the writing and the characterizations. And yes, it would be great if more mainstream books and series had asexual characters.


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