The four misfit partners in the crime-gaming firm Monkeewrench, who usually specialize in serial killers (Live Bait, 2004, etc.), stumble onto something much more dangerous.
Kingsford County (Wis.) Sheriff’s Deputy Sharon Mueller, on loan to the Minneapolis FBI, thinks three murders in Green Bay may be the work of a single mastermind. So well-armed paranoiac Grace MacBride and queen-sized clotheshorse Annie Belinsky join her in the six-hour drive back to Green Bay. They take the scenic route, and they’re a long way from the main roads when their car breaks down. Walking into little Four Corners, they find Dale’s Gas open for business and Hazel’s Café steeped in cooking odors, but not a single person anywhere. What could have turned the place into a ghost town overnight? Gradually becoming alarmed that Annie and Grace have fallen off the radar, their Monkeewrench partners, cactus-collecting Harley Davidson and technogeek Roadrunner, realize along with the women that the answer is even more terrifying than the question. Tracy offers equal opportunity to both sexes for improbable heroics, though the women get to suffer more hairsbreadth escapes and to fire more serious weapons. By the time the dust has cleared, neither the continuing cast nor their fans are likely to trust strangers for a long time.
A ruthlessly efficient straight-arrow tale that’s a welcome change of pace for the Monkeewrench gang, even though both their peculiar talents and their even more peculiar personalities are seriously underemployed.