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142 Reviews
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking good read
I lent this book to my mum without reading it first. She spent her journey home from holiday immersed in it and handed it right back, enthusiastically singing its praises. I read this later that same week over the course of a return train journey to London and was gripped from the first page.
The dialogue is crisp, sharp, witty and downright funny in many places...
Published on 3 July 2004

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well paced thriller, but flawed
An aged, survivalist couple are found slaughtered in some Hicksville church. In the big city, the police are about to discover the first of a sequence of bizarre murders. Links emerge. There are coincidences in the past lives of the victims. They appear to be people with the ability to change their names, to disappear, to obliterate their past and create new...
Published on 31 Dec. 2004 by Budge Burgess


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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking good read, 3 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
I lent this book to my mum without reading it first. She spent her journey home from holiday immersed in it and handed it right back, enthusiastically singing its praises. I read this later that same week over the course of a return train journey to London and was gripped from the first page.
The dialogue is crisp, sharp, witty and downright funny in many places. There isn't one character that can't bring banter into play, but none of it is at the expense of the story. The characters are so well drawn that you can visualise each individual with no problem. These are characters in whose lives you become rapidly enmeshed. The authors have created strong protagonists in Detective Magozzi and Sherriff Halloran that could carry a novel each, never mind eventually combining in one novel.
The female characters are also well rounded, strong characters, not the token women you sometimes find hovering round the edges of some crime fiction. Even the large list of secondary characters each have their own distinctive voices and, given the sheer number of people in this book, that's a hard task in itself.
This is a high standard debut novel, well worth the cover price. If you like detective stories set in the USA, this is the book for you. If you just like well-written, pacy novels, then this is for you too. A definite treat.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic debut novel, 1 Oct. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
I bought this book based on the back page resume (which got me interested), and two excellent UK broadsheet recommendations listed below it... and they were spot on. This is an excellent first book from P.J. Tracy, I could hardly put it down.
Essentially it's a U.S. based murder story, however the killings are not normal. A team of PC game designers have created a new computer game involving some pretty nasty murders... however a real life killer has started to re-created them copycat style.
At first the Police struggle to achieve a breakthrough, despite being contacted by the game developers who can provide chilling details of the 'next' murder, however soon they are on a trail that even they find hard to follow.
This book may be a debut novel, but it is brilliantly written. The tention is fantastic as the Police try to track down the killer with the help of the games team, who also appear to have something to hide. The various key characters are developed superbly, and the occasional humour certainly made me chuckle.
I really enjoyed this book, from cover to cover, and possibly the best endorsement I can make is that all I've done since I finished it is to think of the actors/actresses who I think would be perfect for the film role... and I'm certain there will be a film.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knock Out Read, 3 Jun. 2005
By 
J G Green (Loughborough, Leics United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
I started this book and stopped after a few chapters as I found it hard going. I returned to it after a few months and I was glad I did. After a few chapters its grips you until the great ending. Hours flew by and I was sorry to see the book end.
Engrousing, totally obsorbing. Leaves you with a wow factor and looking forward to the next book " Live bait" which the book has a few sample chapters of.
If you like Mc Dermid or Cornwell try this, not the same but somehow satisfying. Leaves you a great feel good factor.
The twists the turns the un expected plot untangles the ending is so unexpected but logically correct. You think you have predicted the ending but not quite.
If the next novels are as good, Wow!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An up & coming author, 27 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
From being one of Patricia Cornwall, Dennis Lehane, Harold Coburn & one of my favourite John Grisham authors avid readers I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book & the writing quality of P.J Tracy, especially for a first time novelist.
Having found how hard it was to describe this book to my own satisfaction for this review I can not imagine how mush effort, time, anger & frustration she must have put into it to get it to this high quality & excellence. I would not be lying if I stated that I think it is one of the best-written books I have read.
Below are some of my own views on it. If you have not read the book I would strongly suggest you do so & if you have read it I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
This is a book I have found myself recommending to family & friends & also telling them to watch out for it becoming a film as I can see the actors already playing the parts.
From the get go you are so engrossed in the characters & the way they live there lives in the adversity that is facing them now & in the past which we find out throughout this book. I found myself having to read more & more of this book so that I would know who the murderer was & the motive behind it. Thankfully the surprise is well worth waiting for.
It is like the first Patricia Cornwall books where you are unable to put it down as you start to wonder is it him or her. I found myself going through all the characters thinking that it was they & that was the reason.
Thankfully I am able to say that the ending justifies the beginning & that I was only saddened that I finished the book that quickly, I think that this does a book justice when you are unable to go anywhere without it or when you are thinking about the book constantly, constantly guessing who it is.
I can honestly say that I will be pre-ordering the next P.J Tracy book as soon as it becomes available & that I have saved someplace beside the other authors for this book & hopefully the many more books to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well paced thriller, but flawed, 31 Dec. 2004
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
An aged, survivalist couple are found slaughtered in some Hicksville church. In the big city, the police are about to discover the first of a sequence of bizarre murders. Links emerge. There are coincidences in the past lives of the victims. They appear to be people with the ability to change their names, to disappear, to obliterate their past and create new identities. Why are they so afraid of being discovered for who they really are? And, at the heart of it all, a sophisticated new computer game is being launched by five nerds!
It's a touch of "Fargo" meets "Seven", but without the very real quality of either. An entertaining enough mystery, it will keep you turning the pages, but it has weaknesses. It lacks a bit of edge, it lacks that touch of darkness - so true of many American mysteries; it's a bit too clean cut. When boy meets girl, here, it's a bit coy. There's no room for raunchiness.
And it's not the first book to tie serial killing to computer animation and computer games. Computers become a handy shortcut ... everyone involved in the plot has his or her own expert who can crack the codes, hack through any barrier, access information from the FBI - if US systems are so wide open and easy to circumvent, well, it's hardly worth thinking about.
As a further cliché, Tracy introduces some super-profiler into the action. The policemen are also clichés - the family man, his partner, the lonely loner. The killer? Well, the killer can be spotted. A couple of the clues are a bit obvious. And, please preserve us from happy endings! You get the sense that the marketing people had a hand in the plot and action - tone it down here, add this element, they're always popular, etc.
But it's very well written - pacey, a real page turner, difficult to put down, and a perfect companion for a long train journey, flight, or night in front of a warm fire. Once picked up, you'll become absorbed!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Gripping., 28 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
I picked up this book because I love reading crime novels and this one had me hooked all the way; it doesn't skirt around delicate issues and the characters feel real. I am delighted to hear there is another book coming soon as I am hooked.
The only problem is there are a lot of names and different characters to keep track of but once you get them all down this is the best book I've read in a while.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Debut Thriller, 13 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
This book is excellent. Quite often I've picked up a new thriller writer and been left disappointed by some aspect but this novel more than fulfils all my hopes and expectations.
It is fast paced, well plotted, has excellent characters and plenty of tension. This author has definitely now got a place as one of my favourites.
In response to the reviewer who questioned the sex and identity of the author - check the copyright page where it states: Patricia and Traci Lambrecht. Who are apparently mother and daughter.
I'm sure they would be flattered to think that their male voices are so convincing! :0)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best debute novel I've read in years!, 1 July 2004
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
I don't have much to add to the other reviews but this is the best debute I've read in years! The writting is gripping, the plotting tight, and the characterazations complete (though it does take a bit to get all the characters down). And Imagine it was written by a mother daughter team! I look forward to their next book!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book now!, 23 July 2004
By 
Lauren (South Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is absolutely fantastic from start to finish - I could NOT put it down. It is thrilling, funny and honest. I felt extremely disappointed when I finished the book because I wanted to carry on learning about the great characters. I can't wait to read the next one!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well paced thriller, but flawed, 16 July 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Want to Play? (Paperback)
An aged, survivalist couple are found slaughtered in some Hicksville church. In the big city, the police are about to discover the first of a sequence of bizarre murders. Links emerge. There are coincidences in the past lives of the victims. They appear to be people with the ability to change their names, to disappear, to obliterate their past and create new identities. Why are they so afraid of being discovered for who they really are? And, at the heart of it all, a sophisticated new computer game is being launched by five nerds!
It's a touch of "Fargo" meets "Seven", but without the very real quality of either. An entertaining enough mystery, it will keep you turning the pages, but it has weaknesses. It lacks a bit of edge, it lacks that touch of darkness - so true of many American mysteries; it's a bit too clean cut. When boy meets girl, here, it's a bit coy. There's no room for raunchiness.
And it's not the first book to tie serial killing to computer animation and computer games. Computers become a handy shortcut ... everyone involved in the plot has his or her own expert who can crack the codes, hack through any barrier, access information from the FBI - if US systems are so wide open and easy to circumvent, well, it's hardly worth thinking about.
As a further cliché, Tracy introduces some super-profiler into the action. The policemen are also clichés - the family man, his partner, the lonely loner. The killer? Well, the killer can be spotted. A couple of the clues are a bit obvious. And, please preserve us from happy endings! You get the sense that the marketing people had a hand in the plot and action - tone it down here, add this element, they're always popular, etc.
But it's very well written - pacey, a real page turner, difficult to put down, and a perfect companion for a long train journey, flight, or night in front of a warm fire. Once picked up, you'll become absorbed!
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Want to Play?
Want to Play? by P. J. Tracy (Paperback - 6 May 2004)
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