Introducing Grace MacBride
Grace MacBride is the founder of Monkeewrench Software, comprised of four best friends with genius minds who donate their skills and time to help cops across the country solve their unsolvable crimes. And she is probably our favorite character, a true study of shadow and light, of strength and vulnerability. She is a woman who was forced to entirely erase her former identity and disappear to flee a serial killer; before that, an orphan who got bounced from foster home to foster home. She has been victimized by many violent episodes in her troubled past but has never allowed herself to embrace the role of victim. Instead, she dedicated herself to becoming combat-ready in a dangerous world she views as largely dark and threatening.
It’s easy to write a caricature of a tormented, paranoid, dysfunctional, tough-ass with trust issues and a detachment disorder – it’s a convenient (but lazy) dramatic device employed to manufacture false conflict. You see it often in movies. But real people in real life are extremely complex, never caricatures, and we all have vulnerabilities, so in each novel we explore multiple facets of Grace’s life and her psyche through her deep loyalty to her inner circle and her capacity to love in spite of the past darkness in her life.
She is not without personal challenges, however, especially when she allows Minneapolis Police detective Leo Magozzi to enter her protected, insular world little by little. As her character begins to arc throughout the series, her highly fortified psychological barriers create obstacles at the same time they open new doors. The hinges on those doors are stubborn, rusty, and squeaky, of course, but there is movement and there is hope and there is healing.
Oddly, we find her character an uplifting one to explore. She also breaks our heart. And isn’t that life?