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Live Bait (Monkeewrench Series #2)

Live Bait (Monkeewrench Series #2)

4.5 25
by P. J. Tracy

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Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored - ever since they solved the Monkeewrench case, the Twin Cities have been in a murder-free dry spell, as people no longer seem interested in killing one another. But when elderly Morey Gilbert is found dead in the plant nursery he runs with his wife, Lily, the crime drought ends - not with a trickle, but


Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored - ever since they solved the Monkeewrench case, the Twin Cities have been in a murder-free dry spell, as people no longer seem interested in killing one another. But when elderly Morey Gilbert is found dead in the plant nursery he runs with his wife, Lily, the crime drought ends - not with a trickle, but with a torrent. Who would kill Morey, a man without an enemy, a man who might as well have been a saint? His tiny, cranky little wife is no help, and may even be a suspect; his estranged son, Jack, an infamous ambulance-chasing lawyer, has his own enemies; and his son-in-law, former cop Marty Pullman, is so depressed over his wife's death a year earlier he's ready to kill himself, but not Morey. The number of victims - all elderly - grows, and the city is fearful once again. Can Grace McBride's cold case-solving software program somehow find the missing link?

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Having made a dazzling debut in 2003 with the crime thriller Monkeewrench, the mother-daughter writing team of P. J. Tracy follow up with another complex, compelling tale featuring an exciting blend of high-tech criminal profiling and old-fashioned dedicated police investigation.

Spring has come to Minneapolis, bringing with it an unseasonable heat wave…and a chilling end to the longest murder-free stretch the local homicide detectives have seen in years. Two old men died the same night. One was tied to train tracks and left to die. The other was shot in the head beside a greenhouse at the nursery he owned, his body left out in rain that washed the crime scene clean. Other than the fact that they lived in the same neighborhood, the victims had little in common. The first victim was an overweight watch repairman -- an apparent nobody whose elaborately engineered death seems to be the most remarkable thing about him. The second victim was not only well known; the elderly concentration camp survivor turned nursery owner seems to have been loved and admired by everyone -- except his only surviving child, a personal-injury attorney with a sleazy reputation. With such different means and styles of death, the police hesitate to connect the crimes. But both are undeniably high-profile cases that need to be closed quickly and cleanly, especially after two more elderly victims are added to the neighborhood death toll.

As detectives struggle to make sense of elusive and contradictory evidence, input from the computerized detective program that's the latest brainchild of the innovative software design company known as Monkeewrench -- and unexpected intelligence from Interpol -- expand their investigations in some remarkable directions…and the price of justice soars to unexpected heights. Sue Stone

Publishers Weekly
The mother-daughter mystery writing team known as P.J. Tracy produces another winner with this follow-up to 2003's lively Monkeewrench. After several homicide-free months in their hometown of St. Paul, wisecracking police detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are back in action when elderly-and much beloved-gardener Morey Gilbert is found face up near his greenhouse with a bullet hole in his head. At first, the prime murder suspects are family members: Gilbert's estranged son, Jack, a slick personal injury lawyer, and Gilbert's dry-eyed widow, Lily, who discovered the corpse-and moved it before the police arrived. When three more slayings follow, Magozzi and Rolseth discern disturbing common threads: each of the victims is over 80 and-except for Arlen Fisher, shot in the arm and dragged onto the train tracks to face his doom-Jewish survivors of Nazi concentration camps. Critical clues, including a gun traced to murders around the globe, surface as straitlaced detectives Aaron Langer and Johnny McLaren join the more offbeat Magozzi and Rolseth on the case. Tracy serves up punchy prose and quirky characters, from a sartorially challenged police chief to a plump, shrewd crime tech named Grimm. Romance for bachelor Magozzi arrives in the form of Grace MacBride, a comely computer whiz whose sophisticated software program, FLEE, has helped crack countless cases. The courtship moves slowly despite undeniable sparks; MacBride is still haunted by Monkeewrench-the deadly case that first brought the two together and continues to hover like a cloud of doom. With her stash of high-tech research tools, including special face recognition software, MacBride delivers revelations about both victims and perpetrator, leading Magozzi and Rolseth toward the case's spine-chilling resolution. With generous doses of humor and suspense, this sharp, satisfying thriller will rivet readers from the start. Agent, Ellen Geiger. Author tour. (May 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fresh from Monkeewrench, Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth get to work as elderly murder victims start piling up. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
More serial-killing woes for Minneapolis Homicide's Det. Leo Magozzi and his ladylove Grace MacBride's software-development cohorts (Monkeewrench, 2003). Nursery owner Morey Gilbert is 84, watch repairman Arlen Fischer 89, widowed Rose Kleber a mere 78. Who's the murderer who can't wait for them to die of natural causes? And what kind of assassin shoots an old man like Fischer in the arm, improvises a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, carts him out of the house, and ties him to the railroad tracks with barbed wire? The answers, Magozzi's convinced, lie in connections among the victims only the Monkeewrench gang's new FLEE detective program can unearth. While he's waiting for FLEE to deliver the goods, Leo ponders why Morey Gilbert's son Jack, a sleazeball lawyer, wouldn't speak to his father, by all accounts the gentlest man in the world; how the murder last year of Morey's daughter figures into the present bloodbath; and what to make of the ballistics report that ties Fischer's murder to half a dozen unsolved homicides around the country. For the rest, Tracy returns in surprising detail to the idiosyncratic formula of her striking debut-Minneapolis cops and computer nerds battling the serial killer of a mysterious group of strangers-with more gravitas and more heartfelt revelations substituting for the wit, antic byplay, and originality of the prototype. If it's anything like Tracy's first two, Minnesotans may want to duck and cover before her third hits the bookshelves. Agent: Bob Diforio/D4EO Literary Agency
From the Publisher
"[A] fast-paced and intriguingly plotted mystery."—Boston Globe

"Polished and intriguing...complex and interesting."—Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Monkeewrench Series , #2
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2004 Patricia Lambrecht and Traci Lambrecht
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-399-15147-8

Chapter One

It was just after sunrise and still raining when Lily found her husband's body. He was lying faceup on the asphalt apron in front of the greenhouse, eyes and mouth open, collecting rainwater.

Even dead, he looked quite handsome in this position, gravity pulling back the loose, wrinkled skin of his face, smoothing away eighty-four years of pain and smiles and worries.

Lily stood over him for a moment, wincing when the raindrops plopped noisily onto his eyes.

I hate eyedrops.

Morey, hold still. Stop blinking. Stop blinking, she says, while she pours chemicals into my eyes.

Hush. It's not chemicals. Natural tears, see? It says so right on the bottle.

You expect a blind man to read?

A little grain of sand in your eye and suddenly you're blind. Big tough guy. And they're not natural tears. What do they do? Go to funerals and hold little bottles under crying people? No, they mix chemicals together and call it natural tears. It's false advertising, is what it is. These are unnatural tears. A little bottle of lies.

Shut up, old man.

This is the thing, Lily. Nothing should pretend to be what it's not. Everything should have a big label that says what it is so there's no confusion. Like the fertilizer we used on the bedding plants that year that killed all our ladybugs, what was it called?

Plant So Green.

Right. So it should have been called Plant So Green Ladybug So Dead. Forget the tiny print on the back you can't read. Real truth in labeling, that's what we need. This is a good rule. God should follow such a rule.


What can I say? He made a big mistake there. Would it have been such a problem for Him to make things look like what they are? I mean, He's God, right? This is something He could do. Think about it. You've got a guy at the door with this great smile and nice face and you let him in and he kills your whole family. This is God's mistake. Evil should look evil. Then you don't let it in.

You, of all people, should know it's not that simple.

It's exactly that simple.

Lily took a breath, then sat on her heels-a young posture for such an old woman, but her knees were still good, still strong and flexible. She couldn't get Morey's eyes to close all the way, and with them open only a slit, he looked sinister. It was the first thing that had frightened Lily in a very long time. She wouldn't look at them as she pushed back the darkened silver hair the rain had plastered to his skull.

One of her fingers slipped into a hole on the side of his head and she froze. "Oh, no," she whispered, then rose quickly, wiping her fingers on her overalls.

"I told you so, Morey," she scolded her husband one last time. "I told you so."

Chapter Two

April in Minnesota was always unpredictable, but once every decade or so, it got downright sadistic, fluctuating wildly between tantalizing promises of spring and the last, angry death throes of a stubborn winter that had no intention of going quietly.

It had been just such a year. Last week, a freak snowstorm had blustered in on what had been the warmest April on record, scaring the hell out of the budding trees and launching statewide discussions of a mass migration to Florida.

But spring had eventually prevailed, and right now she was busy playing kiss-and-make-up, and doing a damn fine job of it. The mercury was pushing seventy-five, the snow-stunned flora had rallied with a shameless explosion of neon green, and best of all, the mother lode of mosquito larvae was still percolating in the lakes and swamps. Giddy, sun-starved Minnesotans were out in force, cherishing the temporary delusion that the state was actually habitable.

Detective Leo Magozzi was stretched out on a decrepit chaise on his front porch, Sunday paper in one hand, a mug of coffee in the other. He hadn't forgotten about last week's snowstorm and he was pragmatic enough to know that it wasn't too late for another, but there was no point in letting cynicism ruin a perfectly beautiful day. Besides, it was a rare thing when he could practice the sloth he'd always aspired to-homicide detectives' vacations were always contingent on murderers' vacations, and murderers seemed to be the hardest-working citizens in the country. But for some inexplicable reason, Minneapolis was enjoying the longest murder-free spell in years. As his partner, Gino Rolseth, had put it so eloquently: Homicide was dead. For the past few months they'd had nothing to do but work cold cases, and if they ever solved all of them, they'd be back on the beat, frisking transvestites and wishing they'd been dentists instead of cops.

Magozzi sipped his coffee and watched as the neighborhood masochists engaged in all manner of personal torture, huffing and puffing and sweating as they raced furiously against a climatic clock that would have them locked indoors again in a few months' time. They jogged, they Rollerbladed, they ran with their dogs, and celebrated every degree that rose on the thermometer by shedding another article of clothing.

It was one of the things Magozzi loved most about Minnesotans. Fat, thin, muscled, or flabby, there were no self-conscious people in this state when the weather got warm, and by the time you got a nice day like this one, most of them were half naked. Of course this was not always a good thing, certainly not in the case of Jim, his extremely hirsute next-door neighbor. You could never be really sure if Jim were wearing a shirt or not. He was out there now, possibly shirtless, possibly not, hard at work preparing the flower beds that would put him in pole position for next month's Beautiful Gardens of the Twin Cities Tour. If Jim was trying to shame Magozzi into being a better homeowner, it wasn't going to work.

He looked out at his own sorry excuse for a yard-a couple of mud puddles from last night's rain, some brave dandelions, and a few blue spruce in various stages of demise. Occasionally he had a fleeting memory of what the place had looked like before the divorce. Flowers everywhere, Kentucky bluegrass standing at attention, and Heather out there each day with sharp instruments and a stern expression, frightening plants into submission. She'd been good at frightening things into submission-it had certainly worked on him, and he'd been armed.

He was on his second cup of coffee and almost to the sports section when a Volvo station wagon pulled into the driveway. Gino Rolseth hopped out, lugging an enormous cooler and a bag of Kingsford. His belly tested the generous limits of a Tommy Bahama shirt, and beefy legs poked out from a terrible pair of plaid Bermuda shorts.

"Hey, Leo!" He lumbered up onto the porch and dropped the cooler. "I come bearing gifts of animal flesh and fermented grain."

Magozzi lifted a dark brow. "At eight o'clock in the morning? Tell me this means Angela finally kicked your sorry ass out, so I can call her and propose."

"You should be so lucky. This is charity. Angela's folks took her and the kids to some craft thing at Maplewood Mall, so I had a free Sunday, thought I'd liven up your so-called life."

Magozzi got up and looked into the cooler. "What's a craft thing?"

"You know, those places with all the booths where people knit houses out of old grocery bags and stuff like that."

Magozzi rummaged in the cooler and pulled out a package of sickly-looking, plump, gray-white sausages. "What are these things that look like your legs?"

"Those are uncooked brats, imported all the way from Milwaukee, you food pygmy. Where's your grill?"

Magozzi gestured toward a rusty old Weber in the corner of the porch.

Gino nudged it with his foot and it collapsed. "We're going to need duct tape."

Magozzi hefted a suspicious-looking, dark orange brick of cheese. "Twelve-year cheddar? Is that legal?"

Gino grinned. "That stuff'll make you weep with joy, I promise. Got it at a great little cheese house in Door County. Somebody forgot about a wheel in the cellar and found it twelve years later, covered in about a foot of mold. Nirvana, my friend. Pure nirvana. It's amazing what a cow and some bacteria can do."

Magozzi sniffed it and cringed. "Oh yeah. Every time I see a cow I think, Hey, wouldn't it be great to get some bacteria and really do something with this thing. Why do you have a file folder in the cooler?"

"It's a cold case."

"Very funny."

Gino lifted the grill and another leg fell off in a shower of rust. "This one's from ninety-four. Thought we could take a look at it later. You know, just to keep our hand in, in case anyone ever kills somebody in this town again. You remember hearing anything about the Valensky case?"

Magozzi sat down on the chaise and opened the folder. "Sort of. The plumber, right?"

"That's the one. Shot seven times, three of them in places I don't even want to think about."

"Plumbers charge too much."

"Tell me about it. But other than that, this guy was damn near a candidate for sainthood. Some Polack who actually made it out of the war alive, emigrated to the good old U. S. of A., started a business, married, had three kids, deacon at his church, scout leader, the whole American dream, then bled to death on his own bathroom floor after someone used him for target practice."


"Hell no. According to the reports in there, everybody loved him. Case dried up in about two seconds."

Magozzi grunted and tossed the folder on the floor. "Most guys with a free Sunday would probably find something else to do, like sit on a bench at Lake Calhoun and count bikinis."

"Yeah, well, I'm a crime fighter, I have a higher purpose." Gino ran a hand through his hedge of closely cropped blond hair, reconsidering. "Besides, it's probably too early for bikinis."

They got the call before Magozzi had finished duct-taping the legs back on his grill. Gino had gone inside to unload the cooler, and when he came back out to the porch he was beaming.

"Hey, want to go see a body?"

Magozzi sat back on his heels and frowned. "You found a body in my kitchen?"

"Nah. Phone rang while I was in there, so I picked up. Dispatch got an honest-to-God homicide call. Uptown Nursery. The owner's wife found him this morning by one of the greenhouses and figured it was a heart attack, because the guy is pushing eighty-five and what else would drop a man that age? So she called the funeral director. He finds a bullet hole in the guy's head and calls nine-one-one."

Magozzi looked wistfully at the grill and sighed. "So what happened to the on-duty guys who are supposed to be taking this?"

"Tinker and Peterson. Just what I wanted to know. They just took a call at the train yard over in Northeast. Found some poor bastard tied to the tracks."

Magozzi winced.

"Nah, don't worry. Train never hit him."

"So he's okay?"

"Nope, he's dead."

Magozzi looked at him expectantly.

"Don't look at me. That's all I got." He jumped when his shirt pocket spit out an irritating, tinny version of Beethoven's Fifth.

"What is that?"

Gino pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and stabbed viciously at buttons half the size of his chubby fingers. "Goddamnit. Helen keeps programming in all these weird rings 'cause she knows I got no clue how to change it."

Magozzi grinned. "That's funny."

Beethoven spoke again.

"Fourteen-year-olds are only funny when they belong to somebody else ... shit. I'm gonna invent one of these things with big fat buttons and make a jillion dollars ... Hello, this is Rolseth."

Magozzi stood and brushed the rust off his hands, listened to Gino grunt into the phone for a few seconds, then went inside to lock up. By the time he got back out to the porch, Gino had retrieved his gun from the car and was hooking it to the belt that almost held up his Bermuda shorts. He looked like an armed and dangerous tourist.

"I don't suppose you've got a pair of pants that would fit me."

Magozzi just smiled at him.

"Aw, shut up. That was Langer on the phone. He and McLaren just got called in for a suspected homicide-'suspected' meaning someone did a little interior design with a few gallons of blood, but there's no body. And guess what?"

"He wants us to take it?"

"Nah, Dispatch told him we were on the nursery thing, that's why he called. The bloody house is just a few blocks over."

Magozzi frowned. "That's a pretty decent neighborhood."

"Right. Not exactly a killing field, and all of a sudden we've got two possibles in one day. And there's another thing. The guy who lives in that house is-or was-also in his eighties, just like our guy."

Magozzi thought about that for a minute. "He's thinking cluster? What, that some psycho's running around killing old people?"

Gino shrugged. "He was just giving us a heads-up. Thought we should keep in touch in case something clicks."

Magozzi sighed, looked longingly at the Weber. "So we're back in business."

"Big-time." Gino paused for a moment. "You ever think there's something wrong with a job where you only have something to do if someone gets murdered?"

"Every day, buddy."

Chapter Three

Marty Pullman was sitting on the closed toilet lid in his downstairs bathroom, staring down the muzzle of a .357 Magnum. The round black hole looked very large, which worried him. Worse yet, the toilet faced the big mirror on the sliding doors that enclosed the bathtub, and he wasn't too keen on watching his own snuff film. He thought about it for a minute, then got into the bathtub and slid the doors closed behind him.

He smiled a little as he aimed the shower nozzle toward the back of the tub and turned the spray on full blast. He may have made a mess of his life, but he sure as hell wasn't going to make a mess of his death.

Finally satisfied, he sat down in the tub and put the muzzle in his mouth. Water poured over his head, his clothes, his shoes.

He hesitated for just a few seconds, wondering again what, if anything, he'd done last night. Not that it would matter now, he thought, slipping his thumb through the trigger guard.

"Mr. Pullman?"

Marty froze, his thumb quivering on the trigger. Goddamn it, he was hallucinating. He had to be. No one ever came to this house, and certainly no one would just let himself in-except maybe a Jehovah's Witness, which made him glad he had the gun.

"Mr. Pullman?" The male voice was louder now, closer, and he sounded young. "Are you in there, sir?" A forceful knock rattled the bathroom door in its frame.

The gun tasted terrible as he pulled it from his mouth, and he spat into the water swirling toward the drain. "Who is it?" he shouted, trying his best to sound scary and aggressive.

"Sorry to disturb you, Mr. Pullman, but Mrs. Gilbert told me to break the door down if I had to ..."


Excerpted from LIVE BAIT by P.J. TRACY Copyright © 2004 by Patricia Lambrecht and Traci Lambrecht. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"[A] fast-paced and intriguingly plotted mystery."—Boston Globe

"Polished and intriguing...complex and interesting."—Chicago Sun-Times

Meet the Author

P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their first four novels, Monkeewrench, Live Bait, Dead Run, and Snow Blind have become national and international bestsellers.

P.J. Lambrecht is a college dropout with one of the largest collections of sweatpants in the world. She was raised in an upper-middle class family of very nice people, and turned to writing to escape the hardships of such a life. She had her first short story published in The Saturday Evening Post when Traci was eight, still mercifully oblivious to her mother’s plans to eventually trick her into joining the family business. She has been a moderately successfully free-lance writer ever since, although she has absolutely no qualifications for such a profession, except a penchant for lying.

Traci Lambrecht spent most of her childhood riding and showing horses. She graduated with a Russian Studies major from St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota, where she also studied voice. Her aspirations of becoming a spy were dashed when the Cold War ended, so she instead attempted briefly and unsuccessfully to import Eastern European folk art. She began writing to finance her annoying habits of travel and singing in rock bands, and much to her mother’s relief, finally realized that the written word was her true calling. They have been writing together ever since.

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Live Bait 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
SuseNJ More than 1 year ago
Nice, good book with the colorful characters, lots of suspense at very end, not as suspenseful throughout as Monkeewrench. A little too light for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series!
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
An unusual plot revolves around the cold-blooded murder of a number of Jewish senior citizens in the Minneapolis area. It turns out the connecting thread is they all survived the Nazis' concentration camps in World War II. But the city police detectives, aided by the Monkeewrench team (not as evident here as in the first book of the series) soon learn that these elderly survivors had another secret connection - a deadly one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great way to spend a hot afternoon - reading a thriller like Live Bait. Highly recommend it. Was sorry that it ended. Can't wait to get Dead Run!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Monkeewrench was great, Live Bait is much better. Hope this writing team keeps delivering winners!
Guest More than 1 year ago
what a great read..as an avid mystery reader I can usually pick out the murderer before the end..Not this time..great read, lot's of fun trying to work it out. Too bad these ladies don't have a web site to tell them directly how great their books are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the mother/daughter team to write another book! I am hooked after reading Live Bait. MonkeeWrench was good, but Live Bait is even better. The characters are great, they work off each other and keep the plot going. The twists and turns up to the end, I just couldn't put it down. Keep up the 'great' work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't compare Live Bait With the first book Monkeewrench.Both books were excellent,different plots.I hope this writing team has a long and successful career.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Not as great as 1st book, but good read. Twists AR the end
Refill 10 months ago
After a series intro dealing with a group of game developers that is entertaining and has a decent amount of tension, what can author P.J. Tracy (pseudonym of a mother and daughter duo) follow it up with? A so-so mystery that removes much of the techno aspects and pushes those game developer characters into the background. Instead this is a novel that focuses on other characters we met previously, mainly Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth who spend the novel trying to determine who and why someone is murdering the elderly. The mystery in and of itself is intriguing enough and develops into some interesting shades of gray and morality questions, but it is hurt by more than its fair share of repetitive dialogue. Who murdered these seniors? Why murder these seniors? Who murdered these seniors? Why murder these seniors? Who murdered these seniors? Why murder these seniors? Yes, we know, this is a murder mystery, but maybe we should follow Elvis Presley's advice and have a little less conversation and a lot more action. Eventually the novel comes around to become an entertaining read, but it takes its time and fills the gaps with pointless dialogue that is nowhere near as funny as the authors think it is (Chapter 15 could have been removed altogether.) Also being 99% sure who the killer is doesn't help. This is where Tracy earns their money as they fooled me. Right up until the reveal of the killer which comes out of nowhere. Alright, P.J. Tracy, you got me, and I enjoyed finding out I was wrong. A somewhat disappointing follow-up to "Monkeewrench", sticking with this novel proves to be worth it and actually turns out to have a more satisfying conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good books, fast reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have now read the first 3 books in the Monkeewrench series and enjoyed them all, will continue to read the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a terrific read. All of the characters are engaging. Some you love and some you despise but you stay engaged in the story. The authors definitely keep you wanting more.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book for a great summer read. Monkeewrench was good but this is even better. I will add this author to my favorites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As improbable as it sounds, there have been no homicides in Minneapolis for months and the detectives that work on homicides are reduced to working on cold cases. The terrific dry spell breaks in a horrific way when eighty five year old Morey Gilbert, a victim of the concentration camp, is killed outside his home. Homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth (of MONKEEWRENCH fame) are assigned the case but they have little to go on because the victim¿s wife messed up the crime scene..................................... In the same neighborhood Mr. Fischer¿s living room is a sea of blood but there is no body. It is later discovered that the corpse is tied up at the railroad trucks but Fischer has a heart attack before the train could hit him. At first the two homicide detectives believe there is no link between the two killings but learns much later that there is. In the meantime, two more eighty-something victims, a man and a woman both living in Morey¿s neighborhood, are murdered and the only thing they have in common is that they are survivors of the camps................................. P.J. Tracy is an expect at writings crime thrillers with so many unexpected twists and turns in the storyline that readers find themselves totally absorbed in the book and will want to read it one sitting. The works of this mother-daughter writing team will be enjoyed by readers who like Patricia Cornwell, Christine McGuire, and Nancy Taylor Rosenberg. The action scenes are very realistic as is the plot but the characters take LIVE BAIT out of the ordinary into the sublime......................... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zany and likeable detectives, Gino Rolseth and Leo Magozzi are called in to investigate the deaths of three elderly people. With the prospect of yet more murders, these apparently sensless killings are causing a state of near panic in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis. A possible link as the to motive of these deaths, is discovered. Each of the three victims had at one time, been a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. As in the first novel, Monkeewrench, this mother-daughter partnership, writing under the pseudonym P.J. Tracy re-creates all the original pace, vitality and sharp dialogue that made the first novel such a success. So that once again, in LIVE BAIT, the narrative keeps flowing, the pages keep turning. As the layers of the plot begin to unfold, the quality of the characters begin to make an impression. Gino and Leo could well feature in a novel of their own as well as the gun-toting and computer wizard, Grace MacBride. We witness former cop Marty Pullman, whose only solace since the death of his wife months earlier, is in a bottle of Jack Daniels, begin to realise that there is a glimmer of hope and that he might be getting better. All these identities are woven deftly into the fabric of the story, especially in the case of Grace who, intriguingly, remains a lady of mystery. LIVE BAIT then is a well plotted, intelligent read. But as the climax of the story approaches it could well be that there are more fundamentlal thoughts behind this story. The question of retribution, however justified it may seem, is never the complete resolution to any situation. And that the term hero can be earned in a most unlikey way.