Live Bait

Live Bait

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 with two brutal homicides taking place in one awful night, the crime drought ends - not with a trickle, but with an eventual torrent. Who would kil...

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Title:Live Bait
Author:P.J. Tracy
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Live Bait Reviews

  • Katy

    :

    : Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

    : Adult

    : Fans of the genre and series

    : Violence, murder, hate crimes

    : This is the second book in the Monkeewrench series, following

    (

    where formatting allowed). I first read this second book in the series soon after it came out in 2005, but didn’t review it at the time. Since I have acquired books 5 and 6 (after having read the first four), I decided to re-read the whole seri

    :

    : Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

    : Adult

    : Fans of the genre and series

    : Violence, murder, hate crimes

    : This is the second book in the Monkeewrench series, following

    (

    where formatting allowed). I first read this second book in the series soon after it came out in 2005, but didn’t review it at the time. Since I have acquired books 5 and 6 (after having read the first four), I decided to re-read the whole series at a go before book 7 comes out next year, and actually do reviews for all of them this time (I believe I have an old review for

    out there, which I will share when I do the next one).

    One thing of the very few things that bothers me in this book (and series) is the authors’ constant focus on the weight of a couple of the characters. Admittedly, Annie and Gloria are also described as sensual and sexy, with men always tripping over themselves to gain their attention, but neither woman can be mentioned without the additional mention of how heavy she is, like this is terribly important to keep rubbing in the readers’ faces. But that’s just a personal issue, I imagine. The only other thing I have to complain about with this book is the occasional head-hopping that will occur out of the blue. Fortunately, it’s generally only a paragraph and then the narration will return to the regular style used through the book.

    None of that is enough to make me change my original assessment of this, given many years ago, as a five-star book. Let me tell you why. One of the truly outstanding things about this series is that the storylines, the ideas presented, they all make you think. Consider this line by Lily, wife of Morey, whose daughter was also murdered.

    I mean, really think about that, about what that implies, about what that means. It’s wonderful. There are things like this in every single book in this series, something really profound that will make you question your motivations, make you question your beliefs. I love that—I love that they don’t allow you to escape by using easy answers; they insist that you question your beliefs, that you really take a good, hard look at your basic assumptions and then ask, “Is that really who I am? Is that really how I feel? And is that really

    ?” Not to mention that the authors are wonderful about hiding the villain until they are good and ready to reveal whodunit. That makes these among some of the best mysteries I’ve read since Agatha Christie.

    So, despite any minor annoyances, these books are right up there with the best of the best, and I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a great mystery/suspense/thriller. Definitely check them out. Next up:

    .

    : I purchased first a hardcover and later an e-book version of this book for myself. All opinions are my own.

    : 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 with two brutal homicides taking place in one awful night, the crime drought ends-–not with a trickle, but with an eventual torrent. Who would kill Morey Gilbert, a man without an enemy, a man who might as well have been a saint? His tiny, cranky little wife, Lily, 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 ago that he's ready to kill himself, but not Morey. The number of victims—all elderly—grows, and the city is fearful once again. The detectives' investigation threatens to uncover a series of horrendous secrets, some buried within the heart of the police department itself, blurring the lines between heroes and villains. Grace MacBride's cold-case-solving software may find the missing link—but at a terrible price.

  • Phrynne

    The second book in this series and it was every bit as good as the first. The authors really know how to write realistic and entertaining dialogue and it is frequently laugh aloud funny. The story is good with multiple murders and quite a few murderers as well which makes guessing whodunnit very difficult indeed! The relationship between Magozzi and Grace takes a few tentative steps forwards but you need to have read book #1 to understand what is going on there. I am loving this series so far an

    The second book in this series and it was every bit as good as the first. The authors really know how to write realistic and entertaining dialogue and it is frequently laugh aloud funny. The story is good with multiple murders and quite a few murderers as well which makes guessing whodunnit very difficult indeed! The relationship between Magozzi and Grace takes a few tentative steps forwards but you need to have read book #1 to understand what is going on there. I am loving this series so far and am looking forward to the next one.

  • Marty Fried

    I'm really enjoying this series, and look forward to reading more. This one had a good mixture of humor, sadness, and philosophy. I felt there were some things to really make us think or rethink our attitudes about revenge, whether someone deserves to die, etc. I can't say much about it without a spoiler, but it really shows how killing someone, even if that person seems to deserve it, can have repercussions that destroy people and families over many years and across many miles. It's sad to see.

    I'm really enjoying this series, and look forward to reading more. This one had a good mixture of humor, sadness, and philosophy. I felt there were some things to really make us think or rethink our attitudes about revenge, whether someone deserves to die, etc. I can't say much about it without a spoiler, but it really shows how killing someone, even if that person seems to deserve it, can have repercussions that destroy people and families over many years and across many miles. It's sad to see.

    The people are all very interesting and multi-faceted. I almost feel like some of them are family already, and I find myself caring about what they do and how things turn out. Fortunately, there's more to come, but I already feel I need to slow down so I won't run out of books in the series too soon.

  • Mary JL

    This is book 2 in the Monkeewrench series. You could read it first; but if you read Monkeewrench aka Want to Play first, then some parts of the book make a bit more sense. And book #2 does have a few more spoilers.

    That said, the Monkeewrench books are going top speed and top notch for me. The dialogie is outstanding, as usual, and the mystery is very well done. The ending was a suprise.

    It got a 4 star rating instead of a 5, because I wanted to see much more of the Monkeewrench crew; thought the

    This is book 2 in the Monkeewrench series. You could read it first; but if you read Monkeewrench aka Want to Play first, then some parts of the book make a bit more sense. And book #2 does have a few more spoilers.

    That said, the Monkeewrench books are going top speed and top notch for me. The dialogie is outstanding, as usual, and the mystery is very well done. The ending was a suprise.

    It got a 4 star rating instead of a 5, because I wanted to see much more of the Monkeewrench crew; thought the parts with Leo and Gino were great! The moral dilemma presented was gripping--won't spoil it--just read it!

    The first half of chapeter 24, where one of the detective's relives his wife's murder--she is murdered before his eyes--is one of the most gripping, well written scenes I have read in years!

    Favorite quote "You know the worst thing about bad people, Grace? It's what they make good people do." (Ch. 32).

    Very highly recommended.

  • Carolyn

    Minneapolis has been going through a murder-free period but all that changes when someone starts killing elderly victims. Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth are puzzled about why well-loved, elderly members of the community are being murdered. Making little headway in solving the crimes, they call in Grace from the

    software team to use her programming skills to help look for patterns and what they find is very surprising.

    I felt the novel was a little slow to get going but once it did t

    Minneapolis has been going through a murder-free period but all that changes when someone starts killing elderly victims. Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth are puzzled about why well-loved, elderly members of the community are being murdered. Making little headway in solving the crimes, they call in Grace from the

    software team to use her programming skills to help look for patterns and what they find is very surprising.

    I felt the novel was a little slow to get going but once it did the pace and action ramped up. I was also a little disappointed that the Monkeewrench team were not back in action in this novel as I love those quirky, colourful characters, but they do come together at the end of the book and I have a suspicion they may feature more in the next.

  • Brenda

    I read Monkeewrench #1 about a month ago. I enjoyed this, Live Bait, #2 just as much. The four Monkeewrench partners play minor roles in this book, with Grace getting more time than the others. The book mostly features the main detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth along with secondary detectives McLaren and Langer.

    There are, of course, homicides to solve involving elderly folks. The investigations were slow and almost used just as a backdrop for developing the characters. Almost every charact

    I read Monkeewrench #1 about a month ago. I enjoyed this, Live Bait, #2 just as much. The four Monkeewrench partners play minor roles in this book, with Grace getting more time than the others. The book mostly features the main detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth along with secondary detectives McLaren and Langer.

    There are, of course, homicides to solve involving elderly folks. The investigations were slow and almost used just as a backdrop for developing the characters. Almost every character was richly developed. One character my heart ached for was Marty Pullman. Lots of dialogue included cop humor, sarcasm, and ribbing and that added to my enjoyment.

    I'm looking forward to reading #3, Dead Run, soon.

  • James Thane

    Minnesota certainly seems to be a very dangerous place to live, and the bodies seem to fall right and left in the North Star State. Happily, though, there seem to be a lot of homicide detectives up there to continually put things right, including of course, Lucas Davenport, Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere, that F***ing Virgil Flowers, Cork O'Connor, and Leo Magozzi and Gino Roiseth, among others.

    The last team inhabits the world of the Monkeewrench series, written by the mother-daughter team, P

    Minnesota certainly seems to be a very dangerous place to live, and the bodies seem to fall right and left in the North Star State. Happily, though, there seem to be a lot of homicide detectives up there to continually put things right, including of course, Lucas Davenport, Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere, that F***ing Virgil Flowers, Cork O'Connor, and Leo Magozzi and Gino Roiseth, among others.

    The last team inhabits the world of the Monkeewrench series, written by the mother-daughter team, P. J. Tracy. And for Magozzi and Roiseth, if for no one else, things have been a bit slow lately. After their last big case, the Twin Cities seem to have calmed considerably and murder has been taking a holiday. "Homicide is dead," one of the detectives complains.

    Which, naturally, falls into the category of Be Careful What You Wish For.

    The hiatus is interrupted when Magozzi and Roiseth are called to the scene of a very puzzling murder. An elderly man named Morey Gilbert is found shot to death in the back yard of the plant nursery that he has run for years. It's raining and so his wife, a small elderly woman, thoughtfully moves the body inside and wrestles it up on a table. She shaves the victim and dresses him up so he'll look his best and only then does she call the cops.

    In the process, of course, she has (conveniently?) destroyed almost all of the evidence that the detectives might have hoped to find at the scene. Naturally, they wonder why she might have done this. They're also curious about the behavior of the couple's son, Jack. Jack is one of those obnoxious personal injury lawyers who advertises on late-night TV. He drinks heavily and has been estranged from his parents for over two years for reasons that no one will discuss. But, just as the detectives begin to narrow in on the victim's family members, another elderly person who lives just down the street is also murdered. And then another...

    Well, you get the picture. Someone is running around this neighborhood, killing elderly citizens and neither Magozzi or Roiseth nor any of their fellow detectives can figure out who or why. All of the victims were much beloved. None of them had any enemies, and there isn't a clue to be found.

    In the meantime, over the last few months, Magozzi has been pursuing the world's slowest-moving romance with the troubled computer genius, Grace MacBride, of the Monkeewrench outfit that figured so prominently in the first book in the series. When all other avenues have reached a dead end, Magozzi asks Grace if she will apply her computer skills to the problem, knowing that she will doubtless be prowling through databases where she and the police have no legal right to be. And what she discovers will turn this case upside down.

    This is another very entertaining entry in this series. It has it's light and breezy moments and a fair amount of humor. The characters are appealing and the plot is engaging. All in all, a fun read.

  • Matt

    Returning to the second novel in the Monkeewrench series, I am eager to see what P.J. Tracy has in store for readers after an explosive debut. With the Monkeewrench killings complete, Minneapolis Homicide Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are in a lull. There have been no murders over the past months, leaving them happy to be able to relax and enjoy the weather. However, when a call comes in that an elderly man has been found outside his greenhouse, shot in the head, Magozzi and Rolseth ma

    Returning to the second novel in the Monkeewrench series, I am eager to see what P.J. Tracy has in store for readers after an explosive debut. With the Monkeewrench killings complete, Minneapolis Homicide Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are in a lull. There have been no murders over the past months, leaving them happy to be able to relax and enjoy the weather. However, when a call comes in that an elderly man has been found outside his greenhouse, shot in the head, Magozzi and Rolseth make their way to the scene. Unnerved because the man’s wife has moved and cleaned the body, the detectives are sure they’ll have to try even harder to piece things together. However, Morey Gilbert seems to have been a model citizen; loved by many and respected by all. Who would want to kill such a wonderful man? At the same time, another elderly man is found tied to the train tracks with barbed wire, shot as well. Things have surely grown intense for Magozzi and Rolseth in short order, forcing them to sharpen their skills once again. When other elderly citizens turn up with similar gunshot wounds, the detectives are both baffled and worried about a spree killer. It would seem that Gilbert knew the other victims, tied together by the community of residence and a similar history. When Gilbert’s estranged son—an ambulance chasing, alcoholic lawyer—and son-in-law—a former Minneapolis cop—turn up, things get a little more interesting, though nothing could stop the news that some of the forensics has peeked the interest of INTERPOL. Magozzi cannot determine how to track down the killer or what motive might include this set of victims. Grace McBride, one of the founders of Monkeewrench Gaming has been working on a new forensic program that can synthesize minute facts in the blink of an eye. While she and Magozzi play their cat and mouse game of love, the system may have a lead that no one thought to explore beforehand, pulling McBride into the middle of the case as well. There’s still a killer on the loose and international police forces knocking on the door of Minneapolis Homicide, forcing Magozzi and Rolseth to double down. P.J. Tracy has crafted another stellar novel here and shows that the debut was no fluke. Recommended for those who loved the first novel and readers who enjoy a ‘smaller town’ police procedural.

    New to P.J. Tracy’s work, I devoured Monkeewrench and am happy that I have made this series my summer binge. I am hooked by the story and characters, hoping they will continue to evolve. Magozzi and Rolseth return as superior protagonists, working well in a professional capacity while remaining intuitive throughout this baffling case. Their banter is great, sometimes buried in story dialogue, forcing the reader to follow closely so as not to miss anything. This keeps the story moving well and helps flesh out the backstories for all characters, particularly these two detectives. Other characters help develop a stronger narrative and add depth in a fast-paced story. The story moves well, constructed around both criminal and historical matters that should hook the reader from the early stages. The narrative propelled the story forward and the well-crafted characters keep the reader committed from the early chapters. P.J. Tracy, the amalgamation of a mother-daughter writing team, is a great addition to the genre and I am eager to keep racing through these books to see what other mysteries come up in the numerous cases that follow

    Kudos, P.J. Tracy, for a second novel worthy of more literary awards. I am happy I have secured the entire series to date and can binge the summer—or at least a few weeks—away!

    Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

    A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

  • CD {Boulder Blvd}

    3.5 stars rounded up

  • ♥Rachel♥

    Liked this installment, but not quite as much as the first. It seemed like it took a long time for before we started getting answers. Just a lot of around and around. I really enjoyed the humor, and Leo and Gino's easy working relationship. And I'm glad Leo and Grace

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