Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LIVE BAIT by P.J. Tracy

LIVE BAIT

By P.J. Tracy

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2004
ISBN: 0-399-15147-8
Publisher: Putnam

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.