Sunday, 6 May 2018

Book review : Live Bait - P. J. Tracy

Once people have reached old age, they know that sooner or later they're going to die. They probably don't expect to have someone break into their house and shoot them at point blank range though, but that's exactly what has been happening in Minnesota. First, there was elderly Morey Gilbert, found on his front path by his wife with a bullet hole in his head. Then there was little old lady Rose Kleber, shot in her living room, followed by another elderly gentleman Ben Schuler - all in their twilight years, all seemingly living undramatic lives, so why would they be targetted by a serial killer, assuming that is what's happening? They were all Jewish, all Holocaust survivors, so could that be the link? Could it be a racist hate crime? A fourth victim, tied to a railway track and literally scared to death, succombing to a heart attack before the train hit him, bucks the trend - he wasn't Jewish and he hadn't been in a concentration camp. So what is going on? With the body count mounting, Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth will have their work cut out trying to untangle the web of events and find a motive, as well as the identity of the killer.

It's an interesting, gripping and poignant novel, examining the concepts of justice, revenge and retribution. As the old saying goes, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and it was amusing, as well as strangely satisfying, to imagine that hiding behind the meek personas of fragile OAPs were gutsy, passionate individuals.

The supporting cast of characters, from wives and girlfriends to ex cops and potential suspects, bring a wide variety of interesting people and I really enjoyed the banter going on between them.

This is the second novel in the Monkeewrench series - I hadn't read the first and, although the events from the previous tome were mentioned a few times, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. There are now nine books in the series - I discovered when writing the review that P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht and, although PJ passed away in December 2016, Traci continues to write the Monkeewrench series.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £6.99

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405916001


  1. Haven't read that one, but it sounds like I will enjoy it. Will check out The Works if they have a copy.

  2. Sounds gripping


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