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Live Bait [Paperback]

P. J. Tracy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 May 2005

Live Bait is the second novel in PJ Tracy's Gino and Magozzi thriller series.

When elderly Morey Gilbert is found, lying dead in the grass by his wife, Lily, it's a tragedy, but it shouldn't have been a shock - old people die. But when she finds a bullet hole in his skull, the blood washed away by heavy rain, sadness turns to fear. It looks like an execution . . .

Soon a whole city is fearful as new victims are found, killed with the same cold precision. All elderly. All apparently blameless.

Detectives Gino and Magozzi, race to uncover a connection and their best hope of doing so may be Grace McBride, beautiful, damaged survivor of an earlier killing spree. And the answers, it seems, are buried in a terrible past.

Grace MacBride and Detectives Gino and Magozzi are back in PJ Tracy's Live Bait, the follow-up to debut Want to Play? Live Bait is an exciting thriller that explores the chilling extremes of evil and retribution, and is followed in the series by Dead Run and Snow Blind. Fans of Karen Rose should be paying attention.

Praise for PJ Tracy:

'Her second offering doesn't disappoint. Vivid scenes, realistic characters and humorous dialogue' Time Out

'A fast-paced, gripping read with thrills and devilish twists' Guardian

PJ Tracy is the pseudonynm for the mother-and-daughter writing team of P.J. and Traci Lambrecht.They are the authors of the award-winning and bestselling thrillers Live Bait, Dead Run, Snow Blind, Play to Kill, the Richard and Judy Book Club pick Want to Play? and Two Evils. All six books feature detectives Gino and Magozzi and maverick computer hacker Grace McBride, and are available from Penguin in paperback and ebook. P.J. and Traci both live near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141011335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141011332
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 11.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

After a well-received debut novel the follow-up is always a mighty mountain to climb. Those who enjoyed the first book want the upward trajectory to be maintained, but we all fear a loss of momentum. PJ Tracy's Live Bait proves one thing conclusively: that the phenomenal Want to Play? was no fluke, and that in Tracy we have an American suspense writer with all the credentials to sit firmly in the upper echelons of top crime novelists.

That first book had critics rooting through their lexicons to come up with new ways of saying just how edge-of-the-seat it was, and if the new novel doesn't deliver quite the same levels of tension, that may be because Tracy has other fish to fry here than simply raising the pulse rate of the reader. Lily Gilbert stumbles across the body of her husband Morey in a field, shot through the brain, her grief is matched by shock at the execution-style death. Soon, other murders are happening with the same ruthless precision: old people are being dispatched in the same cool-headed fashion, and the victims appear to have led lives that hardly invited their violent ends. Assigned to solve the deaths are Detectives Rolseth and Magozzi, two very different individuals whose quirky method of working together produces only fitful success--until they light upon the attractive Grace McBride, who has managed to live through a previous bout of bloodletting. But can Grace lead the duo to the answers before more people die? And what are the consequences of delving into some very dark secrets?

If the slow-burn tension here is more tantalisingly handled than in the first book, that doesn't bespeak a faltering grip on Tracy's part: the agenda here is clearly the steady, methodical accruing of detail (in terms of both plot and characterisation) that pays handsome dividends, even if Tracy stretches our patience to audacious limits. Once again, we have the brilliantly observed character building and Hitchcockian assaults on the reader's sensibility. The suspense now is… can the third Tracy novel top its predecessors? --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Slick, enjoyable thriller. PJ Tracy is about to become a household name (Daily Mirror)

Her second offering doesn't disappoint. Vivid scenes, realistic characters and humorous dialogue (Time Out)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was just after sunrise and still raining when Lily found her husband's body. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By Christine L HALL OF FAME
I absolutely loved Want To Play and I couldn't wait to read Live Bait. The authors are really good at making their readers feel that they're right there in Minnesota and the recurring characters from the first book are given much more depth in this one. The story is fast paced and great fun to read. They've obviously put a lot of time into thinking up the plot and sub-plots. But without giving too much of the ending away, I'd have to say that it's a bit too far fetched even for me. I normally don't care too much about whether something could actually happen in real life, but in this case there is a certain point where the plot runs a risk of becoming comical, which is why I only give it 4 instead of the 5 stars I'd like to give it.
That said, it's a great page turner along the same lines as the first book and it had me glued to the pages until I'd finished it. I highly recommend it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up to Want to play? 6 July 2004
Live Bait is another writing success by the mother and daughter team that is P J Tracy.Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth(and all the others) return to solve a series of odd elderly killings.The first few chapters are dull compared to their previous novel, but as Live Bait progresses and as the case unfolds dramatically, the pace quickens.The characters in Live Bait are much better than those in Want to Play simply because they are more down-to-earth, but yet not.Live Bait deals with much deeper social issues than Want to play and shows the darker side of Homicide.As usual, the ending is tight and powerful.Deaths, shooting and honesty are the dish of the day and just like Want to play, the ending leaves you wanting more.Grace and the Monkeewrench crew are all here and thanks to an interview I read, the same characters, by which I mean Magozzi,Grace Macbride etc are all to star in 2 more books.Personally, P J Tracy need to do something different in their next book so as not to become stale, but I can't wait nonetheless...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read 5 Sep 2004
By paul
I enjoyed "Want to play?" alot but I think that this is slightly better, I could not but the book down. An excellent read. If you enjoyed the first you will love this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning sequel 9 July 2004
This mother and daughter pairing superbly disprove their critics by producing a sequel every bit as nuanced and skillfully crafted as their debut. The retention of characters from their first novel - Want to Play? - provides the reader with an anchor through which to examine the issues and dilemmas that arise within; the book delicately addresses these themes - and the backgrounds to them - whilst pursuing subplots of romance and humour. A great read - and one can only hope that the next is just as good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance.....60 years later 15 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Live Bait was written by two women: P.J. Lambrecht and her daughter Traci. It’s one of the few books I have ever read in a single day, so hard was it to put down – although towards the end I started guessing the outcome rather more quickly than the central characters (smart cop and dumb cop partner) Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth. To a large extent this story picks up where the previous debut novel ‘Want to Play?’ finished, albeit several months later. You won’t need to have read that book, but it will help to explain the inclusion of Annie, Harley and Roadrunner in the follow-up, in which they are very much peripheral characters.
After several homicide-free months in their hometown of St. Paul, Gino and Magozzi are back in action when an 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, an alcoholic 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 notice disturbing common threads: each of the victims is over 80 and — except for Arlen Fisher, who was shot in the arm and dragged onto the railway 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. PJ and Traci serve up punchy prose and quirky characters, from a sartorially challenged police chief to a plump, shrewd crime tech named Grimm.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book a page turner 25 Aug 2004
By A Customer
I bought Want to Play? for holiday & read it in two days!!! I thought that was a great book but Live Bait is much better!!! From page one your hooked. The novels races from cop to victim and back again. I couldn't put it down & would fully recommend to anyone who likes John Grisham, Micheal Conley, Greg Isles.
Buy it today!!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIVE BAIT by P. J. Tracy. 11 Feb 2004
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Live bait
It was a good book but took awhile to get into it . That is why I'm giving it only four stars
Published 3 months ago by izzy tranter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Fabulous! As all PJ Tracy books are. Love the kooky characters, love the interaction and story lines are always so different.
Published 7 months ago by B M Charlesworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done
This mother and daughter team are excellent. Mind you I don't think given how their minds work that I would go round for dinner.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs Anne Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing
If you love American thrillers , this author is the one for you , couldn't put it down .Excellent reading.
Published 7 months ago by John W Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD
I love the way these books are written, I could not stop reading it. I now have read all PJ Tracey's books and cannot wait for more to come out. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Excellent well written and really readable. I can't wait for her next book and have all of them so far
Published 10 months ago by Marilyn S
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the characters
Having read a couple of the other P.J. Tracy books I loved catching up with some of the characters from a previous book. Great story and narrative. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Andrew King
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Monkey Wrench
I loved this series of books. Waiting on the next instalment. I like Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner so if you like them I think you are on the right track with this series
Published 12 months ago by Serena Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a good read
The characters are drawn well. It's well plotted and fast paced. A good addition to the series. I will read other books by these authors.
Published 13 months ago by Janet G E Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Fan
I am Big fan of 'Monkeewrench' and am slowly buying all the books. Highly recommended twists and turns- buy and enjoy
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
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