This is the 2nd book in the Monkeewrench series. The city cops & the Monkeewrench gang are back, the rural cops aren't. Just like the last one, the cops (in this case, the city cops) take front and center. This is probably needed, since otherwise the book would become focused on everything the computer could do, and not on what is going on. Other than Grace McBride the Monkeewrench folks are barely involved, and her only as to how she interacts with Leo.
This was a strong second book in a series. I enjoyed it a great deal, and look forward to the third. It took a bit to adjust to the two main characters for this book having been in a more supportive role last time, but it works. I'm now quite curious about the third! The plot was tightly woven, the ending with that hint of chill and page turning (when it seemed to be over it couldn't be--just a bit too much book left, and then the ending actually came).
This had a bit less humor than Monkeewrench, probably because certain characters were much more minor--thankfully Gino was still around! It was well written, drew me in, not too gorey, and a good thriller--for those of us who don't need gore! Goose-bump inducing and tense, no nightmares.
Excellent sequel to Monkeewrench! Someone is killing senior citizens in Minneapolis, and Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are puzzled - is this a serial killer? The only link between the victims appears to be that they were all Nazi concentration camp survivors. Magozzi enlists the help of the computer geniuses of the Monkeewrench team, who have created a new software to aid in investigations that sifts through the data and finds links between cases.
While I was disappointed that the Monkeewrench team was featured only marginally in this book, I found the lead characters much more engaging than in the first novel, particularly that of Gino, who previously came across as a bit annoying. I enjoyed the byplay between the detectives, as well as the development in the relationship between Leo and Grace McBride, CEO of Monkeewrench. But it was the compelling story and the handling of the complex issues of revenge that captivated me, particularly as I felt disturbed by my own tendency to commiserate with certain characters' desire for vengeance; yet as the story opened up discussions on the issues of morality and justice and the different detectives' points of view, I felt it did a wonderful job of portraying both sides of the issue without detracting from (on the contrary, enhancing) the thrill and suspense of the book. This series has most definitely become a favorite.
Most of the main characters from the 5-star Monkeewrench all make appearances, but they're not as cleverly delineated this time. It's almost as though they gave it their all last time and are just going through the motions this outing. Worth the read, but start with Monkeewrench. It's the better of the two.
I realized as I was reading it how rare it is to have just one death in a book anymore. It's like salad... they have to charge you $7 for a salad so they can cover their overhead, but they feel guilty about giving you a little salad for $7 and lettuce is cheap so they serve you a platter with an entire head of lettuce. They have to charge you $7 for a book, so why only have one murder when you can have 4 or more... serial killers around every corner.
Their were elements of this book that I saw coming. I like the idea of the new Monkeewrench program. I look forward to reading Tracy's newest book, hoping that it expands on it.
It felt at times like Tracy's success with Monkeewrench sent the publisher to pounding on their door begging for a sequel that was rushed instead of allowing them time to come up with another unique work.
But ultimately, I like the characters, they feel real in their issues and interactions (Okay, some of them may be a little over the top [Grace's boots and guns]). And I like the way it is written.
this book was every bit as good as the first in the series. the book had a completely different and surprising premise and kept my interest up to and including the denouement. i really enjoy the tracy's style
I love this whole Monkeewrench series. I've read every book in the series. Interesting characters, lots of information on computer crime. It is scary to know how unsecured your personal information is. I'm from Wisconsin, and my sister lived in Minneapolis, so I enjoy hearing about those places.
Pamalla S. reviewed Live Bait (Monkeewrench, Bk 2) on
This is the Second in a set. I was and awsome story line and I loved the mix of Humor and Mystery. What I thought was really awsome was the fact that the second doesn't dewell on what happened in the first, it tells you only what you need to know to understand what going on. It is a VERY well written book. I loved it.
From 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 elderlyâ"and much belovedâ"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 corpseâ"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 andâ"except for Arlen Fisher, shot in the arm and dragged onto the train tracks to face his doomâ"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 Monkeewrenchâ"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.
Great book ! Highly recommend this duo writing team named P.J. Tracy who happen to be Mother and Daughter. This is book two in the Monkeewrench series. Characters you like and care about, very well written and intriquing whodunnit.
Second in the Monkeewrench series. Not quite up to the suspense level set by the first book. It focuses more on the two Minneapolis detectives Magozzi and Rolseth, and not much time is spent with the Monkeewrench gang. It's been a quiet few weeks for the homicide detectives, no one is killing anyone else, but then an elderly nursery owner is found dead in his greenhouse. And then another senior citizen is killed, and another. I wasn't surprised by the murder motive. No doubt the author meant it to be obvious to the reader before it occurs to the detectives. I didn't guess the murderer, though. A nice fast read, more snappy dialogue, it's still a good story.
This is the second book I've read by P.J. Tracy, a local author (mom/daughter duo--mom died 12/2016). I had heard of the author and Monkeewrench series a few years back but didn't actually decide to read the books until last year. I thought I'd start with Book 1 (Want to Play), which I read last year, and go in order. The writing style is light/breezy so one can easily read a book in a couple days. Thus far, the storylines of the first two books have been intriguing. Book 1 centered around the Monkeewrench computer company; in Book 2 the focus is on two detectives of Mpls. PD and the Monkeewrench crew barely makes an appearance.
The banter between Magozzi and Geno, the two detectives, comes across as a bit "cutesy" or forced. Also, the two large ladies--Annie Belinksy, one of the Monkeewrench crew, and Gloria, a black woman who works at Mpls. PD--dress in wild, brightly colored outfits and have pretty much all men lusting after them. The two men of the Monkeewrench crew--Harley Davidson and Roadrunner--are also eccentric, colorful characters (i.e., Roadrunner is a stringbean who wears neon-colored spandex outfits). Annie, Gloria, Harley, and Roadrunner are so over-the-top that they seem to be cartoonish instead of believable characters.
In spite of these shortcomings, I will continue to read the series.