Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Latent Lives by Larry Parr

The most sensational murder in decades has hit Duluth.  The mayor, her husband and her son have been killed, each dispatched with a single knife thrust to their heart.  They were having a quiet evening at home, watching old home movies.  The only survivor is Linda Lavaque, the daughter and now heir to the family fortune.  The police are stumped as to motive or any viable suspects.

Linda remembers how her mother used to talk about the policeman she found most impressive, John Stauber.  John is no longer on the police force, having suffered a breakdown after the deaths of his wife and infant daughter.  Linda reaches out to him to help her solve the murders but he is reluctant.  He is not on good terms with the police after his separation from the force, especially the man in charge, Mike Johanson.  John had rubbed Mike the wrong way while on the force and Mike wants no part of him.

But Linda is persuasive, and the murders keep happening.  The Lavaque's cook is killed, as is the mayor's main researcher.  The murders also hit John personally.  His sister, Jamie, has just invented a laser device that can locate evidence such as fingerprints that have eluded detection.  Her supervisor is murdered as he discusses the invention and the device is destroyed.  How does this tie in with the Lavaque family murders?  John, Linda and Jamie join forces to try and determine what is going on and who is responsible.  They are soon targets themselves and they race to solve the crimes before they are also killed.

Latent Lives is the first in the Stauber-Levaque mystery series.  There are currently three books in this series.  Mystery readers who enjoy fast-paced plots with lots of action will be glad to discover the author and his Midwestern mysteries.  The relationship between John and Linda propels the plot forward.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

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