As plots go this one is no blockbuster but it serves the characters well. They're an interesting lot. After Larson's detailed descriptions you could pick them out in a crowd.
Stuart, the protagonist, is a former minister turned bartender in a small Texas college town. Harry, his bouncer, talks in song titles. Gwen is a mysterious woman with one eye. Actually, she has two eyes but one of them is glass. Chris and Daniel are local artists. Then there's the murder victim, the cops, and various peripheral characters, like Bob, who lives in the alley behind the bar. He keeps jumping from behind the dumpster to warn Stuart that the Handtoools of God are coming for him.
Art forgery and fraud are at the heart of the crime. Daniel is arrested for murder. Stuart feels it's his duty to prove Daniel's innocence. When he starts snooping around he out-Rockfords Jim Rockford.
Art forgery, fraud and murder notwithstanding, THIRST is about relationships -- especially Stuart's relationship with his ex-wife, his relationship with the one-eyed woman and his relationship with God. Larson sorts them out in the last six pages. The ending is choice.
Pete Larson writes up a storm. I hope THIRST launches a series.
Larson's well-done debut keeps you guessing all the way... Jun 19, 2007
I got this book from the gang at Bleakhouse Books just for sending an e-mail.
They give away ARCs from time-to-time with the hope people will type up a small review. I chose THIRST, the debut novel from Pete Larson, because:
1. I like reading debuts.
2. It takes place in a bar and that setting intrigued me. I'm not sure why.
That said, this was a nice little pure mystery with a lot going for it... a troubled protagonist who's a former minister turned bartender, his unfaithful ex-wife (also a minister), art forgery, a couple of poisonings, single malt Scotch, and another unfaithful wife (who's husband turns up dead). And the dead guy's a shady art dealer and professor at the local college.
Our hero--who finds himself at the center of it all--is left to piece it together.