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Thirst by Pete Larson
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Thirst

by Pete Larson

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Recently added bysouthernbooklady, FrontStreet
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Thirst comes in many forms for different people. It can be the thirst for knowledge, the thirst for truth or the thirst for understanding. We thirst for acceptance, for faith and for love. In this absorbing debut crime mystery Pete Larson looks at the appetites that drive people to do the unthinkable.

Stu Carlson is an ex- minister and an ex-husband. What he is now is a bartender in the Texan Longhorn Lounge, living alone in his small apartment after serving drinks to thirsty customers all day. He is not discontented, not unhappy with his present existence. But his complacency is shook by two seemingly unrelated incidents, a one night stand with an elusive female customer and the poisoning of a one time customer. It is nothing but an upsetting event until Daniel, a reticent artist who is a regular at the Longhorn, is arrested for the murder. Old habits die hard and Stu is drawn into visiting Daniel in prison. He comes to believe Daniel's innocence so begins to investigate the murder himself. Unfortunately Stu is an ex-minister/bartender, not a trained investigator or policeman.. His wrongful conclusions lead to a dramatic ending to the book.

Pete Larson is able to maintain a crime solving mystery while also delving into the loss of faith, love and aspirations. He created Stu as a man who is stagnating but also comfortable in his present situation. It takes a major upheaval for him to take the next step into the unknown, or acceptance of the past and a chance for the future. The character of Stu is well drawn with an honesty that is appealing. The first person point of view enables the reader to follow the indecision and confusion that affect Stu's experience and personality. The reader is also able to watch the drama unfold as it occurs drawing up the suspense level and increasing the sympathy for the characters.

Thirst is aptly titled as it examines the passions and hungers that lead man to perform both evil and good. Pete Larson could spin this into a series with Stu as the main character or use the theme to create similar human needs based novels such as Hunger, Passion or Itch. It will be interesting to see the next choice of Mr. Larson.
  FrontStreet | Mar 29, 2008 |
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