How is a Goth teen involved in the murder of a city councilman? Former police officer Niki Alexander risks her life to find out. When a homeless teenage girl wakes up in Houston’s Tranquility Park next to a murdered city councilman and then disappears, Homicide Investigator Luis Perez turns to his ex-partner Niki Alexander. Now a counselor with a teen shelter, she may be his only hope in locating the girl. Three years earlier Niki quit the Houston Police Department after a fatal shooting involving a teenage boy. Haunted by the memory and the guilt, she is driven to help troubled teens who have run away or been abandoned. Soon she suspects that the missing teen is a street girl she knows as Jade. Niki fears there is more of a connection between Jade and murdered man than was initially apparent. Niki’s search takes her among homeless teens, and into predominantly male gay bars, where dangerous secrets are revealed. She soon realizes she isn’t the only one desperate to find the girl. The closer she gets to the truth, the more her own life is at risk.
Midwest Book Review says:
Elvebak delivers a gritty mystery focusing on the sad and traumatic lives of runaway teens. Plenty of red herrings are offered along with a suspenseful plot and realistic characters. Elvebak’s credible dialogue enhances the story, which moves at a fast pace. Visual imagery is at times graphic, although essential to this well-written thriller.
Less Dead turned out to be a book that I really had problems putting down. Every page brought a new problem for Niki and Rube. And every time I thought I knew who was to blame for the murder of the Councilman and the street girls, is found that I was wrong. Less Dead will really keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages.
Martha A. Cheves, A Book and A Dish
Laura Elvebak has also been published in several anthologies, optioned two screenplays; co-written, directed and acted in a play, and co-wrote a short film for the 48-Hour Film Project. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters-In-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and The Final Twist Writers. She writes two blogs: http://www.laurelvebak.