Prohibition-era 1930s… After an affair with the wrong man’s wife, seedy piano player Smitty Three Fingers flees the city and finds himself tinkling the ivories at a Louisiana honky-tonk owned by vicious bootlegger Horace Croker and his trophy wife, Grace. Folks come to The Grinnin’ Gator for the liquor and burlesque girls, but they keep coming back for Big George, the giant alligator Croker keeps in the pond out back. Croker is rumored to have fed ex-wives and enemies to his pet, so when Smitty and Grace embark on a torrid affair…what could possibly go wrong? Inspired by true events, Gator Bait mixes hardboiled crime (James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice) with creature horror (Tobe Hooper’s Eaten Alive) to create a riveting tale of suspense.
Gator Bait is a novelette that did not take long to read at all.
Set in the 1930’s in Louisiana, I couldn’t help but try speaking in my head in the accent that the characters would be speaking in. I love the dialect from that part of the world and the author kept it very real in the way that the characters spoke.
Smitty is your stereo typical male. After running away after having three of his fingers chopped off by a wronged husband, you would think that Smitty would learn his lesson and keep away from married women. But then that wouldn’t make a great story would it? No, Smitty, luckily for us readers doesn’t learn from his past experience and starts having an affair with Grace, his new bosses wife.
Croker is a horrible person who fancies himself as something of a celebrity after having his leg eaten by a giant alligator. He went on to capture Big George and keeps him as an attraction at his seedy establishment. He is very much a bully and a very dislikeable character.
As the story goes a long you just know which way the story is going but have to say I did not expect the ending which I absolutely loved. I honestly did not realise at the start of this story that by the end I would be giving it the rating that I have. It’s just one of those stories that starts off quite subtly then just gets better and better the further you get into it.
Would certainly recommend for a read that is probably very different from your usual genres but I am pretty confident most readers will enjoy.
Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Gator Bait is available to purchase from Amazon