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.
“Adam Howe writes dirty stories populated with characters working like hell to leave a scum ring around the tub while they circle the drain. Gator Bait starts with mutilation and murder then shoves a rocket up its ass and goes south from there. Sticky, icky, pure pulp fun.” —Jedidiah Ayres, author of Peckerwood
“Adam Howe’s Gator Bait is a steamy, disquieting piece of bayou noir that you can’t help but eat all in one sitting. It won’t settle your stomach, but it will stay with you long after you’ve digested it.
“The story is familiar enough to 1930’s noir fans: a down on his luck drifter finds himself in a rundown honky-tonk, trying to make enough money to skedaddle to greener pastures. Looming over the inevitable love triangle is the specter of Big George, a terrifying avatar of backwoods vengeance. Indeed, the theme of revenge is woven throughout the narrative, from the horrible violence that precipitates the protagonist’s journey to the brutal, disturbing ending that you hope against hope won’t come to pass.
“There’s a sickening inevitability to the plot, but Howe takes us by the bloody, maimed hand and skillfully makes us care about what happens to all of the characters, even the villains. If this is indeed based on a true story like it’s touted, I’m staying out of the willywags no matter how good the firewater might be in the honkytonks. Sit yourself down, grab a mason jar of hooch, and get reading.” —David Dubrow, author of The Blessed Man and the Witch
“Gator Bait is a fast-paced, cleverly-written truncheon of swampy, jet-black neo noir. Hard-hitting and gut-wrenching, resonating with bone-snapping action and filled with well-drawn, all-too-human characters, Gator Bait bites hard and fast–and leaves a mark.” —Walt Hicks, author of Dirge of the Forgotten
“Neo-noir at its very best. The first thing you’ll do when you finish Gator Bait, is read it again.” —Zombie Rob at The Slaughtered Bird
“From its brilliant opening Adam Howe‘s short n sharp novella Gator Bait grabs you by the throat and drags you through the down and dirty world of 1930s Louisiana. A sleazy piano makes one mistake after another in this atmospheric, brutal and darkly comic noir tale. I loved it.” —Paul D. Brazill
THE SLAUGHTERED BIRD
by Zombie Rob
“Adam Howe, first & foremost, has told me another extraordinary story. It’s Porky’s crossed with Angel Heart (with a dash of Lake Placid) but this is both underselling it and over-simplifying it. He’s taken the darkest noir and combined it with an original & compelling yarn to produce something new and exciting and encouraging. My expectations were impossibly high for his new material after Black Cat Mojo, so I’d heaped a great burden upon GATOR BAIT. Instead of meeting these expectations though, GATOR BAIT exceeds every one.”
By Matt Craig
“A blackly-comic noir tale that is infused with a sense of growing horror, Gator Bait is the perfect way to spend a dark evening reading. Chilling and unsettling, it is clear that Adam Howe knows exactly what buttons to press to manipulate his audience. I’ve already mentioned Cain’s Postman: Gator Bait is perfect for fans of that classic and shows that Howe has the chops to compete with some of the biggest names in the industry. Don’t be put off by his small-press origins: this is a talent that can only stay hidden for so long and an author that we’re likely to be talking about much more in the very near future. Get on at the ground floor; I can guarantee you won’t regret it.”