Title: The Bait Shack
Author: Harry Hughes
Website of Author: http://hughesauthor.blogspot.com/
Publisher: BeWrite Books
Website of Publisher: www.bewrite.net
Publication Date: November 2008
ISBN: eBook: 978-1-905202-93-5 ; Paperback: 798-1-905202-92-8
Length: 297 pages
Format: Paperback, eBook
Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson – http://www.lucilleperkinsrobinson.com
Dale Cooles does what many men would like to do, but haven’t worked up the courage to do: he quits his job, breaks the romance off with Marilyn, and heads for Long Island in the truck with all his worldly possessions to marry Lacy Chamblet. At the same time Dale is caught in tying up loose ends prior to moving, Lacy is spending the early morning hours having one mishap after another while trying to get dressed for work.
Dale is an ordinary, out-of-work young man trying to make amends for this to his young wife by cooking and cleaning house. Lacy is a secretary for Meredith Holdings. As Henry Meredith’s secretary, Lacy has to put up with a host of weird actions on Henry’s part, but when he hires a giant of a thug with a tattooed crown of thorns on his forehead to collect back rent on all his properties, tension begins to build. Simultaneously, Lacy learns what really happened to Karen Kern and a sense of danger envelopes her office.
Among other duties, Lacy must also show houses and apartments to potential renters. In the process of showing Dale the main house on the estate where she rents one of the outbuildings, she finds a human hand along with a note. A little investigative snooping at the office in the room Henry Meredith keeps padlocked reveals other clues suggesting the man who lived in the main house had something to do with Karen’s disappearance. When things get a bit rough for Lacy in the office, she gives notice of quitting and Henry takes a prolonged trip out of town. All hell breaks loose as we see the bad guy making plans to get rid of Lacy followed by twists in the plot that leaves the reader facing a totally different scenario than the one most likely.
Humor smoothes the way from a Prologue filled with murder to a scenario of a sane man [supposed to be sane anyway] trying to come up with the ideal insanity plea to get him out of trouble. Where other mystery/suspense novels start with a lot of action that keeps building until the climax, Mr. Hughes builds suspense and mystery slowly throughout a delightful tale of romance between an out-of-work young man and a secretary to finding several cadavers buried beneath the porch of an old house that Meredith has been trying to purchase. I kept asking myself just where is the crime, the mystery in this tale, and who was the lady being killed in the Prologue, but when I reached the height of danger for Dale and Lacy I found the story totally satisfying in every way. Bait Shack is added to my list of must-reads.
Author Harry Hughes is a veteran of both the Viet Nam War and the Woodstock festival. He is also an award winning song writer and a professor of psychology. Seven years of his life in New York is the subject of the National Book Critics Circle Award nominated book, Homefires; An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America, by Donald Katz (Harper Collins Press, 1992). Harry’s short story, A River Too Distant, was published, along with works by Edward Albee and Joseph Heller, in Hampton Shorts, Vol. 3, 1998. His first novel, THE BAIT SHACK, is published in paperback (with an e-book digital version also available) by BeWrite Books. The ISBN for the paperback is 798-1-905202-92-8 and the price is $16.99. It will be available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all other major online bookstores and can be ordered from any high street bookshop in the world. The novel is scheduled to be launched on October 28, 2008. You can sign up on Amazon.com right now to be notified of its release. Contact Harry at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Harry Hughes” is also Facebooked. Log in and become his “friend”.