Title: The Complete Gretch Bayonne Series Books 1-4
Author: Steven M. Thomas
Published Date: November 16th 2017
Genre: Literature & Fiction
***THIS BOOK WAS PROVIDED TO NERD GIRL IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Together under one cover for the first time! All four books in the exciting Gretch Bayonne series! This classic collection includes Chase The Rabbit, Rabbits Never Die, The Hollywood Murders and Aloha, Lugosi!
Join Bay from the bar rooms of New York to Hollywood 1932 in this whirlwind romp of suspense, action, adventure, romance, mystery, comedy, disaster, fame, power and deception.
Bay is blessed with an overdose of chutzpah, conviction, and integrity that provides the winning concoction that made me want to follow his adventures through all four books. Bay is a writer by trade, although not without connections. Somehow, his past has afforded him a deep friendship with actor Bela Lugosi, and at least a passing friendship with the Mayor of New York, Jimmy Walker. These are the connections that propel Bay into the middle of his first adventure. Disappointingly, the backstory on how these relationships were formed is not shared with the reader.
Due to Bay’s investigative writing skills, Bay is hired by a woman to find her missing husband in Hollywood. His infatuation with the client leads him to accept the challenge, and he must find a way to get to Hollywood to track the missing person. And so begins Bay’s adventures and career as an investigator. A chance encounter in a bar affords Bay quick passage to Hollywood on an airship with William Randolph Hearst and the Hollywood elite. The ensuing writing is some of Thomas’ best. Bay is offered passage only as a “stowaway”, but with Thomas’ exquisite development of Bay, you know it won’t take Bay too long to worm his way up to First Class. The ensuing shenanigans are an irreverent and funny read, with Bay becoming the center of attention due to his risk taking, magnetic personality, and levered legitimacy of his Bela Lugosi connection.
Book one ends in nice fashion with Bay nearly overcoming a plot to blow up the airship by a German conspiracy. There is nothing this guy can’t do, but to Mr. Thomas’ credit, he makes this believable.
Book two begins in the aftermath of the airship demise. No, Bay wasn’t able to avert it, but he was able to save all humans onboard. The goal now is to get to the truth of what happened…..who was behind the crash, and what was the motive. To explore this, the author partners Bay with another infamous, elite columnist Wolf to get to the bottom of it. I felt that the series bogged down at this point, and as a stand alone book, it was slow. There was insufficient suspense to keep me interested, and there was no closure on the storyline.
Book Three is a great standalone novel. Mr. Thomas adequately describes the transition in Hollywood from silent films to talkies, and the transition of Bay from writer to actor by way of his interactions with Bela Lugosi. When a series of murders erupts in Hollywood, LAPD investigator Bannon calls upon our hero to be a second set of eyes in the investigation. Again, to author Thomas’ credit, this is believable, because Bay is, well, he’s Bay! The story tension in book three is strong during the murder investigation, however, I felt the revelation of the murderer was incomprehensible due to the circumstances. By the end of this book, Bay’s notoriety has grown to the point that President Roosevelt has summoned him to a meeting!
Lugosi is missing after his expected return from a Hawaii honeymoon is the premise of book four. Bay, of course, books a charter to the islands in order to find his friend. The extended pursuit of finding Bela in the remote Hawaiian islands was a drawn out series of mishaps that didn’t capture my attention at all.
Overall, the series is an enjoyable escape due to Thomas’ compelling main character. I’d follow this guy anywhere. I didn’t feel the multi-book serial format worked well for the story though. Solid editing of the ample material in this four-book series would make for one to two tight novels that would be more compelling reads! I would have liked to see more interaction between Bay and his historical Hollywood comrades, as well as a bit more development of the relationships between them. All in all, Mr. Thomas has a winner with the development of his character Gretch Bayonne, and I will happily read of Bay’s future exploits.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
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