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Eye of the Gator

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Tony Lowell Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a pedestrian start and despite some hackneyed Floridian environmental issues, the second Tony Lowell mystery (after Hour of the Manatee) rapidly intensifies as not one but two psychopaths seize control of the narrative. Divorced, ponytailed Lowell, a Vietnam vet who's crazy for boats and doesn't like guns, is most interesting when he parks his morals and beds a killer's wife. The nephew of an old friend, a young black man investigating a phosphates-manufacturing company, is shot to death. Overworked career-cop Lena Bedrosian, another friend of Tony's and a sometime stick in the mud, asks him to help investigate. The bad guys here, Dickey Cahill and Leonard Smith, are the intriguing characters. Dickey's wife is Tony's unwise conquest. The dead youth had the bad luck to fall for Leonard's girl, who had once tangled with Dickey (and has a kid to prove it). Had Ayres given Dickey and Leonard central roles, this would have been a richer book; had he put more humor into play, he'd have entered Elmore Leonard territory. Still, the vicious twosome are unforgettably bad, providing a nice foil for Tony, who seems a little too good but remains a likable fellow.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Tampa Bay-area private investigator Tony Lowell is an underemployed Vietnam vet and inveterate sailor. He assists police detective Lena Bedrosian (Hour of the Manatee, St. Martin's, 1994) in solving the murder of a young African American employee of the state's environmental protection agency. Tony's quest for information takes him to the inland hamlets of Orange Blossoms and Manatee. While there, he questions the close-mouthed employees of a phosphate plant about a suspicious sinkhole and dodges the abusive boyfriend of a beautiful witness. Ayres exhibits mastery of the Florida setting, a firm handle on characterizations, and a good sense of dramatic timing. For all collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (December 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595162630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595162635
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 19.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,300,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

E. C. Ayres (alternate pen name Gene Ayres), is a former documentary film producer, screenwriter, author and creator of the Tony Lowell Mysteries, and originator of the laid-back ultra-hip Private Eye detective character. At the time of first publication in the early 1990s, such a character as Tony Lowell was unheard of in detective fiction. He was a war veteran but also a peacenik, a beer drinker but also known to smoke pot with his pals, a guitar player, follower of Zen, and muscle car driver but also an avid sailor, nature lover and an environmentalist, who, while ready to go where others feared to tread, refused to carry a weapon. As a result, although published by a mainstream publisher, Tony Lowell has remained an underground cult figure not widely known outside of Florida mystery circles.

After his first book Hour of the Manatee won the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Detective Novel competition in 1992, Ayres wrote three more books for this series. Then, with an offer on the table for a fifth episode, decided to shelve the entire project because it was clear that Tony Lowell's time had not yet come. Ayres spent much of the following decade researching a literary thriller about the Shakespeare authorship (The Shakespeare Chronicles) under a family pseudonym John Underwood (currently a bestseller in Italy under the title Il Libro Segreto di Shakespeare), and taking on a teaching assignment in China that led to two new books: Inside the New China (nonfiction: Transaction Publishers/Rutgers University writing as Gene Ayres) and a forthcoming thriller Dawn of the Dragon.

He lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've read almost all of the Tony Lowell mysteries and this one is my favorite. Tony is a different kind of guy...not the usual expletive shouting, hard-boiled, violence-loving tough guy but a rather soft-boiled, laid-back hippie. I like the fact that he doesn't "pack heat" and doesn't have to flaunt his machismo. I'm a native Floridian, and I'm most impressed with how perfectly Ayres captures the Florida experience, down to the flora & fauna, the smells, humidity, and esp. the redneck personalities of many Sunshine State's denizens. Ayres is a master of writing action scenes(I kept imaging this book as a movie). I love a good mystery, and with a minimum of blood & gore and a lot of humor, Ayres delivers.
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By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The information about the phosphate industry in the novel is very interesting and the plot moves along at a good clip. Like NIGHT OF THE PANTHER, there are lots of villians and the setting is great. This is the second Tony Lowell mystery I have read and enjoyed.
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