Robert Baty’s debut novel opens with two motel rooms across town from one another, containing very two different scenarios. In one, a young girl found in a bathtub overflowing with water, an apparent suicide. In the other motel room, a retired cop who now finds classic cars for collectors with deep pockets. Little does he know that someday the death of the young girl will matter to him.
The retired cop is Ray Connor, and three months later, Evie, a former love, walks back into his life after 20 years. Come to find out, the blond found in the tub was Evie’s only child. She does not believe her beautiful upbeat daughter killed herself as police are telling her so she asks Connor to find out the truth.
Connor agrees to look into Janey’s death and enlists Vince Hendrix his former homicide partner to help with the investigation. It doesn’t take long for them to realize it wasn’t suicide at all, but murder.
As they look into the closed case, the former lovers find they must also work through their past and present issues.
In the meantime, Connor is determined to find out who is stealing classic cars, including his own ’68 Porsche, stolen just weeks ago.
Vintage Connor: The Blond in the Lotus Elite was written in noir style with classic cars, cops, blonds, and murder all on the menu. While we never find out who the blond in the Lotus Elite is, we learn plenty about the mean streets of Oakland, California and the unique world of buying and selling vintage cars.
Robert Baty’s first novel is a winner in every way. The story grabs the reader’s attention from the first and never lets down on the action or suspense. There is always something happening in every scene that keeps the reader riveted and wondering what is going to happen next.
The tension between Evie and Connor is electric. The camaraderie and repartee between the retired detective and his former partner reveals why these two worked so well together when they were on the force.
Vintage Connor shows the seedy side of the multimillion dollar classic car enterprise as well as the more glamorous and exciting elements that attract rich men of all shapes, sizes, and nationalities, and the women who follow them.
Baty has given us a taste of what he has to offer as a writer, and we are looking forward to more of his terrific stories.
A special thank you goes to Buckley Publishing for providing an advance review copy for us to preview. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, Vintage Connor: The Blonde in the Lotus Elite is available on Amazon.com.