Gator Bait is my first experience of Adam Howe's work, and as the cliche goes, it won't be the last.
Down in the 1930s Deep South, Smitty is on the run after again getting involved with a married woman. He ends up in the roughest of rough bars owned by a particularly foul man named Croker...who has a beautiful wife named Grace. You can see where this is going, can't you? Well, you'd be right, but the inevitability of events isn't the main issue in the story. Its focus is on how sometimes our greatest enemies are ourselves and how some people (no spoilers) are just so broken or evil that they're beyond redemption.
There's a great atmosphere throughout this short tale (not sure if it qualifies as a novella in terms of wordcount; maybe a novellete)- one so strong, you can smell the sweat, the humidity and the beer. Not to forget a certain 'pet' of Croker who lives under the bar. One who likes to bite as you might have guessed given the title.
Gator Bait is definitely on my recommended list. Nicely done atmosphere and characters real enough to make the reader not want to spend any time with them. Highly enjoyable.