For the first time ever, three of Richard Barre’s magnificent Christmas stories are collected along with the forewords. Come along for a journey with a few of the best short stories written in the last 20 years. These stories were originally published in very limited print runs over 3 years.
THE STAR is a story that reminds Michael Connelly of Edgar Allen Poe. “A house with an aura, a cloak of the seemingly sinister underworld. A man of intrigue and mystery. A young person full of curiosity and hope. There is a spooky polish rubbed over all of this, onto every surface until it shines.”
Next up is BETHANY. This is the story of a truck driver, a café proprietor, a pregnant fourteen year old and a town called Bethany. In Robert Crais’ foreword, he explains that no one does redemption better than Rod Serling…except Bethany by Richard Barre.
WIND ON THE RIVER is set in the Dakota Territory, 1879 and where John Smith crosses the Cheyenne River into Laney Van Rensslaer’s farm. From then on nothing is the same–not for John, not for Laney and her 5-year-old daughter, not for the injured and comatose husband Laney tries to will back to life. Harlan Coben says it best…”Wow.”
Shorter but much weightier is “The Star” by Richard Barre, in which an African-American youngster in 1953 Los Angeles receives an unusual Christmas present from an Eastern European neighbor, a silent-screen veteran whose severe demeanor masks subtle powers. Combining the period feel of a vintage Ed McBain tale with the eerie aura of a “Twilight Zone” episode, “The Star” glows in memory long after the last page is turned.
—Wall Street Journal
“Although known as a writer of outstanding detective novels, Richard Barre has written a suspense story of extraordinary poignancy that will keep readers at the edge of their seats as they also need to dry their eyes.”
—Otto Penzler, Mysterious Press
“This story reminds me of Poe in many ways. A house with an aura, a cloak of the seemingly sinister underworld. A man of intrigue and mystery. A young person full of curiosity and hope. There is a spooky polish rubbed over all of this, onto every surface until it shines. Barre knows what he is doing and this story shows it. Edgar would be proud because it ripples with the muscle of less being more.”
—Michael Connelly, Author of The Fifth Witness and The Drop
“No one has done [redemption] better in any form than Rod Serling. I loved that show—Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone—where week after week, Serling offered up stylish, heart-breaking examinations of traveling salesmen, bookish nerds, retirement-home foundlings, and other lost souls staring down the barrels of their own lost lives.
Bethany is such a story.
Richard Barre shows the same depth and humanity that illuminated Serling’s work by reminding us—as we question ourselves in bleak moments—of the questions we often forget to ask: Are the switches flipped by chance or design? Are we being given a curse or a gift?”
—Robert Crais, Author of The Watchman and Taken
Richard Barre has long been one of my favorite private-eye writers, but Wind on the River demonstrates what an incredible talent he is. Does it show his diversity? Yes, of course. His gift for language and storytelling? Sure. But more than that, Richard Barre’s ability to move us in ways both subtle and powerful — that’s what raises this story into the realm of greatness.
Greatness. I don’t use that word often. But as with “Wow,” it works here.”
—Harlan Coben, author of Live Wire and Shelter
“The sheer beauty and strength of Barre’s writing gives a glow of redemption that is extremely rare in any kind of fiction.”
—Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune