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Reunion at Red Paint Bay

Reunion at Red Paint Bay

by George Harrar
Reunion at Red Paint Bay

Reunion at Red Paint Bay

by George Harrar


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Red Paint calls itself "the friendliest town in Maine," a place where everyone knows one another and nothing too disturbing ever happens. Native son Simon Howe is a sturdy family man—a good father and husband—and owner-editor of the town's newspaper. Because there's rarely any real news, he runs stories about Virgin Mary sightings, high school reunions, and petty criminals.

One day Simon's predictable and peaceful life is disrupted by the arrival of an anonymous postcard, the first in a series of increasingly menacing messages. He tries to ignore them, but the implied danger becomes more real, threatening to engulf his wife and son as well. The Howe family becomes engaged in a full-scale psychological battle with their unidentified stalker—without even knowing it. Secrets from Simon's past are uncovered, escalating toward a tense and unexpected climax.

More than a conventional mystery or thriller, Reunion at Red Paint Bay is an exploration of the consequences of guilt, denial, and moral absolutism. Harrar weaves a dramatic and suspenseful tale sure to spur readers into examining the limits of responsibility for one's actions.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590515457
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

George Harrar is the author of two novels for adults, including the literary mystery The Spinning Man. Among his dozen published short stories, “The 5:22” won the prestigious Carson McCullers Prize and was selected for The Best American Short Stories 1999. Harrar lives west of Boston with his wife, Linda, a documentary filmmaker. Their son, Tony, was the inspiration for Harrar’s award-winning novel for middle-grade readers titled Parents Wanted, published by Milkweed Editions.

Read an Excerpt

The message on the postcard said: "What good are funerals? They offer no solace. If God had all possibilities in His hands at Creation, was Death really the best He could come up with as The End? Faithfully."        
         The signature was unreadable. The first letter looked like a ragged F or P. The rest of the name ran together, a row of inverted v's, like a child's drawing of waves. Simon turned the card over. Great Salt Lake was scrolled atop a borderless expanse of water. On the side hung a white bag, thumbnail size, marked Genuine GSL Salt. He rolled the bag between his fingers as he walked down the hallway and into the kitchen. Amy was at the breakfast table hammering the keys of her laptop. It was her day to enter session notes.
          He waited for her to look up. "Do we know anyone who died recently in Salt Lake?"
         "I don’t think people drown there. You almost sit on the water."
         "I meant in the city." Simon held the card in front of her eyes.
“It does make you think,” she said.
         "Why God created the kind of death we have out of all the possibilities."
        "Such as?"
        “He could have had everyone die at the same age, or everyone die painlessly, or have the dead reappear as spirits to reassure us they're doing okay on the other side—that one would have been especially nice."
         "Maybe God created all those possibilities in other worlds. We just got the one with frequently painful death and unknown afterlife."
         Amy pointed at the card. “Did you notice? This is addressed to Master Simon Howe."
         He looked again. "I haven't been called Master since my grandmother died and stopped sending me birthday cards."
         Amy reached up and squeezed the bag of salt. "Sending a tourist card from a funeral, that sounds like something one of your cousins would do."
         Simon took the postcard and slid it under the bright yellow fish magnet on the refrigerator, which is where they saved all the odd things they might need later.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"More than a conventional mystery or thriller, "Reunion at Red Paint Bay" lays bare the consequences of guilt, denial, and moral absolutism. The novel can be read on several levels, but it devolves into a book tailored to spur readers into examining the limits of responsibility for one's actions." —Huntington News

“George Harrar tells a remarkable story about a newspaperman who struggles to tell the truth, feeling reluctant to bear the consequences, a story of human failure and hard redemption. The writing, razor-sharp and wildly insightful, creates characters who seem to jump off the page—becoming people we know, people we are. Read this book, each page mysterious and compelling, hiding within it the deep core of being human.” —Elizabeth Cox, author of The Slow Moon
"Harrar's an intriguing and provocative take on some standard themes of contemporary fiction....Reunion at Red Paint Bay is well written even if it invites controversy and criticism. It is a memorable work that could spur some heated debate." —Metapsychology

"Secrets can haunt us. In George Harrar's novel Reunion At Red Paint Bay, secrets hunt us down for revenge." —Interview Magazine

"Ironies abound here in this suspenseful study of universal themes of guilt, innocence, punishment, atonement, and absolution as seen through the seemingly simple life of a hitherto respected man in Red Paint Bay." —Seeing the World Through Books

Customer Reviews