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Reunion at Red Paint Bay Paperback – January 29, 2013
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—William Bushnell, Morning Sentinel (Maine)
“Harrar tacklessome big issues here, notably vengeance, guilt, and absolution, with the underlying question of when sex becomes rape. But messages aside, this is tightly written psychological suspense from the author of The Spinning Man (2003). Harrar is one of those writers on the verge of connecting with a much larger audience; this could be his moment.” —Booklist
“Harrar skillfully echoes Alfred Hitchcock’s theme about how a seemingly innocent man can be sucked into a disturbing vortex of forces that lie just below the surface of ‘normal’ life.” —Kirkus
"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 novel...is 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
"George Harrar’s incisive look at the soft-focus lens through which we view our respective pasts" —Book Page
“The finale is unexpected and well-earned, fostering intriguing paths for each of the main characters, well past the last page. It’s the opposite of tying up all the loose ends into a shiny bow. For this kind of story, that is a welcome gift.” —The ARTery, WBUR Boston
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
When Simon receives his first mysterious postcard from Salt Lake City, he does not think much about it. Soon after, however, he receives five more postcards from around the country, none of them signed, gradually hinting at some terrible deed that Simon committed in the past. Simon has no idea what it is. The cards continue to arrive, and Simon and Amy become more stressed and more impatient with each other. The final postcard is hand-delivered to the family's mailbox with a message demanding that Simon meet the sender on the dock below the local inn during the 25th reunion celebration.
Harrar slowly ratchets the tension up to the breaking point, in part by eventually giving the sender of the cards his own point of view, allowing him to make his case to the reader and giving context to Simon's crime. By the time the last card is delivered, its writer has been in Red Paint for a couple of weeks. He has discovered and visited Simon's house at night. He has approached Davey, the eleven-year-old son.Read more ›
This both is and isn't the book you'd expect it to be based on that summary. Some aspects are standard-issue stuff that always happens in books and movies but never does in real life, which undermines the novel's deeper ambitions. But the larger problem with REUNION AT RED PAINT BAY is not the lurid quality of the plot, which is mitigated by a resolution that has more to do with theme than with narrative formula. The trouble instead is that the chosen theme, as in so many contemporary novels, is one of uncertainty and ambiguity, the mysterious, inexplicable nature of human behavior and the impossibility of definitive judgments about guilt and responsibility. This is, when well-handled, a potent subject, but by its nature a novel that abjures definitive judgment cannot impress by the sharp yet compassionate wisdom of that judgment, and must instead shine in its portrayal of the complex, often shocking actions it will not analyze. It is here that REUNION AT RED PAINT BAY falls short: Simon Howe is simply not a rich enough character to anchor a novel of this type.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a boring book! I kept waiting for something to actually happen....but it never did. Sorry I wasted my time reading it.Published 5 days ago by Vicky Love
Reunion at Red Paint Bay is a vibrant and suspenseful read. Harrar writes with a precision and intensity found in few novelists of this genre. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mollie Welch
I typically finish everything - bad movies, bad books...but I can't do it this time. I concur with the reviewer that said the dialogue was really hokey - I'm listening to the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Blaire B.
I liked the writing and story but thought the ending abrupt. I thought there were lots of other possibilities
and was rather surprised when it was the end.
I enjoyed reading Reunion at Red Paint Bay. It had lots of surprises and a very unexpected ending.
I would like to read more of George Harrar's books.
On the surface, Reunion at Red Paint bay is a mystery – the kind that grabs you and pulls you through till the end. But it also makes you think. Is the truth the same for everyone? Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robert B Bellman
If you truly want to read a book about the psychological dissolution of a family, go for Judith Guest's Ordinary People. Read morePublished 23 months ago by The Troll Under the Bridge
An expertly written psychological novel that keeps you turning the pages from beginning to end. It is an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Read morePublished on December 11, 2013 by Stanley B. Gibson
Harrar leads us through scary, funny and eerily memory-provoking episodes in this thriller, revolving around hometown newspaper editor Simon Howe, family man with a past (we all... Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by Barbara VanScoyoc