REVIEW OF RICHARD BARRE'S
BURNING MOON

By Denise Baton

If youíre familiar with the Wil Hardesty series you wonít be disappointed with Richard Barreís newest addition, BURNING MOON. The voice of Wil Hardesty is one thatís hard to resist. His quiet passion and dogged determination drive this story of tragic history and covert present realities. Few writers are as adept as Barre at creating vivid imagery that so captures the imagination and haunts the psyche.

Private eye, Wil Hardesty, is pulled onto a seemingly simple case that is sealed shut. A Vietnamese couple drowned when a fishing boat sank off the coast of San Miguel Island on the California Coast. Vinh Tien, the drowned manís father, doesnít believe itís an accident. Vinh insists that his own brother, Luk, may have had a hand in the death of the young couple. Vinhís daughter, Mia, counters that itís all her fatherís fault. Itís a double whammy for Wil as he lost his own son to the sea and he has more than a few bad memories from his days in ĎNam.

Add to this already exotic composite the unexplainable assassinations of young Vietnamese gang members, rappers and Viet Cong veterans. Wil Hardesty finds he is pitted against a chilling hit man, a murderer with military precision who comes into focus with a stunning revelation. The kicker is, he only shows mercy to his victims if they have a pure heart. If they donít, thatís another thing entirely. Wil tries desperately to figure the rhyme and reason of the hit manís work.

Wilís private life turns out to be a factor when he must turn to his ex, Leese, for more than friendly support in this complicated and confounding case. The question is, will she ever turn to him? Wil Hardestyís quest to solve the case and win back the woman he truly loves has a karmic connection. Richard Barre brings forth the nightmares and dreams of Wil Hardesty, a man who alternately conquers and embraces the ghosts of his past. A clever mix of personal angst with political and economical larceny, BURNING MOON is darkly compelling.