So here’s the gimmick for the Barefield trilogy: a middle chapter of ’2000 Miles to Open Road’ is the opening chapter of ‘Exit, Blood.’ A middle chapter of ‘Exit, Blood’ is the opening chapter of book the third…currently gestating and not yet titled.
It’s a cheap gimmick, I know. But not as cheap as some I’ve used in the past and probably not as cheap as others I’ll use in the future. Don’t worry, it’s not the same word for word. I mean, I’m cheap but that’s ridiculous. It’s the same chapter, but from a wrenchingly different point of view. I’ve done it because the books are tied together roughly by location and inevitably by invisible theme.
See, aren’t you glad you asked?
So enjoy ’752 Miles’ from ’2000 Miles to Open Road,’ published in June, 2005 and then dig reading ‘Eight Days Ago,’ from ‘Exit, Blood’ and hopefully it and the third installment will find a home soon.
|Read “Eight Days
2000 Miles to Open Road
With a murder indictment hanging over his head, a pissed-off cop on his tail, and a unknown woman diving into his car during a shootout at the Carson City sewage plant, Hanford Turnbull has just one goal…
To prove his innocence. Not to the prosecutors or the cops, but to his brother. But Hanford is halfway across the country and between Nevada and Texas is a pile of trouble that Hal can’t seem to avoid.
From stealing $20,000 to a DVD of a murder, from a low-rent casino in Vegas to a church filled with self-flagellant priests, Hal simply can’t catch a break.
And during it all, Hal wavers. He wants to prove to his brother–the good brother–that he isn’t a killer. But as situations–and bodies–pile up, Hal thinks less of his brother than his girlfriend and a safe, new life in Mexico.
In a drive-in movie parking lot, he and his girlfriend and brother finally are forced to face both Hal’s haunting demons and the man who created the DVD of murder, and who wants his property back.
A 2000 mile journey that could lead to redemption and could just as easily get him killed. And yet there is no way Hal Turnbull can avoid driving those miles.
But then you check out his eyes and read his fiction. Shoot, he was probably sneaking a peek over W.C. Handy’s shoulder and eavesdropping when that worthy first hear the terrific lyric that gives this collection its title. That Barker guy knows his stroytelling as well as he knows the twists and turns of the hewart and gut in the devil’s music. Fact is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he cut his own sweetheart deal with Old Scratch right there at the crossroads way back when.”
-Ed Bryant, author of Flirting with Death
“Where blues music and horror fiction meet is where the southern cross the dog.”
“Over the space of 50+ pages, Barker slips you in and out of Poe’s mind, his song, and his history. He steps through his life and all his loves. He tests the rhythm of a poetical dirge. His mother is there, Eliza. Starting with her, you see how women influenced Poe positively and men negatively. That should assist you in uncovering the roots of his poetry. That all of these important women, Eliza, Mrs. Allan, Virginia, et al, died with Poe still lost in the folds of their attentions – does that speak to his fascination with death? With loss? Lucidity, and its absence, is a tool that the gifted Barker works well. He shifts us from the hospital bed to a past memory, then to another past memory, then back to the bed. It works, informing and disturbing the reader as the narrator loses himself between history and consciousness. All in all, the most sympathetic and authentic treatment of Poe’s final days I’ve ever read.”
-By Michael T. Huyck, Jr., in his review for Feoamante.com