Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

Kevin Rodgers posted a great review of Tales of The Rook. Here’s what he had to say:

Barry Reese, the creator of “The Rook”, recently invited his New Pulp colleagues to enter his universe and take turns with his iconic character. Five authors accepted the invitation and allowed their creative talents and imaginations to propel “The Rook” into dangerous predicaments and thrilling plots. I waited impatiently for “Tales of the Rook” to arrive after I ordered it from Amazon, because I knew this anthology would be well worth the money! Barry Reese anchors the anthology with his newest “Rook” tale, which is called “The Killing Games”. Reese’s story interrupts a sea voyage for Max Davies and his wife, Evelyn, who are forced to journey to a mysterious island after their ship is damaged in an unexpected storm. Ruthless Nazis, a mysterious castle, and other surprises await them on the island. No spoilers in this review! Reese’s exciting tale sets the tone for the rest of the anthology! I thoroughly enjoyed “The Miss Beantown Affair” by Ron Fortier. Fortier uses his keen eye for detail and his mastery of action sequences to turn a beauty pageant into a wild shootout and abduction! I can’t stay too much, because I don’t post spoilers in my reviews, but Max Davies/The Rook definitely finds a way to expose the sleazy underbelly of old-school Boston and pinpoint the reason for the chaos. Bobby Nash really knows how to turn up the heat and compel the reader to feel claustrophobic in his brilliant tale, “Where There’s Smoke”! I felt sympathy for The Rook when he steps into a trap and realizes there’s no escape from an inferno. What follows is a fast-paced sequence of events involving a well-equipped, hard-to-defeat arsonist! Reese, Fortier, and Nash rely on action and adventure in the first half of the anthology. The second half of the book, which features stories by Mike Bullock, Percival Constantine, and Tommy Hancock, showcases the supernatural aspect of The Rook’s adventures. Bullock lures The Rook into a labyrinth of demonic intrigue in “Onyx Raven”, an imaginative, well-written tale which introduces an intriguing, well-drawn character named Xander Janus. Percival Constantine ups the ante with The Family Grace, vampires, and zombies in an entertaining contribution to the anthology, which is called “The Curse of Baron Samedi”. Then, at the end of the anthology, Tommy Hancock pits The Rook against Doctor Death in a fast-paced, highly descriptive tale called “The Rook Nevermore!”, which sets the stage for future Rook tales. “Tales of the Rook” is a satisfying blend of well-written, carefully crafted tales which held my interest from beginning to end. Fans of New Pulp should add this book to their libraries without hesitation!

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