Reviewed by Paula Limbaugh
Richard Farren Barber has written plenty of short stories and novellas but never a full-length novel, this is a first and a brilliant one at that! The Living and the Lost is a uniquely different type of ghost story, a supernatural tale that takes ghostbusting to a ‘whole nother level’.
Our protagonist Karl has been drifting in and out of jobs since leaving school but when he hires on with the Department of Environment and Waste, he has finally found his calling. Not that he expected his job would be to help usher the dearly departed to the great beyond but after a few jobs with his mentor, Archie, he’s hooked.
Things are going along swimmingly as Karl begins to pick up tricks of the trade from Archie that is…until the latest call for help. Sometimes the dead can get a bit confused and aren’t sure what to do when they pass over from the living that is where Archie and Karl come in to help with the transition but then you have those who don’t want to let go they fight to come back and possess the bodies of the living. These are The Lost.
Something goes terribly wrong at that last job and Archie is mortally wounded, now in a battle with The Lost for Archie, Karl finds that there is so much that has been kept from him and it isn’t only The Lost that he must protect Archie from.
The story moves along at a quick pace and will keep your interest throughout. The characters are well-developed and relatable. Kudos to Richard Farren Barber for an excellent first novel debut! I hope you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did. Available in both e-book and paperback format you can pick up a copy HERE!