When Cariboo Christian Life Pastor Rick Barker wrote Never Again he knew it was a timely novel.
In recent years Barker said he has noticed a rise in Antisemitism throughout the world. This inspired him to write Never Again a murder mystery set in 2024 New York where two detectives attempt to solve the murder of a prominent Jewish lawyer. As they dig deeper Barker reveals a plot to rid the United States of the Jewish people altogether.
“The purpose of the book really, weaved within a murder mystery, is to awaken the reader to the reality of antisemitism on the rise in our time, just as it was before the Holocaust. Unfortunately, recent events in Israel and Gaza have highlighted it all the more,” Barker said.
Barker said that while his book was meant to entertain, he drew on real articles, statistics and social media posts which he wove throughout the mystery. He said that people who’ve read the book have told him it’s a real page-turner and informative.
Raising awareness is important to Barker due to his own connection with Israel. Over the years he’s travelled to Israel 14 times both for personal trips and to lead group tours with the CCLF. He’d planned to finish the book by this October so he could give it to some friends in Israel while visiting from Oct. 10 - 20. When Hamas invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7 that put an end to those plans.
“Obviously the trip was cancelled, and the book was then published at a very unfortunate yet significant time. It speaks to exactly what is happening in our world today,” Barker said, noting that since Oct. 7 there has been a marked rise in antisemitism.
As a former journalist who worked for the Free Press in the mid-eighties, Barker has always enjoyed reading and creative writing. Since his time as a reporter, he’s used those skills to write sermons as a preacher and nine novels including a historical fiction series and a book about his trips to Israel. Writing a murder mystery story had never even occurred to him until last spring.
“It is a complete departure from what I’ve written in the past,” Barker said. “Bringing the characters to life, keeping consistency and continuity throughout the book and moving the story forward to a desired end is quite a process. I’m very thankful for my patient wife, Marci, and a sharp editor, Sharon Campbell, who keep me on track.”
Right now the book is only available on Amazon or by contacting Barker directly for a copy. All proceeds from Never Again are being donated to those in need in Israel, both for those suffering from Hamas’ attack and those who have been displaced by the war. Barker said he plans to send money to charities like Tents of Mercy and the Aliyah Return Center, both of whom help resettle refugees fleeing to Israel.
“Right now, most of it is going to help those who are hurting over there due to the tragic displacement and loss.”