Creek Bait by Richard Lutman is a collection of very interesting stories, covering a variety ofthemes and featuring intriguing and well developed characters. There is a lightness in tone, a playfulness of words that reflects the fleeting nature of a sexual relationship between the characters. Then stories are deeply reflective of the human condition, of the enduring quest for a happiness that is elusive, of loss, of pain, and redemption. The world building is impeccable, the writing perceptive and deceptively simple, with words that convey hidden import. One notices the author?s sense of setting and how he brings it alive in each story, creating images like the quiet sea below the rough gray and granite cliffs, and the sounds of the surroundings.