Terminal 9 by Rushford and James

Terminal 9 is another one of those books I found under those alluring words “book sale.” It didn’t exactly one of those covers that yelled “buy me,” but it did have one of those price/sale stickers that said that. It is actually the third book in a series, though reading the first two aren’t required to read this one. Co-written by Patricia H. Rushford and Harrison James, the 334 pages aren’t exactly page turners, but it wasn’t a complete waste of my time like one or two I’ve read in the past.

Part of the problem is that we see every…single…thing…that happens during and after the death of the victim. There are very few scenes of real drama, suspense or action. Yes, the plot moves along…well, it crawls along. And it isn’t that the characters aren’t interesting, it is simply a case of the editor failing to tell the writer, “you gotta cut some of this, it’s too long.”

An old man in a wheelchair is run over by a train near his house. All sorts of suspects, including the railroad company that wants to buy his riverfront land. The lead detective is Mac McAllister, who’s just been assigned a new partner…a female who happens to be a former romantic interest of his. We learn, through several agonizing scenes, that they’re both still interested in each other, but want to keep the relationship “professional.”

I think one of the things I learned while editing comic scripts/stories is that the lead characters should be characters of action…not inaction. The lead characters should be the ones doing the doing…not having the doing done to or for them. Terminal 9 read as if someone were simply pointing the way around to all the things that happened. It felt more like someone merely relaying facts of a story to me…when it should draw me in, get me involved and make me actually care about what happened. With the exception of Mac, we don’t really learn much about the other characters, and that’s too bad because there are sketches of some really interesting characters.

It would be hard for me to suggest this book to you for a retail cover price of $14…but if you can find it on the sale table like I did, it’s better than the latest book featuring Fabio on the cover. J


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