You're down on your luck: lost your dead-end job, got cancer, only have weeks to live... So, what do you do? If you're Tommy O'Brien and his friends (one of whom is not-so-stable) you rob a bank. Planning the job is straight forward for Tommy, John, and the shady (and possibly demon-possessed) Sherm. But, as tends to happen with bank jobs, it all goes down hill from there. Gunfights, bloodshed, madness, and miracles round off this fast-paced thriller. While the premise may sound tired, just as he did with his zombie novels Keene has brought power back to the grand old tale of the bank job. Not only has he put a touch of unique, supernatural slant on the tale he has done something so many authors strive to do their entire careers and fail: Keene has written a book that has a huge, beating heart that anybody who has ever been down on their luck (and who hasn't?) will easily relate to and fall in love with. Quite frankly, folks, I'm convinced these characters are out there living real lives somewhere right now (well, those who survived anyway!) and Keene simply wrote their biography. Buy this book now before it disappears
I bought this book because the premise behind it seemed like a good plot. I wasn't mistaken either. I read it in one sitting last night in about 4 hours.
The author guides you straight into the leading character Tommy's life and skillfully constructs very believable characters around him. His two friends John and Sherm are so like many people that I have met over the years that the relationship between the three is compelling. The lifestyle that Tommy and his friends have is so ordinary in so many ways that as a reader I found myself sympathising with them all and this is even though I found some of their character traits unappealing. There is wonderful pathos and even some laugh out loud humour in one or two areas of the book, which gives it a well rounded feeling. I laughed and I actually cried a couple of times and I haven't found a book that has made me do both of these for a while.
I would have loved to have given this book five stars, my reasons for only giving it four are as follows. I feel that the author didn't give enough attention to fleshing out the character of Michelle, Tommy's wife. Given that we should feel extreme empathy for her situation too, unfortunately she appeared a little too two dimesional. Also, I loved the supernatural angle, but I don't think that enough description was given to these areas of the book. My last reason is that I didn't feel the book was long enough, but that could just be because I found it so gripping (which isn't a bad thing), but if a little longer had been spent on Michelle's role and the supernatural side to the story perhaps I wouldn't have this complaint.
Despite my last couple of comments, I would still highly recommend anyone that likes human drama, thrillers and/or the supernatural to give this book a go. I think its a highly enjoyable read.
I often find when horror writers veer away from the genre they do their best work. Such is the case in TERMINAL which is not your typical horror novel though there are some aspects in the conclusion. What could be more horrific than knowing you have terminal cancer and don't have long to live? How will you provide for your family? Tommy O'Brien has the solution. Get some of his friends together and rob a bank. Sounds simple enough. Not if Keene has anything to say about it. Another one of Keene's novels you will enjoy is CASTAWAYS, a nasty spin on the TV reality show SURVIVOR.
This book is too good to describe. I love Brian's books and this one is by far my fave. The charactors and the dialougue in this book make the story. They are so good that I would have read 350 pages of the siting around a table talking and it would have still held my intrest. One of the charactors Sherm is now one of my all time fave charactors from any book as well. There isn't much to say about the book. As the other reviewer said its a bank job story with a supernatural twist. Its really well done though and a must read book.
Having read 4 other novels by Brian Keene I was dissapointed by how formulaic this was. In City of the dead, The rising, or Dead sea any character could (and often did) die at any time, the stories also had a final twist. If your'e looking for something different buy one of those, if you want a good guy lives, bad guy dies, padded out to fill a word count then buy Terminal.