Sneak Peek: The Chicago Terminus

Today we have a sneak peek from author John C. Payne’s mystery novel, The Chicago Terminus.

Rod Richards hooks up with an old Army buddy who owns a P.I. agency. Richards is hired to track Shamus Fenerty, a trucking giant and big Democratic contributor suspected of infidelity. Later he is hired by a wealthy Vietnamese immigrant to find her son, given up to an orphanage at the fall of Saigon and subsequently adopted by a Chicago family. Green Bay and Door County Wisconsin will come into exciting play. The many twists and turns will keep the reader in suspense, not to mention Rod’s somewhat truncated personal life issues.

The Chicago Terminus is available through and Amazon UK.

And now, an excerpt from The Chicago Terminus…


HIS strong hands gripped the weathered wooden guard railing of the gigantic cruise ship. It was dark outside. He made sure there wasn’t anybody lingering in the rear of the ship. Beads of sweat formed along his receding blond hairline. He was drained of all emotion. Streams of salty spray slapped his face. The Caribbean was acting up, unusual for the normally smooth-sailing cruise season. Bolts of lightning streaked across the sky creating figures resembling racing chariots of old.

Rod raised his right leg and slid it up over the railing and paused for a second. He stared down into the choppy water and saw flaming red devils riding the backs of sleek dolphins. There were three of them. The lead devil was carrying the head of his mother, followed by the other two dolphins with the smaller devils waving triumphantly the heads of his father and kid sister. All three had been decapitated and their bloody skin flaps were jerking frantically in the breeze.

“Janice, oh Janice my dear deceased wife, why have you abandoned me?” he shouted as he lifted the entire weight of his body up on the railing, precariously balancing in a prone position on the six-inch wide structure. Just as he was getting ready to release his grip and flip overboard, a strong hand grabbed his upper left arm and yanked him from the guard railing.

“You big jerk, leave me alone, mind your own business,” he turned and shouted at the figure who released his grip but not until Rod was safely back on deck. Rod balled up his right hand into a tight fist and swung as hard as he could at the face staring back at him. The man behind the grim face easily deflected it.

“Rod Richards, it’s me, Bradley Simmons you crazy idiot. I’m your old buddy from way back when we wore combat boots. What the hell’s going on here?”

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