Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Indie Author Joe Crubaugh - Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel

I love when authors write series books. Especially anything Jason Bourne-esque, or I suppose you could say hard-boiled. I love it until I realize that, to-date, there is only one novel or that I've come to the end of the written, published novels. I freely admit it: I get stuck on good series, read until there is no more to read, and then pine for a new installment, another fix.

Cleo Matts did this to me.

Cleo is a secret agent who opposes the clandestine operations of the US government. The book begins on a plane where Cleo is on a mission to keep a man alive. A man that the US government wants dead. When things begin to go wrong, Cleo finds himself saved by the watchers and his mission completely changed.

The watchers are alien life forces who abduct humans, but the humans have no recollection of the encounter when all is said and done. Cleo only knows that they have been abducted because he is familiar with the signs and symptoms. After the abduction and plane crash, Cleo teams up with movie star and scorned woman Julia McMichaels. From there, they are on a mission to save themselves and the world.

The plot sounds a little silly after getting to the alien encounter part, but it works, I promise. I had forgotten that aliens were involved when I sat down to read Terminal Departure, and I was a little leery when I came to the abduction scene.

The story has a few plot holes, one of which seemed like it was going to be a big deal, but then didn't materialize into anything later in the story. After the abduction and tragedy that the characters survived, Cleo and Julia were both seemingly invisible to other people for a short time. It wasn't enough time to help them escape, but enough to cause some confusion. I'm not sure what the author was going for, but it could have turned into something neat.

I am always a fan of action, deceit, and conspiracy, and Cleo didn't disappoint. He was mostly emotionally detached, but able to feel emotions if he let his shield down. He realized this about himself and used it to his advantage. Sometimes these types of characters end up being complete sociopaths. Sometimes this works, but more often than not, it leaves the reader wanting more; we want a human, emotional connection.

It has been about ten days since I finished Terminal Departure, so all of the details aren't as fresh in my mind as they could be, but I think it is safe to say that there weren't any glaring grammatical errors that made the book unreadable. This I would surely have taken notice of.

Sometimes when you read a novel, chapter endings are cliff hangers, and other times they seem to end a portion of the story. Terminal Departure seemed to do neither. While I was involved in the story, the chapter endings did nothing to pique my interest in reading the rest of the story. Luckily, I quickly became vested in the outcomes of the characters. Portions of the story didn't end with the chapters, but there were no real cliff hangers. This was good for my sleeping habit since I could put the book down, go to sleep, and continue reading the next day.

The story ended with, not a cliff hanger, but an opening for another Cleo Matts novel, and I'll be honest, I've already looked into it, and there aren't anymore...yet. According to Joe Crubaugh's Amazon page, he is working on the second novel as we speak. 


  1. Now isn't Cleo Matts a way cool name for a sleuth.

  2. Good review. Reminds me a bit of the X-Files. I'm considering checking this one out.