Reviews and Comment: Terminal Island (2004)

Booklist, Kier Graff, May 1, 2004

The seventh Jack Liffey mystery holds to the same high standard as its predecessors... Thereís a thrilling chase at the end, but the meat of the book is in Shannonís rumination on topics like race, warrior codes and human frailty, and responsibility for sins of fathers. A terrific hard-boiled series offering a blinders-off look at ethnic L.A.

Chicago Tribune, Dick Adler, May 2, 2004

Absolutely riveting... a truly unique vision of Los Angeles... His eye is as dark as any writer's, but it's also one tinged with a wry chuckle of constant amazement.

Library Journal, April 1, 2004

A fabulous hard-boiled series that deserves more attention.

Denver Post, Tom and Enid Schantz, May 2, 2004

Southern California has always been fertile ground for crime writers... and one of the very best of them has to be John Shannon... It's all interesting, funny, believable and often touching, and there's a satisfyingly tense and thrilling showdown.

Publisher's Weekly, May 10, 2004

Morally complex and absorbing novel... The book's emotional power comes from Shannon's beautifully developed theme of intergenerational family relationships... The story climaxes with a highly original escape scene and an upside-down ending that simultaneously surprises and feels just right.

Kirkus, April 15, 2004

Liffey is intelligent, sensitive, courageous, even on occasion funny

Wall Street Journal, Tom Nolan, May 4, 2004

TERMINAL ISLAND is probably the most heartfelt book yet about the socially conscious, emotionally fragile, increasingly physically vulnerable Liffey--a most unlikely action hero whose feats of intuition, verbosity and personal empathy make an interesting contrast to the exploits of his hard-boiled peers.

January Magazine Rap Sheet, Kevin Burton Smith, July 2004

In this era of mealy mouthed and dumbed-down political posturing, Shannon dodges dry, empty rhetoric by fleshing out every issue... He puts real meat on the bones of ideas and real lives on the line and, as always, he asks hard questions that call for real answers... Things are more than balanced by Jack's very real and very human flaws, and a swirling, nightmare climax in the choking, dusty industrial hell of Terminal Island that just has to be experienced. Still, the real treat here, as always in the Liffey books, is the sympathetic intelligence and relentless honesty that John Shannon brings to his courageous, ongoing study of a man and his city.

I Love a Mystery, Michael F. Hennessey, May 2004

Author John Shannon has created in Liffey a realistic idealist, if thatís possible, a man willing to take his lumps to win out in the end... Getting a contradictory, messy, honest, and honorable man like Jack Liffey down on paper time after time is a major accomplishment for author John Shannon, and TERMINAL ISLAND is another star in his crown, another leg-up on the long climb to the top of the ladder.

Books for a, Rob Preece, August 2004

Jack Liffey makes a wonderful hero--a man who cares, who wants to do what is right in a morally ambiguous world, and a man who struggles to make the world better for his daughter and her friends. TERMINAL ISLAND is a powerfully moving story--with plenty of fast-paced action, thoughtful examination of the way the world works, and an ultimately positive message.