A Study in Terminal

At only 19, Sean Brogan already knew more than his fair share of hardships. Childhood trauma, poor life choices, and the burning need to just feel loved had led him down a path that twisted and turned until it became a maze he could no longer escape. Now, faced with the tenth anniversary of the event that had shaped every current facet of his life, Sean makes the decision to face the demons he’s always avoided in a battle he has no expectations of winning. As he rides into a home he hasn’t seen in years, he is forced to realize all over again that life won’t always follow the path you laid.

A Study in Terminal by Kara Linaburg is a story about lost childhood, guilt, regret, depression, and the redemption that can possibly come from confronting each of them head on. The book pulls no punches from the very first page, opening with Sean as he prepares himself for death, then continues on to illuminate his journey to that point, often in a tone of gut-wrenching honesty. Linaburg uses frequent flashbacks to build tension and mystery about Sean’s life, teasing the events that have brought him to the present moment in time and giving the book an air of intrigue that makes the heavy subject matter take less of a mental toll. 

At its core, A Study in Terminal explores the theme of death and all the associated traumas that come with one that is both unexpected and violent. However, it doesn’t neglect to shine a light on the other side of the coin and eventually also touches on ideas of self-love, acceptance, and the power that comes from forgiveness. It manages to pack a lot of layers into its pages without creating confusion or slowing down the action. As a result, Linaburg has created a tightly wound and efficient story where even the most minor characters play an important role to the plot progression and have an impactful place in Sean’s life.

If I have any criticism of the book, it’s only that Linaburg was so good at building tension and pacing her reveals that I almost expected something more nefarious and scandalous to be in Sean’s past. I loved the references to his famous, distant family relation and I would have enjoyed more of an exploration into that, although I completely understand why it would not have made sense in the context of the narrative. This book gets a an easy recommendation from me!

Pages: 211 | ASIN : B09PMK43V7

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 8, 2022, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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