Train Games: the Girl in the Red Vinyl Coat

I was asked by the author, Claude Brickell, to read and review his latest novella, Train Games. The suspense began building right away, and I was hooked.

This is a story of a young woman who was severely abused by her stepfather lashing out at any man who responds to her suggestive behavior. What man wouldn’t? She is gorgeous. Still, it wasn’t long until the police began closing in on her.

I enjoyed the building suspense, but was disappointed in the ending. I felt sorry for her, but simultaneously did not. Her desire to seek revenge on men, in general, was understandable to a degree, but was still wrong. Only one of the men she targeted seemed to me to have nefarious plans for her.

I appreciate the author making the point that girls and women who have been sexually abused often believe it is somehow their fault when it is not.

What Makes This Reviewer Grumpy?

  • Mis-using words:  insuring vs. ensuring;
  • beginning sentences with conjunctions;
  • numerous missing commas;
  • unnecessary commas;
  • statements ending with question marks;
  • questions ending with periods;
  • omitting quotation marks when one character quotes another character: “help me” and “gotta go”;
  • misplacement of the word “only” within sentences;
  • split infinitives;
  • singular vs. plural;
  • verb tense disagreement: was vs. were, is vs. are.


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