Death Train: Ticket to Ride by Randall Ray Peterson

Publication Date: October 29, 2012


Death Train: Ticket to Ride by Randall Ray PetersonDeath Train: Ticket to Ride by Randall Ray Peterson, takes place in the 1960s in Montana. Kurt and Jesse are hiding from a bully in the basement of a funeral home when they discover a miniature replica of their town and a train full of ghosts. They watch as a man for whom they worked is led from his home to the train and it all seems a bad dream until they discover the next morning that the man has died. They have a big problem, the damaged the train in their haste to get away and what was once contained in the little town is now reeking havoc in Comanche County. Can they stop it before its too late?


Randall Peterson has been a great support to me on Twitter and I wanted to repay him, in a sense, with a review of his book. This does not in any way mean that I intend to insult anyone with a flattering review of an undeserving book. I think you can see in the concept that any flattery given this book is very richly deserved.

Death Train: Ticket to Ride has a very real sense of time and place. From the music to the James Bond reference (the town hood wants a car phone like James Bond — the phone first appeared when Sean Connery played Bond in 1963s From Russia with Love), to the snappy patter and hot cars. In actual fact, the chatter seems maybe still a little stuck in the 1950s as one would expect of a small town.

Kurt and Jesse are very well-developed characters. We see their ingenuity in the way they approach the problem that they caused a death train that isn’t happy just taking on folks who died naturally. They are fearless but in a way that the reader can believe boys of that era who are accustomed to relying on themselves would be.

The storyline was phenomenal. As you can see from the description, it’s a rare and extremely interesting plot. To add to the mix, there’s a subplot involving the funeral director not being all he seems to be and the cultivation of a human head! Where will Peterson go with that! The quality of writing in this work only serves to enhance a spectacular reading experience. What follows is extracted from Location 871 in the Kindle version:

The strands of blonde hair were now the blooded webs from a monstrous stalking spider, grilled in the sun until they became like tangled barbed wire.


I did find the character of Chloe to be shallow. She’s a beautiful girl who is kind to kids who are weaker, loves someone she shouldn’t and goes out with another person she shouldn’t. She gets a moment in the sun at the end but before that moment when she was in the narrative, she seemed to be all surface.

Overall this book was a spectacular read. I wouldn’t call it horror, though it may qualify. I think it would be misleading to call it paranormal, though it might qualify for that genre as well. I would call this novel unique.Death Train: Ticket to Ride is like nothing I’ve read before and I’d like to read more.

Read an excerpt and buy Death Train: Ticket to Ride by Randall Ray Peterson on

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About Randall Ray Peterson
Randall Ray Peterson posts a new short story every Sunday on his blog. For more information about him, visit his blog. You can connect with him on Goodreads and Twitter @ItsOnlyMeAndYou.

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