Babylon Rising, Chapter 41, Part 2

Talon needs to go back down to the church basement to retrieve the keys he Left Behind.

Happily, he has been hanging out in the church parking lot, in a way that I am sure is not suspicious at all, so it’s not a long walk.

Laura Murphy sees him.  And duh, recognizes him as “The creep who had been hanging around with Shari’s brother.”

So instead of enlisting one of the, I’m sure, countless policemen, FBI agents, or emergency workers, Laura just follows Talon down into the basement like an idiot.

Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, she has no right to be surprised when Talon grabs her throat before she is even three steps into the basement.

I, however, am suprised that either of them could get down to the basement at all.  It is, we are told, the morning after the bombing, which took place on Wednesday evening.  And the FBI and local police are still there.  And they just leave the scene of the crime alone and unguarded so that any random asshats can wander around and tamper with evidence or hurt themselves?

I guess they must, though, as Talon and Laura are entirely alone.  He grabs her throat and unleashes his Villain Soliloquy:

“I can’t do anything to that husband of yours while he’s still useful to us.  But nobody said anything about needing you.  And without you, maybe your husband will have more time to work a little quicker.”

Okay, that makes no sense whatsoever, but I’m going to ignore that, because The Seven actually don’t.  So more on this later.

Talon crushes Laura’s windpipe, and the Good Christian Wife begins to pray…

Oh yeah, who called it?

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Posted on June 8, 2010, in Babylon Rising, Books. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Yeah, where are all the crime scene guys during this? They don”t just put up a perimeter and lounge around trading artful quips… even in Miami…

    I guess Talon could be disguised as one of the investigators – actually that would be a reasonably smart move with a multi-agency foulup like this – but I haven’t seen it mentioned. Even then it would be a little fiddly to murder someone while surrounded by other scene techs.

    Hmm. Maybe they’re waiting for the explosives specialists to arrive and nobody’s allowed in until then? Yeah, I’m reaching, but I have to be strictly fair about this stuff.

    I cannot help but feel that the blatantly non-exploded body of Laura will further confound the narrative that Talon’s trying to make his crime scene tell.

    Flee, Isis! Flee before your brain dribbles out of your ears the way Chloe Steele’s did!

  2. Oh, good Lord. Are LaHaye and Dinallo trying to be as unsubtle as they can possibly be about getting Irene SteeleLaura out of the way so Rayford SteeleMurphy can go off and date Amandahis cute lab assistant?

    Sheesh. :I

    For people trying to promote “Biblical” attitudes they’re doing a fine job of promoting male vanity and venality instead.

  3. Oh, good Lord. Are LaHaye and Dinallo trying to be as unsubtle as they can possibly be about getting Irene SteeleLaura out of the way so Rayford SteeleMurphy can go off and date Amandahis cute lab assistant?

    Sheesh. :I

    For people trying to promote “Biblical” attitudes they’re doing a fine job of promoting male vanity and venality instead.

    (sigh) and I fail at comments, too.

  4. Crushes her windpipe? Crushes her windpipe!? Where are the CLAWS? You can’t have a supervillain name like “Talon” if you’re not going to use your claws…

  5. I’m too lazy to double-check all of this, but Talon’s on-screen body count so far includes the window-washer, the Ambigiously Gay son, Shari’s brother, and now the wife. Each murder has, IIRC, been performed in a different manner: shot, complex medical machine, throat slashed, windpipe crushed. (I could have one or two of those wrong…)

    If your hired professional killer has a sharpened finger-thingy, why wouldn’t he pertty much always use that to kill people unless some subterfuge is necessary? There’s something very unseemly about all of these murders happening in such diverse ways with such attention given to the means…

    • I wonder if L&D actually did read those stories where a killer using the same MO gets caught because he doesn’t use variety. Actual creative bypassing of a known way to get caught would be mind-blowing.

      Then again it could just be accidental and L&D are really unimaginative as bricks.

      • I don’t think it’s either of those.

        I guess what bugs me is the whole ‘torture porn’ element. Excessive attention to detail, unnecessary (to the plot) killings performed in exotic manners. The reason Talon keeps killing people in creative new ways is that L&D know the audience really likes reading about it, and they’re able to hand-wave the salacious nature by having all the killing either being done by “eevil” persons or to unsaved persons, or both.

        I mean, it COULD work towards creating tension in a scene. But I don’t think it does. A crushed windpipe COULD be a slow, painful way to die for the Good Christian wife, unable to pray aloud as darkness closes in. But you know what? A slashed throat would also be a pretty awful way to die, unable to pray aloud as darkness closes in.

        Instead, this variety of death actually works against forwarding the plot. If one person after another tied to the protagonist dies from a slashed throat, then our ‘hero’ will realize he’s being hunted, and we can have a nice protagonist/antagonist tension. It even lets our hero appear clever when he discovers the window washer’s throat was cut, and when the actual cause of death of the Detroit mogul’s son turns out to be a slashed throat, and realizes the scope of the conspiracy.

        As we’ve already seen, the variety of killings works against building Talon as a character. So the only reason I can see (from a narrative perspective) for the variety of killings is that unsavory delight in seeing a variety of death.

  6. It’s almost like LeHaye is justifying his character to be a serial polygamist in the only way acceptable to RTCs: Trading the Old Model for the New Hotness, by the expedient of, not divorce, but by killing off the wife. LeHaye just committed the same atrocity that DC did when they shoved Green Lantern’s wife into the fridge. Laura Murphy has just become the latest Woman in the Refrigerator.

    So, Mike Murphy, Greatest Archaeologist of All Time (GAAT) is modeled after LEHaye’s son-in-law. Who is presumably married to LeHaye’s daughter, and is also LeHaye’s self-insert Gary Stu. Who wants to take bets that Shari is similar to LeHaye’s daught– EW! EW! EW! FRACK EW! I’m sorry! That went places I didn’t want it to go! EW!

  7. Brain bleach, please, Mink. Lots and lots of brain bleach. And please, please hurry…

    • It’s perhaps not quite so bad as all that. Sure, the Shari/Murphy relationship treads dangerously close to the Inappropriate Line, but Murphy ultimately ends up with Isis, not Shari. Which is tragic in any number of ways, given the fact that the Isis who presently kicks ass will morph into the Isis that is an acceptable Christian dating prospect, but is not quite so bad as killing off your son-in-law’s avatar’s Perfect Christian Wife to make room for the Perfect Christian Research Assistant.

      I think.

      • Oh, whew. For a moment I thought it had been suggested that Shari is the one who ends up with Murphy. Isis is… from a squickview, it’s better, but it’s like a horrible character derailment. (I saw too many of those in Dominic Deegan to really be ever comfortable with seeing it ever again, let alone in literature or ‘literature.’)

  1. Pingback: Babylon Rising, Chapter 48 « Heathen Critique

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