TEoD: Chapter 59: As You Wish

Murphy and Levi head to the airport right from the dig site and the body of poor Gideon, because there is absolutely nothing else that Talon would do under the circumstances but take a plane out of that exact airport right away.

The head of airport security is, of course, waiting for them at the airport.  I say “of course” because of Levi, who called ahead and is a Mossad agent, but Ezra Talmi, head of security, quickly figures out what is really going on, and begins deferring to Murphy in every tiny way he can:

“It’s nice to meet you, Dr. Murphy.  I wish it were under better circumstances.  Please leave the keys in the car.  We will have someone from the rental agency come and pick it up.”

Yeah, cause that’s the hot issue here.

And, again of course, he allows untrained college professor Murphy to get in on the action.  Murphy wants to “walk around and do a little looking,” and Talmi responds:

Seriously.  He says this.

Oh, and this will be in addition to the unbelievably huge security force that will be combing the airport, as well as “sniffer dogs” (um, why?) and the security checkpoint personnel being warned to be “very sensitive to anything that might be a weapon” (you’d think that would be a usual day for them, but okay).

So Murphy starts to wander, and immediately starts complaining in his own head about how doing this is “tougher” than he thought it would be.

The airport was packed with travelers.

But nonetheless, he persists, because “[Talon’s] got to be here somewhere.”

Does he, though?  I mean, I can think of at least ten different things Talon could be doing right now, besides waiting at the airport to catch a plane.

But no, because Murphy thinks it, so it must be, and Talon is indeed at the airport.  He is, however, and as usual, several steps ahead of Murphy, and has already dropped the jar and Aaron’s Rod at a safe house, changed clothes, shaved his mustache, and colored his hair.  Holy crap.  He actually watches Murphy come into the lounge where he’s chillin’, and not notice him at all because “he had never seen Talon in a suit before and he knew Talon had dark hair and a dark mustache.”

So, at this point, it’s pretty safe to say that Murphy will not be in the running for Super Sleuth of the Year.

So he checks back in with Levi and Talmi.  Weirdly, when Talmi suggests that Talon might be in disguise, Levi immediately shoots down the idea because Talon “wouldn’t have a great deal of time to put on makeup and a false beard or anything too elaborate.”

Wouldn’t putting on a false beard take approximately thirty seconds?  Just sayin’.

And this makes Levi look especially stupid because we were just told by the author that Talon had time to both shave his mustache and dye his hair.

So, with the idea that Talon having some “minor changes” would “make more sense,” they waste some time having an artist draw multiple versions of Talon with different disguises.

Damn, Talon must be halfway to Australia by now.

Oh, and they only show the drawings to Murphy, instead of to all the different people who have been combing the airport.  And he immediately realizes, when he sees a sketch of a “blonde” Talon, that that was a guy he saw in the lounge.

Okay, so wait.  Murphy has seen Talon.  Like, face to face.  So, out of all the people trying to find him at the airport, he would be the person lest needing to see pictures with various disguises.  He should just be able to see that it’s him, even with a dye job and no mustache.  I mean, can we not just face that Murphy has shitty observation skills and did not spot Talon.  In fact, Phillips straight up says that Murphy saw Talon but “didn’t pay attention to him,” apparently because the thought of Talon wearing a suit was just too crazy.

Oh, and not for nothing, but those sniffer dogs are sure earning their doggie treats today, aren’t they?

So, they all run back to that lounge (over an hour has passed by this point), and “burst into the lounge” with four extra security guards, not doubt scaring the shit out of the “three women, one child, and three overweight businessmen” in there.

Yep, the males are overweight and businessmen.  The women and child don’t rate any descriptors.

They learn that three flights have taken off in the HOUR they spent drawing: to Brussels, London, and Istanbul.  Murphy immediately assumes that Talon went to Istanbul, due to the poor dead guy writing T U for them.  So he must have been helpfully giving them Talon’s travel itinerary.  Because he knew it, I guess.  And because Talon didn’t change it on the fly, like an international assassin might.

And the incredible insights from Michael Murphy just keep on coming: he just knows that Talon is heading to Turkey so he can go find the backpack with the bronze plates that is now in the Black Sea, thanks to Murphy.

Oh, and seriously?  Murphy blathers on about Noah’s Ark and all the cool stuff they found aboard (conveniently leaving out how half-a-dozen people died on his watch) for TWO FULL PAGES.  There in the airport lounge.

Levi and Talmi were trying to follow Murphy’s excitement and story about the ark.

Yeah, I bet they were.  The four nameless security guards, meantime, were…I dunno.  Phillips forgot about them.

And so, as usual, Murphy ends this whole pointless episode by enlisting others to do his work for him.  He dragoons Levi into finding “contacts, someone who could get us a mini-submarine?

“And by us, I mean me.”

And he gets Talmi, who, remember is the chief of security of this entire international airport, to get him booked on the next flight to Turkey, because Talmi certainly has nothing better to do with his time.

Yanno, for Michael Murphy, everything really is always…


Posted on October 14, 2018, in The Edge of Darkness. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m actually kind-of hoping Talon stays several steps ahead of Murphy at this point. That’s right, Murphy is such an incompetent asshole that I’m rooting for the assassin who can’t kill his intended targets and killed best character Paul. Note to any writers: Your book should not be so bad that I start rooting for the bad guy who killed the one character I liked.

  2. LaHaye’s protagonist are always scrupulously exact about handling cars. Taking time to assure proper valet parking while chasing the assassin who murdered your wife is nothing. Buck arranged for his rental car to be returned during a nuclear bombardment, to the rental shop at an airport that had already been leveled.

  3. The series to date has been all about the wonderfulness of the Murphmeister. I wonder why he falls from grace now. Is it because Pastor Bob suddenly thought Murphy was having it too easy, now that the actual action has started (in chapter 59 of this book with 68 chapters)? Or did he leave the boring old writing stuff to his uncredited intern, who suddenly snapped?

  4. Check my math here. The finding Biblical artifact-section of this archeological adventure novel consists of:
    Chapter 53: Plane ride to the location, whining about how uncomfortable first-class airplane rides are on the way there.
    Chapter 54: Recapping finding a previous artifact, some exposition about today’s artifact.
    Chapter 55: Finding the site of the artifact.
    Chapter 56: Intermission: Bible paraphrasing
    Chapter 57: Finding the artifact gone. Roughly interviewing a badly wounded man about who got there before Murphy.
    Chapter 58: Guy who got the artifact before Murphy kills redshirt and gets away. Murphy starts a chase.
    Chapter 59: This book’s artifact has been secured by the bad guy, who gets away.
    Chapter 60+ Going back to find a previous book’s artifact (which both Murphy and the bad guy could have done at any time in the intervening period but somehow chose not to).

    So that’s 2 chapters (55,57) actually being about the hunt for this book’s artifact, plus one exposition chapter about it (2, if you count Methusalem spoonfeeding Murphy again), before the subject dissappears from the plot. Out of 60+ chapters.

    “Subplot” is too generous.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for October 19th, 2018 | The Slacktiverse

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