The Shooting Case
  by Cliff Terrell


Detective Fiction With An Interracial Twinge

Cliff Terrell activated Kundalini in the 1970s. At first, he endured many of the usual effects: emotional disassociation, periods of rest and recovery, bursts of restorative energy, altered dietary habits, clairvoyance. He wanted to write about his experience, but hesitated because he felt a book might get lost in the over-saturated spiritual book market brought on by the New Age explosion in publishing. Still, he felt compelled to write, so he began a fiction project that, even if not directly influenced by his Kundalini awakening, was nevertheless shaped by an altered awareness.


Late one night, Charles Appleton, Jr. pounds on the door of a house in a small New England college town. Believing he may be in danger, the homeowners let him in, but are forced to shoot him when he goes berserk. The police find no connection between the parties. The family is not charged.

The Shooting Case Cover

Eight hundred miles south of Coulter, MA, in Charlotte, NC, the Appleton family grows impatient with the futile nine month police investigation by the Coulter, MA authorities so they hire private detective, Trevor Nash. Twice in the national limelight, once as a returning POW tortured by Cuban guards in Vietnam; later as the Naval investigator who prosecuted Operation Tailgate, a rape scandal involving male Navy flying officers, Nash is feeling sidetracked as a result of his over-zealous prosecution of a "good ol' boy" bank executive, and the local backlash against him. He eagerly accepts the case.

In spite of Nash's prickly reputation, Charles Appleton, Sr. decides that Nash is the man for the job. He puts aside his personal investigation into the fifteen-year-old assassination attempt of his friend, Owen Bannister, the former black mayor of Charlotte, NC and flies to Coulter.

Because one of the victims of Operation Tailgate was a Coulter native, the local authorities welcome Nash’s inquiry into the increasingly cold case.

Nash divides the case into three major areas: Peggy Loomis, the woman who was forced to shoot Charles Appleton, Jr. to death to protect her husband from Appleton's savage assault; Lush Puppies, Appleton Jr.’s upscale Pet Shop business that continues to operate under his former partners; any and all information from former classmates and acquaintances on Appleton’s college career.

Over the course of the investigation, Nash discovers that the two cases are related and not only Owen, but many other friends, including his girl friend, Susie Putnam, are threatened by a sinister political machine led by Owen's principle opponent, Josh Reed, the state's senior senator.

The investigation also kicks off an interracial romance between Nash and Tabitha Greer, an attractive black lady, posing as the Appleton’s maid, but who is really investigating her sister’s murder  ...

Read the first two chapters

JJ Semple interview with Cliff Terrell