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Terror in the Tunnel — “The Imagination Station” Series


Readability Age Range



Year Published

Book Review

Terror in the Tunnel by Marianne Hering and Shelia Seifert has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting
magazine. It is the 23rd book in the “Imagination Station” series.

Plot Summary

Cousins Beth and Patrick leave Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inaugural train to travel with Eugene in the Imagination Station. Eugene tells them about a plan that is being hatched to kill the president.

They land in the living room of Captain Ferrandini’s home. Eugene urges the cousins to hide and warns them to remain silent no matter what they hear. Over 20 men attend the meeting, which was called to find an assassin to kill President Lincoln. Ferrandini asks each man to draw a ballot from a wooden box. The one who draws the ballot with a red dot will be the secret assassin. What he doesn’t tell them is that he has placed eight of these dots in the box.

After the meeting, Captain Ferrandini and Mr. Hillard discover the children. Fortunately the Imagination Station appears, and Patrick and Beth are able to leave. Unfortunately, they leave Eugene behind.

Beth ends up in the women’s lounge of a train station. Inside her pocket, she finds a telegram from Eugene instructing her to find Kate Warne. A woman called Mrs. Cherry offers her assistance. She reveals to Beth that she is Kate Warne, a female spy working alongside Mr. Pinkerton, a detective who is trying to get Lincoln through Baltimore alive. They procure the back car of a train in Philadelphia that is headed to Baltimore and then Washington D.C. Beth waits on the back steps of the train for the arrival of the president.

Meanwhile, Patrick finds Abraham Lincoln and shares what he witnessed in Captain Ferrandini’s living room. When Lincoln’s friends arrive, they decide to move Lincoln to Washington D.C., earlier than planned, to avoid the potential danger. Patrick and Mr. Lamon are chosen to accompany the president.

Once in Philadelphia, Lincoln, Lamon and Patrick meet Detective Pinkerton, who escorts them by carriage to a different train station — Beth and Kate wait for them there. It will take Lincoln to Washington D.C. As Patrick departs from the carriage to present the train conductor with a decoy package, Lincoln, Pinkerton and Lamon make their way toward Beth at the back of train.

Once the party quietly and quickly settles in the last train car, they await the return of Patrick. Beth realizes that Ferrandini’s thugs, who are onboard the train, will recognize her cousin. Beth bids everyone goodbye and sets out to find Patrick. What she discovers is the Imagination Station and Eugene. Patrick soon joins them, and the three set off for Baltimore.

The two cousins end up on the crowded streets of Baltimore the next day, outside the tunnel of people formed in angry expectation of Lincoln’s originally scheduled arrival. Beth and Patrick request to join a carriage driver named Old Newton seated above the din. Ferrandini and another man from Baltimore catch sight of Patrick and rush toward the cousins. Old Newton frightens the thugs away.

Eugene finds Patrick and Beth, and the Imagination Station reappears. Though Lincoln ought to have safely reached Washington D.C. by that time, Beth and Patrick decide they must visit that city to ensure his arrival and return his inaugural address, which is currently in their possession.

Christian Beliefs

Patrick and Beth are Christians.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

President Lincoln treats others well and models congeniality, even when his life is in danger. Eugene looks out for Beth and Patrick’s best interests, but he also hides them at a meeting where the participants think he’s an assassin. Captain Ferrandini leads a group of men to assassinate President Lincoln.

Profanity & Violence

Several weapons appear in this story, including pistols, knives, whips and clubs. During the final scene, the crowd grows violent, and a few injuries are referenced.

Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at

Additional Comments

Smoking: Some of the characters smoke cigars.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.