|Plot Summary of Point Deception|
A decade-old unsolved mass murder is still causing tension in a small town on the coast of California. When a semi-retired writer shows up to tell the story, they shut him out. Even as he presses, new deaths start popping up, leading the local police--who still feel guilty for screwing up the first time--to believe that there is a connection. Truths that the townspeople would have preferred to keep buried keep revealing themselves, but as the danger increases, the town comes back to life.
This synopsis report prepared by Sarrah
Mysterious, Jul 2001, 23.95, 305 pp.
Almost thirteen years ago, Rhoda Swift's career in law enforcement seemed over before it started. She was a rookie when she was the first officer to arrive at the site of the massacre of two families including children. However, the blood samples needed to potentially identify the killer were somehow lost and the first year cop took the blame though she knew she was innocent.
Hard work has helped her overcome some of her loss of credibility with the Soledad County, California deputy sheriff department. Five days before the anniversary that started Rhoda's nightmares, journalist Guy Newberry arrives to write the definitive true story about the crime. October would have been enough to raise fears, but with the New Yorker mucking around followed by a new murder, apprehensions attain dangerous levels, as no one in the county trusts anyone else.
POINT DECEPTION is an exciting police procedural that centers on collective guilt and redemption. The townsfolk still feel culpable for the deaths of the two families and the recent homicide while Rhoda sees a second chance to prove her worthiness as a detective. The story line is cleverly designed to highlight emotions and reactions and Guy brings in the right mix of romance and cynicism that strengthens those feelings. However, most Marcia Muller fans will keep expecting for the great Sharon McCone to show up at High Noon. Rhoda is a good protagonist, but readers know McCone, and consider McCone a friend, and Rhoda is definitely no McCone.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Point Deception|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 60%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
How difficult to spot villain?
- Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- solving long-past murder
- Big focus on forensic evidence
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- life in small town
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Who's the criminal enemy here?
- catching con-artist
Small town people:
- hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids
- fancy mansion
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
- very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies
Explicit sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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