A new Marcia Muller book is always cause for celebration and in the brooding, melancholy thriller Point Deception
she introduces a compelling new heroine. Rhoda "Rho" Swift is a deputy sheriff in California's fictional Soledad County. She is still tormented by a 13-year-old multiple murder in Cascade Canyon, where two counterculture families and their children were slain by an unknown killer. And when the body of an unidentified woman washes up in the waters off nearby Point Deception and two other local women go missing, Rhoda fears that the anniversary of the Canyon murders has unleashed another killing spree. She's not alone. The scared, suspicious townspeople are wondering the same thing. They're also unhappy that Guy Newberry, a New York writer whose bestselling books have exposed the secrets of other small towns, has turned up in Soledad trying to ferret out theirs. But Rho and Guy have something in common besides trying to learn why trouble has come back to Point Deception: they're both running from their own demons and even the attraction that's starting to grow between them can't change the past.
Muller's intricate plotting and strong narrative flow have won a dedicated fan base for her Sharon McCone series and both qualities are on full display here. She's skilled at evoking the landscape and atmosphere of her native California and even her minor characters (like Wayne Gilardi, Rho's fellow cop, and Jack Swift, her father) are complex and interesting enough that their sketched-in background stories are worth telling. A terrific read from a master of the genre, Point Deception is Muller at her best. --Jane Adams, Amazon.com
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
You can taste the fog and smell the seaweed along Highway 1 in Boucher Award-winner Muller's Soledad County even though it's a fictional entity pasted between the real Mendocino and Humboldt Counties on California's northern coast. You can also feel the despair and frustration that hover over the area, scene of some particularly brutal murders 13 years before. Taking a break from her justly praised Sharon McCone series, Muller creates a compelling (if somewhat predictable) story of a community and its inhabitants whose faith in themselves and in each other has been poisoned by the past. Sheriff's Deputy Rhoda Swift, now in her mid-30s, was a rookie cop who made some mistakes on her first big job investigating the shooting deaths of six adults and two children in a post-hippie commune in Cascada Canyon. After driving past a young woman standing next to her disabled sports car at the Point Deception turnout, Rho turns back to help, but a sudden emergency call takes her elsewhere. The disappearance and later murder of the stranded motorist sets off another round of violence and guilt. Guy Newberry, a successful New York-based writer of true-crime books, tries to break out of the slough of despond caused by the death of his wife by digging up the Cascada Canyon graves. He and Rho forge a touchy, believable bond, and Muller's circle of secondary characters is wide and deep, but most readers will come away from this one humming the scenery instead of the plot. (July 31)Forecast: Lots of McCone fans should be drawn to their favorite author's first stand-alone mystery.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.