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Point Deception [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Marcia Muller , Ray Gautreau , Laural Merlington
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2001 Nova Audio Books
A bestselling journalist, Guy Newberry is known for his articles on the plight of troubled communities. Shortly after his arrival in the small seaside community of Signal Port, California, a town that has never recovered from the unsolved murder of two young families 13 years ago, another nightmare begins. An unidentified woman's body washes up at nearby Point Deception, immediately stirring up old feelings of fear and suspicion. Relentless in pursuing his story, and haunted by a tragedy in his own past, Newberry does not let up, instilling fear in the town's sheriff, Rhoda Swift, who fears his prying will destroy her town. But as more women die and public panic sets in, Newberry and Swift form an uneasy alliance and unite in a confrontation with a killer whose motives are not as random as they seem.

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Product Description

From Amazon

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 Paperback edition.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! July 29 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was hard to put down until I'd read the final page. Plenty of suspense & well-written prose. This is an author who is worthy of the praise she receives. Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Willing to try another... Nov. 3 2002
This was my first book that I have read by Marcia Muller. I was pleasantly surprised to discover an intersting mystery. Rhoda Swift is a pretty strong female heroine and Guy Newberry is your classic guy to the rescue. While it was a little cliche at times, it was basically an intersting story with what was for me a surprise ending. It definitely has some twists to it. I am willing to try another one by Muller and see where it goes...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marcia Muller's new heroine Oct. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Thinking that I had one of the latest Sharon McCone mysteries, I happily took it home from the library, only to discover that this book is about an entirely new character, Rhoda Swift, a sheriff's deputy. In spite of my negative vibes I proceeded with the book and enjoyed it thoroughly. As always, Marcia Muller catches the essence of the California coast and she weaves a wonderful story into a beautiful background. Deputy Rhoda Swift has never gotten over the multiple murders which occurred in her territory 13 years previously, and old memories are dredged up when another murder occurs near the anniversary of the deaths. A writer named Guy Newberry comes to town with a plan to write about the murders,and he and Rhoda form a bond based on past hurts in their lives. Muller creates a nice blend of mystery and romance and leaves plenty of room for future installments in this series.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously disappointing April 7 2002
By A Customer
Awkward, cliche-riddled dialog and emotions support a inept plot whose torturous contrivances defy any hope of suspending disbelief. (Examples include the suicide that's beyond explanation once its use as a red herring is over, and a murderer whose face should be familiar to all but is recognized only by a stranger with a faxed photo.) This book has little to recommend it, and as a fan of the McCone series I was seriously disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book! March 10 2002
By A Customer
Thank you once again, Marcia, for a wonderful read! I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend it
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4.0 out of 5 stars There's Life in the Old Girl Yet! Feb. 11 2002
By A Customer
Kudos to Marcia Muller (and my apologies for the "old girl" remark) for "Point Deception," a welcome and unexpectedly entertaining departure from her Sharon McCone mysteries. To be honest, I've become tired of the increasingly high-tech McCone series, which in the past few entries seems to be running out of steam. I was wary of following Muller in a new direction, but I'm awfully glad I did! This is a taut, atmospheric thriller that shows Muller in top form, reminding me why I fell for her writing in the first place. I look forward to the next Rhoda Swift novel, which is the greatest praise I can think of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Point Deception proves that Marcia Muller.. Nov. 3 2001
writes an outstanding, complex tale of murder and betrayal, even when the book does not feature old favorite Sharon McCone.
Point Deception tells the story of Rhoda Swift, a young deputy in a rural California location who has been unable to bury the past of her first murder case, a case that has never been solved.
A well-known writer is tricked into exploring the area, and uncovering the old case, just as new murders, linked in some way
to the old case, occur. His friendship with Rhoda turns into
a partnership that leads them back in time, and through some terrifying moments, to discover the full truth.
Muller uses different points of view, most notably that of the newest victim, explored before her death takes place, to weave her tale. One of Muller's strong points is her character development; many of the characters here are rich with strong opinions, and no one in this small town can cast stones at any of the other residents - all have contributed to the decay and depression that pervades, and the cynicism that arises from that feeling. Also an impressive creator of scenic areas that come alive under her pen, Muller gives us a stark view of the crime scenes and the forest canyon area that contains the murder secrets of the past.
You'll find the book difficult to put down once you've started, so set aside some time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars New Character Oct. 17 2001
Stand aside Sharon McCone. You have not been replaced but M. Muller has developed a new female detective. This time our heroine is a member of the Sheriff's Department.
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