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A new Marcia Muller book is always cause for celebration, and in this brooding, melancholy thriller 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 back stories are worth telling. A terrific read from a master of the genre, Point Deception is Muller at her best. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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!
Along the only coastal highway, Chrystal waits by her classic Mercedes at a turnout near the old driveway to Cascade Canyon, she's put the hood up in the time-honored distress signal. That day, however, the denizen of Signal Port are not stopping to help.
Guy Newberry, an investigative reporter, is one of the people who notices the young woman as he drives by. He doesn't stop because he's got places to see & a mystery to solve & a heart that's hurting from his wife's death. When he reaches Signal Port the first thing he notices is that it is a town in trouble & he's going to lay bare the reasons.
The scene is set for a fine mystery. Creepy canyons, hostile natives, festering memories, illegal shenanigans & flawed relationships with plenty of red herrings, some hair-raising detours complete with the last thoughts of a damsel in distress: a curious device which actually works out well.
A gripping tale of despair & redemption expertly etched out of thin air.
Welcome onto the scene this new character of Marcia Muller's canon of mystery. Point Deception puts us into a closed knit community where everyone is responsible for everyone but when a mass murder occurs the place closes tight like a clam shell. This new murder only serves as a catalyst to cause the world to refocus itself on a town gone paranoid.
Swift finds herself attempting to confront those demons while working on the case. A hot shot author from New York comes to town asking questions that people resent. Swift's mentor starts to get overly violent and the town works in a conspiracy to keep things quiet.
Rhoda is methodical, sensitive and cares about her work but you find a side of her that stays in denial. Guy Newberry, the writer, has his own demons to exorcise but feels the deep pain of Rhoda. The two of them team up to solve not only this present murder but to resolve the massacre of years past.
The characters are captivating and the mystery itself is intriguing as you attempt to understand what makes this community tick. Swift is a great character in this new series that will put Sharon McCone to shame. Enjoy Point Deception.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on July 29 2003 by Suspense & Thriller Lover
This was my first book that I have read by Marcia Muller. I was pleasantly surprised to discover an intersting mystery. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2002 by Tiffany Ann Rogers
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2002 by Karen Potts
Awkward, cliche-riddled dialog and emotions support a inept plot whose torturous contrivances defy any hope of suspending disbelief. Read morePublished on April 7 2002
Thank you once again, Marcia, for a wonderful read! I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend itPublished on March 10 2002
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2002
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.Published on Oct. 17 2001 by P. Tidwell
I have been disappointed in the last few Sharon McCone novels as they seem somewhat lackluster, although I very much enjoy the series as a whole. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2001
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