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Point Deception Mass Market Paperback – May 2002


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Mass Market Paperback, May 2002
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Reprint edition (May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446611360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446611367
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 16.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,120,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Will grow on you while you least suspect it. A winner by stealth.' Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian 'Impeccably written and fast moving, this is straight down-the-line mystery writing at its best.' The Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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ther way the first thing to do is lose the evidence. Lose it good like it was before. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
With her Sharon McCone series safely ensconced as one of the genuine gems of the genre, Marcia Muller takes a break to create another memorable female character. Rhoda Swift was a rookie cop who made some mistakes of judgement and trust on her first big job 13 years ago as she investigated the shooting deaths of six adults and two children in a druggy commune in Cascada Canyon in the fictional Northern California area Muller calls Soledad County. Now Rhoda is just one of many depressed or distracted local residents who pass by without stopping to help a stranded young woman standing next to a disabled car. When that woman is found murdered, it sets off another round of violence and guilt connected to the original killings. Guy Newberry, a New York-based writer of best selling true crime books, tries to climb out of the depressive ditch caused by the death of his wife from cancer by digging into the Cascada story. He and Swift forge a prickly bond, and Muller's circle of secondary characters is wide and deep (especially Rhoda's retired cop father, her floundering former partner and the stranded young woman). The result is an involving story of a community and its inhabitants whose faith in themselves and in each other has been badly damaged by an unsolved crime. And the impeccably created Soledad County setting will make you wonder if you've ever driven through without stopping on your way to or from Big Sur...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Review Summary: Point Deception is a strong novel, built around a superb sense of place. The context is built up lovingly through eerie scenes, action by the characters, and flashbacks. To this, Ms. Muller has added two powerful situations, a mass murder that occurred 13 years earlier that still haunts the town and a young woman stranded with a broken down car while passers-by ignore her. The action revolves around the parallel investigations of current and past events by the local sheriff's department and county detectives and an expose writer looking to create his next book. The main character, Deputy Sheriff Rhoda (Rho) Swift, will inevitably be compared to Sharon McCone, Ms. Muller's most famous fictional character. I found Ms. Swift to be less quirky and less humorous, but just as appealing and feisty. Ms. Muller is talented in setting up a book about having one or two characters take on a whole town, and Point Deception is her best work in that style.
Review: In the best mystery stories, the place sometimes becomes the center of the story. Think about The Hound of the Baskervilles. Rarely do mystery novelists have the skill and the patience to build that element properly. Marcia Muller has done so in Point Deception, and you will feel very rewarded by this richly located story. Ms. Muller always employs place well in her stories, but I think this is her best work in that regard.
Many will inevitably compare this book to Bitterroot. Point Deception is much better done in every way, from handling of the place to unfolding the plot to the development of the characters.
Signal Port, California is a small town with a past that it doesn't like to talk about. In the fall of 1987, two families and a friend were gunned down on their rural property.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on 5 Oct 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's the 13th Anniversary of a gruesome mass murder in a remote canyon along the Pacific coast & Sheriff's Deputy Swift, who was first on the scene as a rookie cop, is having nightmares again.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elkiedee VINE VOICE on 23 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
Standalone from one of my favourite writers, featuring deputy sheriff Rhoda Swift in a small North California town.
While I always look forward to the next episode in Muller's long running Sharon McCone series, this rates with some of the best McCones. I'm pleased to see Muller has written another book set in the same (fictitious) town, Cyanide Wells.
Rhoda is in a hurry and wary about stopping to help a young woman at the side of the road. When the woman is found dead, of course she feels guilty. Investigating what happens with the help of a visiting researcher forces her to think again about her own past, that she has been trying to forget.
An atmospheric story which makes its setting sound really interesting.
Luci
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Muller has another winning character in Rho Swift 24 Aug 2001
By Moe811 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book expecting to be disappointed. I have been reading the Sharon McCone series so long that I didn't think that Ms. Muller could write anyone as well. I was wrong. I picked up this book yesterday and couldn't put it down until I read the last word. Rho and Guy are two very sympathetic but human characters with terrible past experiences that they have managed to overcome-mostly. The novel is set in a little coastal town in Northern California. Almost thirteen years ago, horrible massacre occurred in Cascade Canyon. Six adults and two children were brutally murdered. Only one child survived. The tragedy pretty much killed the spirit of the town, and almost destroyed Deputy Rho Swift. Guy Newberry, a writer who specializes in stories about towns in trouble, is researching a book about the murders and their effect on the community. Together, they work to solve the murders and get past their pasts.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
MULLER'S AMAZING FLEXIBILITY 20 Aug 2001
By Kent Braithwaite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a mystery author who juggles two protagonists (one for novels and one for short stories)with varying degrees of success, I am amazed at Marcia Muller's masterful flexibility. Sharon McCone is certainly her most famous lead. There are also some books with Elena Olivarez or Joanna Stark in the lead. Each series has its own tone and subject matter, perfectly appropriate for each series. In POINT DECEPTION, Marcia Muller has either written a magnificent stand-alone thriller or a solid debut of a new mystery series. POINT DECEPTION is basically a police procedural starring Deputy Sheriff Rhoda Swift. She is haunted by a mass murder dating from the start of her career and as the anniversary of that murder rolls around a New York writer named Guy Newberry shows up to write about the unsolved homicides. More deaths occur in time present, and Rho wants to solve all of the crimes. Rho Swift is a complex character. She carries this book, and she could carry a series. The plot is complicated yet believable, and Ms. Muller's writing is up to its usual highest standards. We have a terrific book here.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Point Deception proves that Marcia Muller.. 4 Nov 2001
By L. Quido - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
REGRETS & RENEWAL 2 Sep 2001
By Bonita L. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
All of them passed her along the road intending to help but other matters drew their attention. Days later, the body of the young woman is found. Those who passed her by share their regrets. Deputy Rhoda Swift was one of them who passed by the stranded motorist. Now as she deals with thid new death, she must face the ghosts of an unsolved mass murder of thirteen years ago. There too, she has her regrets.
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.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Hard-Drinking, Unfriendly Town in Trouble 27 July 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Review Summary: Point Deception is a strong novel, built around a superb sense of place. The context is built up lovingly through eerie scenes, action by the characters, and flashbacks. To this, Ms. Muller has added two powerful situations, a mass murder that occurred 13 years earlier that still haunts the town and a young woman stranded with a broken down car while passers-by ignore her. The action revolves around the parallel investigations of current and past events by the local sheriff's department and county detectives and an expose writer looking to create his next book. The main character, Deputy Sheriff Rhoda (Rho) Swift, will inevitably be compared to Sharon McCone, Ms. Muller's most famous fictional character. I found Ms. Swift to be less quirky and less humorous, but just as appealing and feisty. Ms. Muller is talented in setting up a book about having one or two characters take on a whole town, and Point Deception is her best work in that style.
Review: In the best mystery stories, the place sometimes becomes the center of the story. Think about The Hound of the Baskervilles. Rarely do mystery novelists have the skill and the patience to build that element properly. Marcia Muller has done so in Point Deception, and you will feel very rewarded by this richly located story. Ms. Muller always employs place well in her stories, but I think this is her best work in that regard.
Many will inevitably compare this book to Bitterroot. Point Deception is much better done in every way, from handling of the place to unfolding the plot to the development of the characters.
Signal Port, California is a small town with a past that it doesn't like to talk about. In the fall of 1987, two families and a friend were gunned down on their rural property. The investigation was muffed, in part by not calling in the FBI and in part by some misplaced blood samples. Almost everyone who lived in the town then has seen their lives changed by the event . . . for the worse. As a result, they've withdrawn, taken to more drink, and become mean to each other. Five days before the 13th anniversary of the killings, three women disappear. Could there be a connection to the previous massacre?
Point Deception is a brilliantly symbolic name for this novel, because everyone in the book has several major deceptions going on . . . including self-deceptions in some cases. The story opens powerfully with a frantic woman next to a broken down car, anxious to get help. Cars whiz by, including a sheriff's vehicle, but no one helps her. The fog builds, the temperature drops, and she grows frightened. That situation draws you powerfully into the story, and never lets go. That story line continues with flashbacks throughout the book.
The main story is built around the daily activities of Rho Swift as she goes about her sheriff's deputy duties. She has seen the woman who was stranded, but was called away by a shooting just as she was about to stop and help. Early in the book, she meets stranger Guy Newberry, who is a best selling author from New York who specializes in writing exposes on small towns. The locals don't want him around, but cannot get rid of him. Rho and Guy develop a wary relationship that contributes to solving the mystery.
One of the pleasures of this book is that you can arrive with new characters without any preconceptions. In a long-running series, you have expectations. I hope that Ms. Muller will continue with these characters, and leave them open to changes in their lives, work styles, and characters. In this book, people do change . . . or they are harmed in the process of trying to remain the same. With such a rich beginning, this series could become Ms. Muller's best.
After you finish enjoying this fine novel, I suggest you think about how you can be sure that you do not ignore people in trouble. The lesson here seems to be that we should assume that no one else will help unless we do.
Seek out ways to help!
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