(Cover picture courtesy of e-bookbuilders.)
Befuddled by her current relationship woes, Nora Reynolds leaves college at semester’s end to drive north of nowhere to her hometown of Iron Bay. Vulnerable and on the rebound, she is the perfect prey for fledgling felon Dane Buchman. Dane takes advantage of the unaware young woman, feeding his appetite for mischief until a rather violent shift in their relationship reveals to him what he’s really been craving. Driven by his new found hunger, Dane feels unstoppable, until former high school rival and town deputy, Doug Sanders, navigates the trail of Dane’s destruction.
The Point is a dark thriller that will allow you to witness a truly dangerous sociopath wander through madness guided by a treasured family heirloom, and a pensive young woman find her way after discovering, that which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. With echoes of the Coen brothers’ Fargo, the folksy town of Iron Bay and the nearby north-woods community of Deer Lake are the destinations for Mr. Buchman’s many misdeeds.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]
When the blurb says that The Point is a dark thriller, it’s not kidding. It is quite dark and it is quite a thriller, particularly from a psychological standpoint so I’ll talk about that first.
The plot is really the main focus of the novel whereas the characters are sort of secondary. They’re well developed, but secondary to the plot. The plot itself is far from unique, however; it follows pretty much your typical psychopath on the loose scenario and brings it to its logical conclusion as Dane’s mind deteriorates further. You’ll be able to guess how it ends like I did but at the same time, Nykanen’s writing will absolutely grip you and you won’t be able to put The Point down. So what this book lacks in originality it sure makes up for in thrills.
The characters were nothing special, but they were all quite well-developed. Dane is your typical psychopath: has mother issues, no empathy for anyone, a sexual deviant. Pretty much your textbook case, especially as the thrills of raping women wear thing and he desires other, darker things. Nora is an interesting but sad character, I must admit. She’s left in doubt at her relationship status when summer begins and it’s her lack of self-confidence that leads her into the charming Dane’s grasp.
Nora changes more than any other character over the course of the story but I can’t really tell you what changed her because that would be giving away some major spoilers. In essence, things happen to her both good and bad (mostly bad) and she reacts in a realistic, believable and sympathetic way. Nykanen is good at this sort of character development so being in Nora’s head for most of the story is pretty good. The funny thing is that of all the characters, I hated Jake the most because his uncertainty and unwillingness to tell Nora what he was about to do is partly responsible for everything that happened to her. Of course Dane bears full responsibility for his actions, but Jake drove Nora away into the arms of that psychopath.
As you can guess, there are some pretty heavy themes of guilt and betrayal. They give The Point that truly emotional quality that makes you really connect with both the characters and the circumstances they fall into. Other than the pretty cliche plot I rather enjoyed The Point and if you’re into thrillers I’d definitely recommend it.
I give this book 4/5 stars.