Point Fury by John Maxwell

If you were a twenty-something burned-out rock musician and had a chance to house sit at some rich guy’s fancy beach digs, would you jump at the opportunity as needed time to unwind?  This happens to Chris Nielson, who is happy to leave his lifestyle of drugs and broken relationships to winter it on an exclusive (and as it turns out, desolate) island off the Maryland coast.  he first thinks it to be easy money and time to get his head and songwriting chops together.  But, instead his situation quickly Point_fury becomes ominous as Chris discovers things about the island and Ted Harper, his employer, that don’t add up.  Included in these incongruities is the appearance of a mystery girl who stays in one of the other houses on the island, and with whom Chris, unwisely, gets involved.

The house itself becomes a prison – at first psychologically, and then literally.  Chris pushes his luck too many times and provokes the wrath of the wrong person; his solitary sojourn turns into a hellish ordeal, and all for the sake of curiosity, which in turn reveals Chris to be achingly human and painfully unlucky.  He’s an Everyman slacker who is well-meaning but sure makes some boneheaded decisions.  Don’t we all?

My impressions?  Point Fury is slow to work its suspense, and the character of Chris is not immediately appealing, although I came to like him and was cheering him on toward the end, when his shortcomings are shoved in his face, quite literally.  The book has its grisly moments, and Ted Harper turns out to be much different than the gentlemanly absentee owner he presents himself to be.  And, the concept of cello lessons takes on a whole new meaning here. 

If you like this one, why not try The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosely or The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits?  Snag them here at the library!!!

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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