Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Pinpoint" -- an extraordinary novel by an a remarkable new writer

Strangeways Prison, Manchester, England (September 1994). “I’ve represented many murderers and am often surprised at how normal they appear. But this one is different. As he walks into the interview room he stops dead. His mouth drops open.  His eyes bulge. His elbows clamp to his sides as though a knife has plunged into his back. And he looks straight at me unlike most who bow their heads until I say something to make them feel at east, and who look past me when they tell me their stories. Not this one.”

Sam Smith is the name of this psychopathic killer, or is it? Could he be …? “There’s an almost imperceptible smile on his face. That smile. And those eyes. I grip the desk. I can’t breathe. My skin turns cold, clammy. My fingers tingle. A fragment of long forgotten memory skitters through my head then vanishes …” Who is he? No, it can’t be … but can it? Is he?

So begins this haunting, magnificently written tale of murder, intrigue, mystery, childhood sexual abuse, loss, survival and love. Solicitor Julia Grant’s job is to defend this psychopathic killer of young women. And she must find out who he really is because she is haunted. A widow with a six year old daughter, she has a busy, complicated life. Detective Chief Inspector Paul Moxon is there to help her. But she has to go it alone.

Pinpoint is one wonderful book, Julia Grant is one of the most memorable characters I’ve encountered, and Sheila Mary Taylor is one fine writer. I’m sure we'll be enjoying her books for many years to come. She has the kind of story-telling talent that not only has wide appeal; it lasts, like a good Agatha Christie tale. Even the title “Pinpoint” is shrouded in mystery.

This one is a clear five star book.

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