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Point Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blackthorne (a pseudonym for John Meaney) follows 2010's Edge with another over-the-top near-future action-adventure romp featuring retired British special forces operative Josh Cumberland. So-called Cutter Circles have been springing up: 13 dead teens in a circle, each cutting the wrists of the next. The teens don't know one another, and news blackouts mean that they can't be copycats. Cumberland, emotionally fragile since his daughter's death, begins fitting pieces together as he tracks a scientist's disappearance. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Suzanne, an expert in psychosemantics who can modify behavior with a word, gets called in by MI5 to consult on the case. Their separate investigations become all the more urgent when someone they know, Opal, cuts herself as part of a failed Cutter Circle that provides valuable clues. The action moves so quickly that the overwritten prose and flat characterization barely register. (Mar.)
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Review

Praise for Thomas Blackthorne's previous work:

"[He] has rewired SF. Everything is different now." - Stephen Baxter

"Blackthorne is such a fine writer. Josh Cumberland leaps off the page; the depiction of his simmering rage, barely held in check, and how he channels it, provides a masterclass in characterisation." - The Guardian

"I absolutely don’t want to live in the world Blackthorne has created. I didn’t want to in Edge (the first book in the series) and I most certainly don’t want to now. I do, however, want to read about it. It’s relentless and gripping, with a brilliant balance between the personal and the political. Not a book for readers who like gentle meadows scattered with bright yellow daisies and lolloping bunnies." - Gillian Polack, Biblio Buffet
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857660799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857660794
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,738,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The market may be flooded with thrillers that don't exactly thrill, but this isn't one of them. A (mostly) free-standing sequel to last year's Edge, Thomas Blackthorne's Point is original, well-written, and full of fascinating, believable characters.

Josh Cumberland is an ex-special forces soldier who knows a lot of ways to kill. He struggles with the side of his nature that exults in violence while also recognizing its advantages. His lover, Suzanne Duchesne, is a gutsy neuropsychologist who can think (and hypnotize) her way out of tight spots. A cast of soldiers, spooks, knife fighters, politicians, and civilians adds to the mayhem as Josh and Suzanne discover the astonishing links between the disappearance of a nuclear scientist and a suicide mind-virus that targets teenagers.

Since it's no secret that Thomas Blackthorne is actually John Meaney, a multiple-award nominated science fiction writer, I suppose such a solidly-built thinking person's thriller shouldn't come as a shock. Knowing Mr Meaney is both a martial artist of long standing and a trained hypnotist, realistic fighting scenes and an entirely believable emphasis on capabilities of the human mind might only be expected.

What might surprise is how naturally he combines all this with scarily-realistic military and espionage elements and chilling near-future politics, and still manages to find room for some romance in between bouts of mind-bending and arse-kicking. You may find this one tough to put down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I genuinely enjoyed Point (as I also enjoyed Edge), but it does feel a little formulaic. The characters are REALLY painted with a broad stroke, which makes them interesting, but never THAT interesting. That goes especially for the super powerful villain in this book.

That said, it was a good romp through a slightly distopian future.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. McNeil on December 23, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mysterious cutter circles are showing up in the Britain of the future. Thirteen teenagers gather in a circle, then slice the wrist of the person next to them all the way around the circle. The MI5 recruits a neuroscientist to help figure out the circles before they reach epidemic proportions. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Josh Cumberland, finds himself sucked back into his old special forces unit when a civilian job reaches a mysterious end. Are the two events connected?

I feel that this cover really misleads the potential reader. It makes it seem like this will be a book about depression and suicide in a post-apocalyptic world, right? In fact the people committing suicide have been brainwashed by music in an emotiphone to further a political power move. Which has.....nothing to do with real suicide or depression. I was disappointed.

As far as political intrigue books go, it's pretty typical. The main difference is it's set in the future, but the characters are the quickly fleshed-out ones typical in action style books. The action and intrigue aren't impressive, but also aren't bad.

Overall, the book seems to be an average future political intrigue action flick...in written form. I recommend it to fans of that genre, but others will probably be bored.
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