Excerpt from Point Deception by Marcia Muller, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Point Deception

by Marcia Muller

Point Deception
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2002, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chystal

Friday, October 6
4:00 P.M.


Things look different when you're scared. And I'm scared now. Little Chryssie's scareder than she's been her whole life. Jude told me I'd never get away with it, but I thought I had, and then somebody saw me up there in all those trees, and now this damn Mercedes is dead on the coast highway where my cell phone won't work. God, I'm in trouble. Making Jude right. Again. Always.

Yeah, things look different. On the drive up from where I stayed outside San Francisco last night--not a lot of miles, but over four hours on these twisty roads -- the sea was pretty, sparkly, deep blue. Made me feel good. Still is pretty, but now I don't want to look at it. All I can think is that people drown in there. And the pines in the canyon -- walking through them, I felt like a little girl in church. Then the memories came back, and I felt like a little girl, all right. But not in church. No way.

Jesus, this is an awful place to break down. Turnout, but it's on a blind curve, and I could just barely get the car off the road before it conked out for good. Middle of nowhere, nothing on the bluff but pampas grass and burned trees from when they must've had a forest fire. Nothing but more trees on the other side of the highway. Dead-looking truck over by the fence.

Lots of traffic, but nobody'll stop to help me. Hood's up, they can see I'm broke down, but does anybody give a shit? No. They just keep zooming by in their sports cars and campers and SUVs, having a good time. Acting like I don't exist.


4:35 P.M.

Sheriff 's car. Woman driving. For sure she'll stop. Nope. She's around the curve already. Gone. Our tax dollars at work, like Leo used to say. Well, not my tax bucks. Little Chryssie don't pay no taxes in California.

So what do I do now? I'm a great big target sitting here by the highway. Whoever saw me in the canyon knows what I look like, maybe what the car looks like, but I didn't see them. They could drive right up and I wouldn't know who they were or what hit me. I could be dead before

Damn this car! Damn it!

Okay, come on, calm down, think now. You're not playing this smart.

Maybe they didn't see me clear up there. Or see what I was doing. And even if they did, it might not've meant anything to them. Just because somebody hollers at you...

Two choices. Stay by the car and take my chances. Walk away and maybe take a bigger chance. Two choices, but either way the first thing to do is lose the evidence. Lose it good like it was before.


4:49 P.M.

So what've we got here? Pampas grass, big clump of it. Stuff just takes over, specially along this part of the coast. What did Jude always say about that? Something to do with the plants being scouts for an alien life-form, staking out the edge of the continent for the arrival of the mother ship. God, she could be weird sometimes! She said she did it on purpose to drive us crazy, but I think it might've been the dope talking.

Well, aliens got no use for what I'm gonna hide here. This pampas grass is fine for what I got in mind.



4:55 P.M.

Somebody coming! Cover it fast. There, that's good, real good. Where the hell are they? Oh, over there by the cliff. Oriental guy and a white girl, climbing up the slope with a big cooler between them. They're fighting. Wind's blowing this way, I can hear every word. She says he's paranoid about Fish and Game. He tells her to shut up. She says she used to think things weren't working out between them because of their cultural differences, but now she knows it's because he's an asshole. Jesus, they sound like Jude and Leo.

I could hide here till they're gone, but maybe they'll call a tow truck for me. Leave a message for Jude that I got in and out okay, too. That way I wouldn't have to take my chances hitching on the highway. If they ask, I'll tell them I came down here to take a pee.

Copyright © by the Pronzini-Muller Family Trust

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!