Point of Impact

Jack Curtis, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-73640-8
As in Glory and Crow's Parliament , Britisher Curtis has crafted another thriller of an uncommonly high order . This compelling, literate work is distinguished by narrative precision and unexpected bursts of (generally sardonic) humor. A model of intricate plotting, Point of Impact is often about the unexpected--in events, in behavior. After an ominous prologue in Dartmoor, a sniper begins picking off random victims in London. Pursuing the killer, Scotland Yard maverick Robin Culley encounters menace at every turn from such sinister figures as an Arizona art collector who possesses people as if they were so many paintings. Another key figure is Culley's ex-wife, struggling with her conflicting feelings about a reconciliation: ``It's like being in a house where you used to live, but you can't quite remember its danger points.'' Throughout, events are made more chilling by the author's characteristic air of detachment--``There are a lot of dead people. It looks like a madman. So it probably is.'' Moods and locales change with lightning precision, with rarely a missed beat, and seemingly disparate plot elements are ingeniously tied together. There is something approaching poetry amidst all this intrigue and duplicity, and telling, deceptively brief descriptions (heard via telephone, a fussy art dealer's ``voice had presented pursed lips''). A smashing yarn, made more so by its humanity. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-451-17417-8
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