"The Point of Fracture"
(Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie OCT 30, 2005)
"She had sat on the cool floor of the kitchen and turned the pages slowly, one by one, in the quiet of the night. She had never told him these things. How could he know? It was like she was there again. The place was different, and the names and the faces were all different. But the feelings, the smells, and the fear. God, the fear, the sleepless expectation of childhood evil. It was exact. Michael's words brought her back to the point of fracture."
Frank Turner Hollon's The Point of Fracture epitomizes the taut psychological thriller at its best. My adrenaline glands started pumping early on in the novel and the flow didn't let up until I reached the conclusion. I was absolutely riveted by this beautifully written, fast-paced, unputdownable new release by the author of The God File and A Thin Difference.
Michael and Suzanne Brace have been married for fifteen years. When the story opens Michael has been sleeping on the couch for a very long time - he prefers it to the guest room. A childless couple, the Braces have become strangers to one another, although he holds dear the memory of the young woman he fell in love with. He clearly retains the image of the girl who drove around with him one night in his "blue Volkswagon bug, until the sun came up, completely naked, drinking beer and laughing out loud." And he still believes she exists somewhere inside Suzanne. The reader will learn otherwise.
Michael considers himself to be an artist, a writer, and has long believed he has a great novel inside him just waiting to be born. The son of a wealthy family in Fairhope, Alabama, he had the independent means to take the time to test his theory of creativity. A forty hour work week was of no immediate concern. As years passed, however, he became less sure that "he could write a decent sentence, much less a novel." Bourbon became a short term answer for writer's block. Now the money situation is getting tight as his savings dwindles. But he finally has something solid. He has written four chapters of what he knows is an exceptionally good narrative. And this is a story he feels compelled to write.
Suzanne, still beautiful, suffers from debilitating headaches which leave her temporarily incapacitated. She is also terribly disturbed by childhood memories of violence and abuse. The upside of her physical pain is that it distracts from the emotional pain which is even more crippling. When Suzanne stumbles upon her husband's manuscript and finds that she is the subject of the novel, that Michael has written about dark events she has never discussed with him or anyone else, she feels the rush of a lifetime's rage. And she seeks vicious revenge, conjuring up and carrying out the perfect crime.
From the meticulous planning stages of the deed, to its execution, the investigation and the final drama played out in a court of law, this is a page-turner that will disturb and even shock. The prose is vivid and stark, the narrative tight, the characters, major and minor, are complex and well drawn. Hollon builds tension like few other writers. This one is dark and edgy and fine! "The Point of Fracture" is the first novel I have read by the author, but I certainly intend to remedy that now. Very highly recommended!
- Amazon readers rating: from 7 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
- The Pains of April (2002)
- The God File (2002)
- A Thin Difference (2003)
- Life is a Strange Place (2003)
- The Point of Fracture (September 2005)
- The Wait (May 2008)
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- Emerging Writers interview with Frank Turner Hollon
- Pele Publications short review of The Pains of April
- BookReporter.com review of The God File
- Curled Up review of A Thin Difference
- Anniston Star review of The Point of Fracture
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About the Author:
Frank Turner Hollon graduated from Louisiana Tech University and Tulane Law School. He lives with his wife and family in Baldwin County, Alabama, where he continues to practice law.