My wife got this book for Christmas and we both recently finished reading it. Like virtually everyone else in America, we both read and enjoyed “The Da Vinci Code”. As a result, we looked into Dan Brown’s other works. First, we read “Angels and Demons” which we both liked.
Unlike those two, “Deception Point” has nothing to do with the Catholic Church and instead focuses on NASA. Like all of Brown’s books, this is a page turner. This author is definitely good at suckering you into the “just one more page…” mentality. Also true to form, the book hinges upon a complex plot that the characters unravel throughout the course of the story, only to fully understand the mystery at the very end. Here’s the problem though. The characters might have been in the dark, but as the reader, I sure as hell wasn’t.
Read further for spoilers and general bitching and moaning.
First, lets discuss the overly complex plot. As soon as they started talking about the seawater in the hole I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the rock was inserted from underneath the glacier. It is inconceivable to me that a group of highly trained scientist could struggle to come to that conclusion.
Second, the glaciologist, Norah Mangor doesn’t use the ground penetrating radar to determine the content of the ice until after people start questioning her findings? Seriously? Scientists are skeptics. More importantly, scientists are jealously protective of their reputation. That this scientist would vehemently attest to the uniformity of the glacier based only on core samplings and satellite data (with known limitations), when she has another, more accurate, diagnostic tool at her disposal is simply bad writing.
That sequence, which is all of 10 – 20 pages, takes the deception out of “Deception Point”. I should also point out, that I figured William Pickering to be the ultimate bad guy, pretty much from the start. That may be more due to my familiarity with the author than poor writing though. The climactic scene with the whirlpool in the ocean was also fairly predictable though it made for a cool mental image.
I’ve got some other minor nitpicks, while I’m on this subject. The submarine rescue was exceptionally convenient, a little too convenient. Yes, I understand that the author placed the sub there in a plausible fashion. Still, the odds of the submarine being close enough to here the SOS and act on it in time seemed unrealistic.
Also, the main character, Rachel Sexton, was in a pressurized submersible, then expelled into the ocean and she surfaced. If she did this quickly, without exhaling a lot, which seems to be indicated in the book, she would have suffered a severe lung expansion injury and died. I have to throw this in, just in case one of my dive instructors finds this blog. See, I did pay attention in class.
Despite all of this, I did enjoy the book but I wouldn’t recommend buying it. Instead you should find a friend who bought it, and steal their copy. I doubt they’ll miss it.