Pros: Interesting twist on an investigative main character
Cons: Paid too much attention to that twist to the detriment of other characters
Rating: 3 out of 5
Point of Control, by L.J. Sellers, is a thriller/mystery starring Andra Bailey, an FBI special agent. Andra is a sociopath, but quite aware of this fact. She works hard at coming across as normal, but also takes advantage of some of her differences. Right now she’s working on a case involving missing scientists working in fields of rare earth metals and encryption.
This book was okay, but not great. Andra’s self-awareness of her ‘condition’ should have been a really new and interesting and delightful thing, but the character obsesses over it constantly. Even to the point of trying to apply the label to people she’s barely even met, based on one or two small interactions. It gets old fast. The details about how her father–also a sociopath–taught her to ‘pass’ as normal, however, are quite interesting, as is their relationship. Now it seems that Andra has decided to try on a romantic relationship for size.
There’s a side plot about a North Korean cryptologist who gets kidnapped and the possible consequences attached to that, but in some spots it gets glossed over.
The eventual revelation of who/what/why disappointed me. It felt… convenient, and not entirely interesting or believable. Andra, if anything, got too much character depth lavished on her, while others languished and therefore didn’t matter all that much.
Point of Control reminded me of a less whimsical version of Dexter using a sociopath instead of a psychopath. I didn’t find the surprises to be terribly interesting, nor did all of them make sense. I never felt the tension that I look for in a good thriller.
NOTE: Book provided free for review
Expected publication date: January 19, 2016