Book Review: Point Roberts

A motley crew of survivors and murder victims’ relatives are determined to solve a cold case in a locked-down town. Who killed 15 people in the 80s and what could have tied them all together? When teenage Liza finds a discarded book of evidence and clues, she and four strangers band together to pull the thread. 

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Rigby’s writing style isn’t for everyone. Some scenes are way over-described (I do know what happens when someone shrugs — the motion doesn’t need to be described in detail) and I suspect Rigby’s thesaurus gets a lot of use. For some readers, this may be enough of a turn-off that they won’t enjoy the story. The writing style is my biggest criticism. 

I flew through this book in just a couple of days; I just had to know what happened next! I especially enjoyed the diverse cast of characters — they aren’t just diverse in the obvious ways, they have unique personalities with rich emotional lives and fully fleshed-out backstories. Each character has their own voice, and although the chapters flow smoothly, we get to experience the story from new eyes in every chapter. There was no confusion about perspective. The story, pacing, character development, and balance are top-notch.

A few other reviewers liken Point Roberts to Scooby-Doo and they’re not wrong! A ragtag gang of five bands together to run around town solving a mystery. They do eat a lot of snacks, pair off to collect convenient clues, and unmask the baddie who would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling townies. Beyond that, it’s a unique character-driven whodunit with plenty of red herrings. 

Because there are so many victims, an astute reader could spot enough connections to solve the puzzle with a third of the book to go, but going along for the ride with Liza, Theodore, Colette, Grant, and Maude is the real purpose of the story. The small-town Pac Northwest scenery is gorgeous and feels like a character of its own. Mystery lovers will find Point Roberts a satisfying if wordy read.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Point Roberts by Alexander Rigby is available today.

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