Cover Image: Point Roberts

Point Roberts

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Member Reviews

On the surface, the plot was interesting, but it lacked any depth or connection to reality. If I were not reading in exchange for a review, I would not have finished reading this novel — and I didn’t need to finish reading in order to predict how the plot would turn out. In fact, the only moments I found myself surprised were when impossible, or at the very least extremely improbable (if the characters or police had any intelligence) events occurred. The plot holes were numerous, and climaxes were reached far too early to hold my interest. 

As someone who identifies within the LGBTQIA+ community, nothing bothers me more than stereotypical representation, and this book was full of stereotypes. Every gay man had AIDS, or  HIV, or he was a drag Queen, or he was a victim of a hate crime. The stereotypes extended into the diversity of the characters, which seemed like an obvious attempt to “check boxes.” The characters were so two dimensional and under developed, that their identities hinged on minority status — an “otherness” — to what end? As a failed attempt to pull sympathy from the reader? I’m not buying it.

Alexander Rigby’s writing style is extremely unrefined and it is not lost on me that this novel was published by his own publishing company. That being said, the cover art and the overall style of the novel are well-conceived. 

Thank you to NetGallery for the ARC edition in exchange for an honest review.
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 The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

5/5

This book took me by surprise. It was incredible. I didn't know how much I could feel for the characters living in Point Roberts, and how badly I wanted to find out the mysteries and murderer with them. I have a special place in my heart now for Liza, Theo, Bill, Colette, Maude, the list goes on and on. I want to read more by Rigby and I want to read it NOW. 

This has been a mystery book that actually made me want to get out a notebook and start to make notes, to figure out who had done it myself. I was invested, which is something that sometimes lacks for me with a mystery. I think Rigby did a very good job with this. I loved reading and if I had not recieved this ARC, I would probably have bought it myself.

There are some trigger warnings that come with this book, for those concerned, they are as followed:
Homophobia, transphobia, talk about suicide, murder, death, guns, gore
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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was a Wild Ride. (Yes, the capital letters were necessary.) At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to get into it. It didn't hook me right away. But it left me curious. I was intrigued. I needed to know how it ended. And that's how it got me. Slow, but deep. 

Five strangers come together to solve a mystery. And those five strangers need each other in a way none of them realized until they came together. To me, that made the whole book so, so good. The relationships between Theodore, Liza, Maude, Grant, and Colette. Their search for answers gave them something they didn't realize they needed - a family. And I am ALWAYS a sucker for found family. 

The twists and turns this book took in order to solve the mystery was fascinating. Roughly halfway through, I thought I had it pegged. And I was half right. I had pegged the right people, just not quite for the right things. The slow revelation was jarring. As the pieces fall into place, I couldn't believe what I was reading. (I even told myself "There is no way in hell this is happening" out loud at one point, scaring the crap out of my napping cat.) 

The way this book comes together is spooky, and eerie, and absolutely lovely. Part of me kind of felt like I was there, but part of me also felt like the entire town of Point Roberts was sort of ethereal. It had a mysticism about it that was hard not to fall in love with - despite the tragedy that hung over the town like a wet blanket. 

Between the spooky mystery, my love for the characters, the found family, the mystery, and how deep this book hooked me, I really can't say anything other than: Go read this book. You won't regret it.
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**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review**
“Point Roberts” by Alexander Rigby is a fascinating mystery about five incredibly different people trying to solve the murders that send their town into lockdown every February, even though nothing has happened in decades. 
What I liked most about this book was how diverse the main cast of characters was. They were of every age, of many races, different sexualities, it was so fun! I especially appreciated that we see an older gay man (around 55 years old), since most LGBTQ representation in books is of younger people. The writing was also amazing, especially when it came out with different little graphic quotes like “The arriving dial tone punctured her guts, her entrails spilling out on the floor, making her feel like she would trip over them if she moved.”
Nonetheless, there were some things that frustrated me, for example the characters kept making excuses to do things “the next day”, even in dire situations and I don't understand why, it's like the author was pushing for the story to last more, so it would span the whole month of February. Also, the mayor is a caricature of an evil fat person that I'm sure must be very offensive. The twists are all unexpected, but not necessarily surprising.  And one chapter suddenly shifts from third person to first person which was weird, and I kind of wish the whole book was written this way, as it helps you connect better with the characters in this case and I think I would've felt more invested.
Overall, I would give this book 3/5 stars, as I enjoyed it, but I feel it could be half as long and hold the same content. 
I will be uploading the review to my Instagram a week after the release of the book.
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Point Roberts, in the Pacific Northwest, has a history - a history of murder that happened every February decades ago. Since then, the town has gone on lockdown each February: no one in, no one out. A total of fifteen people were killed, but after the lockdowns started, the murders stopped. Even when it seemed further lockdowns were not necessary, the town continued the tradition, for some bizarre (quirky!) reason. 

Liza has moved to the island with her foster family. She feels a bit of a misfit, of course, and now there's this weirdo lockdown month where no one can go anywhere and outsiders can't get in.

She teams up with four other misfits, and the group tries to determine who the Point Roberts serial killer was - or is.

!!!!Spoilers here!!!!

The atmosphere is gloomy, as one might expect in that region in the grip of winter. Note: you must be willing to push your suspension of disbelief a little harder in this story than some others, not just during the investigation phase, but during the denouement - the killer (who you can probably guess) killing for reasons attributed to a secret and to mental illness, the presentation of which was a bit of a curiosity.

I didn't really care for this, although I understand it can happen in real life. But the reasoning behind the murders and the secret they conceal just struck me wrong.

It's well enough written, although I think there was a but too much effort to try to make everyone quirky, and there were a couple of tropes that bugged me (one in particular: HIV these days is not an automatic death sentence, and someone who gets a positive test will get a second one to confirm). Also, what's the deal with this girl running around the island with four adults? that's just...odd. There are some clunky portions, and it could have used a bit of trimming. Authors, please don't have your climax explained in excruciating detail. If you have to explain that much at the end, you haven't done enough before that point to lay the groundwork of the story.

I'll give it three stars out of five.

Thanks to Alden and NetGalley for the review copy.
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I am so conflicted on how I feel about this book. I personally was not a fan of Rigby’s writing style, so it took me longer than usual to really get into the story. However, the book itself is well written and well planned out. Plus, I’m giving Rigby major points for his wonderfully diverse group of main characters (plus some subtle shade about Trump being an incompetent fool). I’ve done a bit of studying into criminal profiling and what drives serial killers to kill, so I appreciated the way the serial killer (sorry, but no spoilers so I can’t say who that is!) is written. Their reasoning for what they did made sense with their circumstances, and it wasn’t obvious when we finally did get the big reveal. I loved the gloomy overcast feel of this small coastal town closed off from the world during February, and the juxtaposition we got from these pockets of warmth while with the main characters in the spaces they feel most comfortable. Overall, Point Roberts is a good book for those who like cold case murder mysteries with twists and turns, just be prepared to spend some time getting used to Rigby’s writing style and tone.

Full list of potential triggers:
Murder, Gore, Homophobia, Transphobia, Guns, Discussion of Suicide, Death, Bullying, Cursing, Discussion of Death from AIDS
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*contains minor spoilers *
This story follows several perspectives of people affected by the point Robert slayer one way or another.

The first half of the book was a 4 star read for me. It had everything I usually love in a book. Intrigue, suspense, good characters and an easy to follow, very readable plot. I flew through the first half.
I feel like at around 60 percent the book changed its course so drastically that it felt like a whole other story all together and I lost interest. Apart from 1, most plot twist were forseeable. It went from feeling like a ya detective to a kidnapping story. The point where this plot switches was so dramatic and prompt, it caught me off guard and not in a good way.
However the author did manage to surprise me in the last 5 percent of reading and I did really want to finish the story so my intrigue was still there. It just did not feel like the story "I signed up for".
The authors writing style did make up for a lot of it.
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REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS 

I wanted to like this book. I really really did. The blurb sounded interesting, the characters had fascinating backgrounds and personalities that could really have played off each other. But some of the internal logics just didn't work out. So this town puts up with being shut off for all of february due to an incidence 20 years ago? Then we have a seance scene where the characters threw things at each other. Things get weirder from there with no actual satisfying answers provided for the weirdness. 

I felt like the book tried too hard to be interesting. Twists after twists turned up that made the book hard to follow. Characters did some very stupid things. And the kicker is the denouement in the cemetery with some truly scooby doo villain dialogue, bizarre repetitions and a too neat ending. A character spent the whole book thinking he had HIV only to find out that it was a false positive and he just never got retested or followed up and, this was presented as some kind of happy ending.
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Point Roberts by @alexander_rigby #eightyseventhbookof2020 #arc #inlovewiththecover   (I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book from #netgalley and #allegoryridge. Pub date 2/1/21)
REVIEW: Point Roberts is a town that shuts down every February because a serial killer murdered fifteen people thirty years ago and it was decided that shutting the borders for a month each year would prevent any more slayings. And it worked! This February, however, while the town is shut off from the rest of the world, five people are determined to solve the mystery. Realistic? No, but I loved this book anyway. It drew me in immediately and I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get back to it each day to learn more. The perspectives of the five sleuths were different enough and felt fleshed out. Each had valid reasons for getting involved and I liked their interplay. I think the reveal of the mystery is longish and I would have liked some of those details to be shown in other ways, but overall, this was a solid story that I really enjoyed. And that striking cover drew me in immediately. Gorgeous. #pointrobertsbook 
Thank you to @netgalley and @allegoryridge for the review copy.
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I really wanted to like this book. And, at times, it wasn’t too bad. But it really needed a strong editor to remove a few sections. It also really needed to end sooner. 

I find it hard to believe that a foster child would be allowed to go wherever she wanted with a group of adults without someone getting concerned. And as to the resolution of the mystery, it’s revealed too early and then in excruciating detail. It seriously doesn’t take like 30 pages to spill everything, but that’s still what the author chose to do. 

I also had an issue with the fact that the book’s gay character lost his husband to AIDS. First off, it’s not nearly the death sentence it used to be as long as people take the medication. Secondly, it seemed so stereotypical. As to the other revelation about HIV, it was extremely hard to believe. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.
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Point Roberts is a perfectly good mystery novel. It’s creepy and great at ratcheting up the tension, but it’s also a novel that I just didn’t click with. I think the problem, as it is most times, was that I was expecting something just a bit different from what I got.

Point Roberts is a town that shuts down every February, no one allowed in or out, because of the Point Roberts Killer, a serial murderer who terrorised the town and killed fifteen people. But when the mayor shut the town down, those murders stopped and now it has become something of a tradition, or superstition. This February, however, is the first time Lisa has experienced it, so she decides to find out who really killed all those people, with the help of four others. In doing so, she’ll attract someone’s attention that she really doesn’t want.

Firstly, I have to say this whole book was just somewhat melodramatic. It felt like Scooby-Doo on steroids. You had to seriously suspend your disbelief to read it. Which was fine, I could do that, but it meant I was not that into the book. I mean, every character was basically a caricature, right down to the evil self-serving mayor and the members of a cult, so that, when it’s revealed who did it, you’re just like… well of course it was them. And don’t get me started on the reason behind it all.

Actually you may as well get me started on it, since the reveal is my next talking point. If you don’t want even the vaguest of spoilers, skip to the next paragraph. The murderer is described as “bipolar” and “schizophrenic”, while also locking her daughter away in the basement, because she wants no one to know she has a daughter, because her daughter keeps having seizures. So she kills fourteen people who happen to find out she does have a child. What’s worse? That she murders people so no one will find out she has a disabled child? Or that she herself is described using mental illnesses that are absolutely nothing to do with what just seems to be psychopathy? Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are almost laughably different from how they’re often characterised in literature and this book just continues to mischaracterise them. And do so in a way that links them to a psychopathic murderer.

That was probably the part I enjoyed least about this book because it’s just a weak reason for having the killer. I mean, of course with a culprit who’s killed fourteen people, there might never be a… more-reasonable-in-the-context-of-the-book reason, but this was bad even by that standard. Not to mention, there’s not really a whole lot of on-page investigation being done. A lot of it happens off-page, and what is on-page is just a simple recounting of each of the previous deaths. They basically stumble onto who did it by chance.

I think this would work better as a thriller than an out-and-out mystery, in all honesty, but if the premise does interest you, please don’t let me put you off it. Tastes differ, and all that.
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I mainly requested this because of the title and description. I live in Washington state and know of Point Roberts and was really intrigued. I thought the location was awesome and unique because Point Roberts itself is a unique place. The premise that like 30 years ago, there was a serial killer killing 5 people in Point Roberts every February. The mayor started locking the town down so nobody could go in or out for the whole month of February and since then there have been no more killings. 5 strangers in the town come together and try to solve the mystery of who is the Point Robert’s Slayer. 
I was really excited about this book at first. I love the setting, my town Bellingham was mentioned a handful of times and I got all excited each time a place was mentioned that I know. Of the 5 folks who became like a team hunting for answers, I liked most of them. Liza was my fave, I felt like for a teen she was pretty mature and I liked that. It was kind of a lot to keep in my head, each persons backstory because 4 of the 5 were family member’s of victims and that’s why they were trying to solve the mystery. I really liked bond between Liza, Theo, Maude and Colette. However.. after awhile, I kind of felt like it was too long. I started losing interest around 70% through and had a hard time staying focused.  I felt like the last 30% of the book everyone knows who the killer is and it’s just a giant rehash of everything and letting the slayer ramble on unnecessarily. I mean, I like hearing the killer’s side generally. Finding out why they did what they did, what their motivation to kill was - I'm usually fascinated by that part. This time just felt a bit too long and repetitive to me. 

So to sum up, I liked it, didn’t love it. Found it hard to stay interested near the end. But maybe that’s just me. But the setting was brilliant! Thank you so much @netgalley and @girlfridayproductions for the ARC!
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Point Roberts is a mysterious town, much more so than Liza realizes when she is sent there to live with her new foster family. Every February the town goes on lockdown, and this February the decades long mystery surrounding the place will finally be solved. 15 murders that happened 30 years ago. A group of misfits of various ages, all connected to the victims. 

This book is definitely atmospheric, with the cold, foggy Washington ambiance offering a great backdrop for the murders and the mystery solving. The shifting perspectives are pretty interesting, although there is a bit of info-dumping regarding everyone’s backstories. While the stories were interesting, at times they were conveyed a bit too detailed. Additionally, characters divulged their personal traumas and secrets a bit too eagerly to strangers for my liking. 

There is always a bit of suspending of disbelief regarding fictional stories, so too in this novel. From a woman not leaving her house for 29 years and not having major consequences from that to a girl hidden in her basement undiscovered for years, a few things were a little unrealistic. I did appreciate the diversity of the cast a lot, from gay characters to older characters to several multi-dimensional female characters. The mystery itself was really engaging and I liked following along to find out what happened. Without divulging too many spoilers, the solution of the mystery was decently satisfying and definitely not easily guessable. 

At times I found the language used a bit wooden, telling more than it was showing. However, a few lines were really transcendent or funny or memorable, like these:

“‘Some things last.’
It was just three words, and even though it could have been in reference to many things, it lodged itself deep inside Theodore, getting stuck somewhere between his bones and tissue, not far from the essential parts of what allowed him to live.” 

and

“No matter what happened, people never stopped shitting.”

I loved finding out that the town actually exists, as well as the novel’s visual design with different writing for journal enties and notes, really adding to the atmosphere.

If you are a fan of mystery, unique group dynamics, diverse characters, found family, and foggy sea towns, this is definitely the book for you! 

(3.5 stars)
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Interesting book about a town on a northwestern peninsula that goes in lockdown every february to avoid a killer from striking again. This year with the arrival of a teenage girl in foster care and a baker from Montreal a series of events gets triggered that will hopefully lead to the end of the murder cycle.
The writing style is all knowing and while I tend to dislike that, it actually worked in this book for me. It was mainly used as small hints towards certain events than a real disclosure about what would happen next. The point of view shifts from person to person and since each chapter is named after the characters whose voice you'll be hearing things don't get confusing.
Some parts of the plot were not needed and seemed invented to make it a bit more interesting, but at it's base lies a nicely done mystery and while I figured out the killer pretty soon the story is interesting enough to keep you reading and even manages to give you some doubts about your suspect when new clues are dropped.
Solid book and worth a read.
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Super super confusing in the beginning. Normally I can deal with the switch of characters pretty fast but this one messed me up because it was switching time lines and characters in the same chapter.

I loved it once I got about 30% into it and I was prepared for all the switching and I couldn’t put it down.

I do feel like the author missed an opportunity, maybe the troupe is played out or too mainstream because of “home before dark”, but switching between the book that Theo wrote and what was going on as the decoded the clues would have been SO COOL to read and it would help with the confusion between timelines and would be less switching within chapters.
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I am not sure I know what to make of this novel.  One definitely has to suspend one's disbelief to really engage in the story; the circumstances could not occur in real life.  But the plot is really intriguing and the characters are very engaging.  What I found most interesting is that the writer adopts a breezy, almost whimsical writing style for a book that is really about murder, mayhem, and very dark secrets.  The juxtaposition between the writing style and the subject matter kept me reading, though.  i finished the book over a week ago and I keep thinking about it.  that alone makes it worth the read.
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Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with an advance review copy of Point Roberts in exchange for an honest review.  

This might be the most passive-aggressive novel I've ever read.  Mr. Rigby is a horrible writer.  He needs three paragraphs to communicate a sentence's worth of information.  He assumes his readers don't understand the law of gravity -- if a character drops something, rest assured that it will hit the floor.  Okay, make that "strike" the floor, because that's the most obnoxious aspect of Mr. Rigby's prose style: the misuse of verb.  Okay, make that misapplication of verbs.  Maybe he thinks it's poetic, but it's just amateurish, the kind of technique employed, okay, make that enacted, by the pretentious dork in your beginning writers' workshop who's learned one rule, avoid redundancy, and decides to make a crusade out of it.  

Okay, so Alexander Rigby has no talent.  Lots of published authors have no talent, what makes, okay, make that engenders, Alexander Rigby so obnoxious?  It's because he seems to realize that his prose reads like a seventh grader's and overcompensates by making his characters excessively sympathetic that to criticize his book is to criticize the all that is good, right, and positive in the world.  For good measure, he assembles, okay, make that aggregates, a diverse crew of sleuths to solve an unrealistic and not especially interesting series of crimes: there's a Black man, an Asian woman, an HIV-positive middle-aged gay man, a Canadian, and . . . wait for it . . . a spunky teenage orphan.  How can you not LOVE this book?  Don't you appreciate multiculturalism?  Are you opposed to inclusion?  Did you vote for Trump?

No, I didn't vote for Trump.  And I still hated this book.
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I don't even know where to start about this book. This WAS SO GOOD!!!
I devoured this book in a span of 4 hours and absolutely loved it. I couldn't stop reading. I must say that I didn't suspect who the killer might be until later, which made it a great book for me. 

I enjoyed the fact that the book had different POVs. It made me like the characters and feel for them. I must say that I liked Theodore the best, along with his sarcasm and his view on life, he quickly became one of my favourites. The relationships in this book and perfectly written out. The book deals with several aspects of grief and I liked how the book pointed out that everyone deals differently with grief. 

This is an absolute masterpiece and I would definitely recommend it!

*Thank you Netgalley & Girl Friday for this ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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4/5 stars.

Point Roberts was an intriguing mystery novel following five different characters, all of whom were very distinct from each other and offered different perspectives about the cases and clues. I enjoyed reading the different dynamics between characters, with each chapter focusing on a certain character or relationship, along with the depth offered to the fifteen murders.

Out of all the characters I would have to say Liza was my favourite, a spunky and outspoken girl, and her POV being the first in the book drew me in quickly. Her grief over losing her Pa was palpable, and soon I saw that all the characters were also experiencing grief and dealing with it in one way or another. I liked that it showed how people do not process grief the same way, some needing to stay away from the world while others need to throw themselves into a task, and appreciated the varying experiences. 

The mystery itself was fascinating, although the fact all the details were spread across the novel meant that I was slow in picking up the clues. I do think that if all the cases had been laid out in front of me from the beginning, as it had been for characters like Grant and Theo, I'm sure I would have discovered the big reveal sooner - but then again, where's the fun in that? It did get rather cheesy in the last few chapters, but that's something I consider about many mystery novels at the end. 

Nonetheless, a fascinating read I flew through.
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