Review

The Point of Fracture

by Frank Turner Hollon



I'm really not sure where to begin with THE POINT OF FRACTURE by
Frank Turner Hollon, or even what to tell you. It is extremely
well-written --- so well-written in fact that I had to basically
set aside all of my other reading for a day or so because its prose
was still echoing around in my head. It is also profoundly
unsettling, not in an in-your-face manner but similar to what James
Tiptree, Jr. so famously described as a pretty pink birthday cake
with a razor blade inside.

The source of the unsettlement here is its characters, who are so
true-to-life as to be painful. There's Michael Brace, a not-quite
functioning alcoholic who lives in the shadow of his fabulously
successful older brother Phillip and who is entangled in a strange,
loveless marriage with the beautiful Suzanne. Suzanne is both truly
mad and brilliantly mad, and she is also very angry; we never learn
exactly why she is so angry, but the depth and extent of her
insanity is slowly revealed during the first half of the book.
Suzanne may be possessed of heartstopping beauty but her scars run
deep below her surface. When she exacts revenge on those around her
--- revenge against disappointment, perhaps, or their failure to
make things better for her --- the repercussions echo and resonate
far from Suzanne's epicenter.

We know from the first paragraph of THE POINT OF FRACTURE that all
is not well, when we find out that Michael and Suzanne sleep apart
as a matter of constant practice. As we learn more --- that Suzanne
has severe headaches, and Michael spends A LOT of time drinking and
fishing, watching television, and other such pursuits with friends
he has known since childhood --- the elements of a disaster waiting
to happen coalesce. Suzanne is a master manipulator, and is
especially adept at using her beauty and dormant sensuality with a
cold, detached and sinister twist. Her plan, even when it passes
out of her control, unfolds perfectly, almost to the end. One
element that she could not have anticipated changes the outcome of
everything; yet one cannot walk away from this novel without
feeling that Suzanne's plan may have been successfully carried
through.

Frank Turner Hollon is not a household name as yet, though THE
POINT OF FRACTURE may well change that for him. This is a work to
be read, explored, and experienced repeatedly. Very highly
recommended.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 18, 2011

The Point of Fracture
by Frank Turner Hollon

  • Publication Date: October 20, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Lawson Library
  • ISBN-10: 1596921064
  • ISBN-13: 9781596921061