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ISBN-10 0977112616, ISBN-13 9780977112616
Southern Fiction Winner, 2007 Independent Publisher Awards
Nominated in Fiction by the 2007Southern Independent Book Association and the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters
Genre: Popular Fiction, Mystery, Medical Thriller
Length: 100, 000 words Audio: 12 hours 14 minutes
Hardcover: color foil jacket, imprinted spine
Price: $4.99 (eBook)
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Lemuria Books; Jackson, MS
Using unmistakable realism, Mississippi physician-author Darden North stirs greed, revenge, and family tragedy into an explosive, award-winning medical thriller that rips a fictional southern town apart.
POINTS OF ORIGIN --also available in digital audio
Points of Origin (hardcover)
Publisher's Summary "Points of Origin"
Small southern towns are not always sleepy—particularly in Larkspur, Mississippi, where homes burst into flames and lives crumble. It is the suspicious death of a young woman that costs premiere plastic surgeon Dan Foxworth his surgical dynasty, his life, and that of his wife. Devastated by the loss of both parents and unable to meet a bitter grandfather's expectations, Sher Foxworth tries to save an elderly woman from her burning home. Suddenly the accidental hero, his life is turned upside down by disturbing twists of fate. To dig his way out, Sher makes a deal to wear a fireman’s hat and remains the hero. But it is the philandering, wealthy trial lawyer Cordell Pixler who collects the enemies. Many in the boiling southern town seek revenge against Pixler—some because of sex and some because of money—and it’s a race to see who nails him first. “Points of Origin” was awarded nationally in Southern Fiction by the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards and is the second novel by Darden North. The audio book is narrated by Fred Wolinsky: FredWolinsky.Weebly.com.
Characters leap from the pages, April 25, 2007
Reviewed by Susan Pettrone for Reader Views (3/07)
Sher Foxworth has it all, he's a star football player, popular kid, the son of a wealthy, successful plastic surgeon and a young man who, as they say, "has the world on a string with a down pull"...then his life changes in a heartbeat. His father is accused of medical malpractice in the unfortunate death of a young woman Flowers Ridley, whose mother, Charity, has high hopes of her as a pageant queen. Spurred on by a lawyer with dollar signs in his eyes and a greedy sister, Faith, Charity is relentless in her search for justice. The fact that Charity is honestly grieving for her lost daughter is lost on her relentless sister who sees no closure for Charity but unending funds to support her daughter's hopes of future pageant crowns.
The malpractice case ends badly, and Dr. Foxworth is forced to sell his practice and liquidate his assets to settle the lawsuit. He loses virtually everything including his dignity as deep depression sets into his life. Trying desperately to put his life back together Dr. Foxworth and his wife plan a getaway to New Orleans hoping that the trip will reestablish them in society and give him a fresh start while lifting his depression at the same time.
But as these things so often happen, something goes drastically wrong as Dr Foxworth's plane is taking off at a small airport. Somehow it fails to gain altitude as it should, crashing into trees at the end of the runway, scorching the playing field on the outskirts of Sher's private school Whitestone, and leaving Sher shocked and alone with only his grandfather in his life, his parents killed instantly in the crash.
For about a year after this event, Sher's grandfather visits his grandmother who has been admitted to a medical center for Alzheimer's until one day the visits stop and Sher's grandmother is gone, dead from aspiration pneumonia. Again Sher loses someone in his life he loves.
The decline of Sher is dramatic. His life is a mess and an end to his decline doesn't seem to be in sight. He enters college and continues on with his wayward life, ending his freshman year with a dismal grade point average of only 1.8, dashing his hopes of medical school, as if with cold water, as he realizes his dreams as a surgeon are most likely lost. Though he works throughout the following years to regain his stature in academics, his medical entrance exam scores and low grade point cannot gain him admittance into medical school and Sher is forced to rethink his life.
Far from the future he had hoped and planned on as a surgeon. Sher finds himself drawn into the life of a firefighter and his life takes a turn of fate which proves instrumental in the storyline. For throughout this book we are given glimpses into the thoughts and actions of an arsonist and watch with horror as he wreaks lives and homes with his use of fire and destruction. We see how he works with cold determination to destroy and enflame whatever displeases him at the time...or whatever he is paid to destroy.
The ending to this book is as shocking and surprising as the reactions of the characters when the final fire is raging and the last few pages of this book leave the reader in a state of emotional exhaustion due to the intensity of the scenes and shocking revelations within. I will not give away the ending of the book but I will say this much. The ending is one of the most heart-stopping, spellbinding endings I have read in a long time and one which haunted me for days after closing the cover.
I would highly recommend this book for those who like suspense, intrigue and a book filled with characters which seem to leap from the pages and fill ones thoughts far after the book is done. A perfect book for those suspense lovers in your life or a great book which will transport you from everyday life to that of Sher Foxworth, simply said, this book is a masterpiece of interwoven stories and one not to be missed. Read it yourself and see if you agree when I say, "Points of Origin" is a 'must read' and one which must be experienced to truly appreciate the intricate characterizations within.
Bluffs and Bayous magazine, December 2006
Reviewed by Mary Emrick, owner of Turning Pages Books and More; Natchez, MS
POINTS OF ORIGIN by Darden North, M. D.
Deceit, greed, affairs, death, love, guilt and revenge------you can not have a great mystery adventure novel without some of these ingredients. Darden North, M. D. has included all of these components to create the perfect mix in his new novel Points of Origin. I agree with others who have reviewed this second North novel, "It is even better than his first, House Call."
Set in the fictional but typical small Mississippi town of Larkspur, Points of Origin will keep you intrigued until the last page is turned. But I must warn you—this is not a book for speed readers. If you skim the surface of this book you will probably miss some very important information and you may not understand how Darden North’s myriad characters and subplots merge into one great story with what I consider to be a just conclusion.
Sheridan Smith Foxworth, III has a life that is envied by his peers. Sher is a handsome young man who serves as quarterback for the local private school, makes good grades, has a plastic surgeon father and an attractive doting mother. His grandparents are his biggest fans and they are spoiling him with their wealth. The first fifteen years of Sher’s life were storybook perfect as he starred as the invincible prince. Just as we all learn from life, when circumstances are at their best they have nowhere to go but down and that is just what happened to Sher. His life plummeted.
Wanting to improve her daughter’s life Charity brought her daughter Flowers to see Dr. Sheridan Foxworth Jr. for "routine" plastic surgery. Everything appeared to go well but due to an undetected genetic blood disorder, Flowers died a week later from a blood clot. Tort lawyer, Cordell Pixler won a malpractice suit for the grieving mother that was the largest settlement awarded in Mississippi. The death took not only a hopeful girl’s young life but took the life out of Charity, Dr. Foxworth and the doctor’s family. It was a tragedy for all concerned.
Points of Origin as the title indicates is the story of several fires and how they began —or is it the story of one fire and its beginnings? The reader will learn more about pyrotechnology than hopefully he will ever need. An unnecessary detour in the novel’s plot takes you to Montclair the setting of North’s House Call. I guess it is hard for an author to part with characters they know so well from the past. Dr. North has improved his writing style with his second book and it flows together to a superb ending that will satisfy all who are proponents of tort reform.
Author Darden North, is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who practices medicine in Jackson, Mississippi, where he lives with his wife and two children. North said that the fictional storyline of his second novel, Points of Origin, was born prior to completion of his first published mystery work and that a third novel is in the works.
JOURNAL MSMA, November 2007 ––Vol. 48, No. 11
JACKSON PHYSICIAN DARDEN NORTH IS BACK WITH HIS SECOND NOVEL, POINTS OF ORIGIN. BASED IN THE FICTIONAL MISSISSIPPI SMALL TOWN OF LARKSPUR, NORTH HAS CONSTRUCTED A TALE FILLED
WITH MYSTERY, INTRIGUE, HUMOR, PATHOS, ANDREVENGE. POINTS OF ORIGIN IS A REAL PAGE TURNER.
Darden North is back with another novel,
and this, his finely crafted second novel,Points of Origin, is Southern fiction at its best. North displays the skill of a mature writer,exploring his talent and imagination within the world of the modern day South. Based in the fictional Mississippi small town of Larkspur, North has constructed a tale
filled with mystery, intrigue, humor, pathos, and revenge.
The thrilling plot has twists, turns, and suspense, as well as several subplots which weave together in the end. Points of Origin is a real page turner.A point of origin is where a fire starts, and the point of origin for the fire of this novel is a plaintiff lawyer’s greed. As that detestable trial attorney, the
self-centered Cordell Pixler, uses and destroys others for personal gain and wealth, the fire smolders for years before erupting in a bonfire at the book’s end.
The hero of the book, Sher Foxworth, is athletic,handsome, and smart. He is the son of a plastic surgeon, whose life and practice have been devastated
by a frivolous, yet successful, malpractice lawsuit. After academic failure at Ole Miss, the son becomes a
fireman rather than following in the family tradition to become a physician. The many victims of Pixler, all abused and bitter, conspire separately to burn down his opulent mansion, the symbol of his conceit and greed.
North brings back some familiar faces from his first novel, but the major characters are all new, fresh,and original; North vividly paints their colorful lives and personalities.
Docs will love this book. There is no doubt the author’s perspective of the world is that of a physician.He is shown in his blue scrubs, with a pager attached to his waist, on the back cover of the book’s dust-jacket.
However, one would know the book was written by a physician without this dust-jacket attire just by reading
a few pages in the book. Here is his near-clinical description of the death of a young woman by a pulmonary embolus. He writes as only a physician nnovelist would: “Deep in the valves of the lower left leg, some platelets within her own blood aggregated to
form a nidus: a base for additional platelets to attach along with other blood particles to create a red fibrin
thrombus…The first symptoms of the initial episode were nonspecific: mild shortness of breath attributed to
her urgent struggles for the toilet from too many Diet Cokes…Before long, minute pieces of clot broke away
from their origin deep in a left leg vein, and then raced
CONTINUED ON PAGE 355...
JOURNAL MSMA, November 2007 ––Vol. 48, No. 11 355
through the circulatory system,
searching to lodge in the most
damaging distant location.” (130-1)
For North, the clot is as living a
character as the young woman it so
Another aspect of the book
which will appeal to physician
readers is its scathing condemnation
of trial lawyers. Many of the book’s
pages offer revealing looks at the
materialism, greed, and ostentatious
displays of that despised class of
lawyer whose personal wealth has been derived from helping the so-called “little guy” destroy others. His
memorable description of the medical malpractice trial of Dr. Dan Foxworth is well-done. He ably reveals the power of persuasion on a jury of a talented plaintiff lawyer, who easily dismisses the truth by distorting and manipulating the facts of a case. North describes Pixler at a party as “the devil himself.” He adds, “No, he was
more than the devil. He was an asshole. His life was more than good by earthly standards: elaborate home,sexy wife, lots of money…he was too drunk, or too high or whatever, to be aware of much more than the firm,young bosoms shaking before him, barely supported by a dress made more of jewels than fabric.” (370)
Forgive me for thinking such, but I wished for the book to be required reading for every graduate of Mississippi’s two law schools! North’s depiction of life in small town Mississippigoes beyond Andy Griffith’s sentimental Mayberry by exploring the materialism, prejudice, feuds, and
pettiness which can often be seen underneath the surface of a tranquil rural community. His reflections on college life at Ole Miss are also commendable. He ably relates the distractions for a small town valedictorian in that almost implausible and unique world of fraternities, alcohol, and beautiful women. He writes of regrettable “memories of morning cactus breath and Visine-proof bloodshot eyes” and the wasted freshman year or the
novel’s hero. (10)
Mississippi readers will also appreciate the telling references to Hurricane Katrina and its reduction of a home “to a sand-covered slab before a
panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico.” His description of debris in the branches of leafless live oaks, as well as the anguish of Katrina’s impact on the residents of the Gulf Coast,
captures the physical and emotional devastation of this state’s worst natural disaster.(249-251)
The end of the novel is also satisfying: after the bonfire, the young fireman finally makes it to medical school, returning to his home town to resurrect his father’s plastic surgery practice. Strangely, Sher has become a “model Larkspurian.”
I recommend this Mississippi moral tale to all, but especially to physicians, their wives, and family members. Dr. North, a practicing obstetrician/
gynecologist in Jackson and a MSMA member, is atwork on additional novels, so expect more from his talented pen. The promotional slogan for his books,
which can’t help but make one chuckle, is “Finally a doctor whose writing you can read.” His website has more about his writing and novels:
Points of Origin was recently judged as one of the best releases of Southern fiction by an independent publisher, receiving a 2007 Independent Publisher
Regional Book Award (IPPY). North deserves significant credit for his extraordinary gusto in creating this award-winning book, as well as its sister, his fine debut novel from 2005, House Call. The two novels form the foundation of what it hoped will be a
long and prolific writing career of a Mississippi physician. By the way, House Call, which has already sold out in two hardback printings, just came out in a new paperback edition in October. So, after reading Points of Origin, one can find North’s first book as well. Both are good reading, worth finding, and would make great Christmas gifts, especially Points of Origin for those impressionable young law students, with dollar signs in their eyes.
—Lucius Lampton, MD, Editor
Reviews for "Points of Origin (hardcover, eBook, & audio book)"
|Reviewed by Carol Mitchell
|What an interesting writer you are! I look forward to the opportunity to read more of your impressive writing career!
You are truly extraordinary!
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