Book Review

Book Review: Deception Point by Dan Brown

Author: Dan Brown

Publication: 2001

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Language: English

Main Characters: Rachel Sexton, Michael Tolland, Thomas Sedgewick Sexton, Corky Marlinson, Zachary Herney, William Pickering

Narrator: third person from the different perspectives of the various characters.

Theme: Deception and the search for the truth


Book Summary: Deception Point

When a new NASA satellite detects evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory…a victory that has profound implications for U.S. space policy and the impending presidential election.

With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Arctic to verify the authenticity of the find.

Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable – evidence of scientific trickery – a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy…


Characters: Deception Point

Authentication team: During the story, NASA invites five external experts to help authenticate the meteorite finding as secondary sources:

  • Rachel Sexton: A data analyst for NRO and Senator Sexton’s daughter.
  • Michael Tolland: An oceanographer and television celebrity-scientist,
  • Corky Marlinson: A world-renowned astrophysicist and a staunch proponent of the authenticity of the meteorite
  • Norah Mangor: A prickly glaciologist,
  • Wailee Ming: A paleontologist with an impeccable dress habit


  • Zachary Herney: The President of the United States.
  • Senator Thomas Sedgewick Sexton: Rachel’s father and an ambitious presidential candidate
  • Marjorie Tench: Senior Adviser to the president.
  • Gabrielle Ashe: Senator Sexton’s aide and one-time mistress


  • Lawrence Ekstrom: Administrator of NASA
  • Chris Harper: NASA section manager


  • William Pickering: The main antagonist, director of NRO and the handler of the Delta Force team
  • Delta Force team: A team of three, apparently male, they are the death squad of William Pickering..

Book Review: Deception Point

Another fast-paced thriller dealing with the NASA from Dan Brown. I found this novel to be right on par with Digital Fortress and thought that it was a very well-written thriller. From start to finish Deception Point takes the ball and runs with it like any other Dan Brown thriller. I like that the plot moves around in scenery from the Arctic to Washington, DC and a few points in-between keeping the action flowing and the characters moving around instead of being static in one place.

This is vintage Dan Brown before his The Da Vinci Code fame. A president on the precipice of losing re-election is about to make a stupendous announcement that may save his presidency and the fate of NASA. Beneath hundreds of feet of ice in the Arctic, a satellite discovers a meteorite. This one is not your typical iron-core, space remnant. This one has… and here, I won’t spoil the surprise.

The majority of Deception Point follows a woman, the daughter of the president’s principal opponent, but who serves the president, and a small coterie of scientists who the president flies to the Arctic circle in F-14s. They’re all there to offer substantiation for the discovery of a lifetime.

But something is afoot, and our protagonist and friends have to run for their lives, surviving impossible odds again and again.

Dan Brown is a master at plot. Truly, the plotting is ingenious and exhilarating. There is never a dull moment! And this allows us to overlook weaknesses in the novel: characters who are almost three-dimensional but not quite. But for twists, turns, action, and a thrill ride, Deception Point will not disappoint!


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