Point of Origin

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/08/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Angelique Papayannopoulos for Readers' Favorite

Betta Ferrendelli’s Point of Origin is the seventh book in the Samantha Church Mystery Series. Investigative journalist Samantha Church is investigating a series of devastating fires plotted by a serial arsonist. The case hits close to home when one of the fires kills Carol Brown, the best friend of Sam’s daughter April. Anguished by April’s heartache, Sam embarks on a dangerous quest to discover the killer's motivations. With more fires endangering lives, Sam is racing against time to prevent further fatalities. Armed with her journalistic talent and dependable sources within the police and fire departments, Sam is hot on the trail of possible offenders, each harboring dark secrets, who will stop at nothing to keep their motives concealed. Sam is not only putting herself against menacing adversaries but also the people she loves.

Point of Origin is an arson mystery thriller that will keep you turning the pages. With a masterful plot, Betta Ferrendelli keeps her readers in suspense, wondering what new disaster will unfold. In this story, you will be immersed in the compelling characters and can empathize with Sam as she deals with her inner demons while trying to be a role model and nurturer for her daughter. A simple and well-researched narrative is presented concisely with vivid descriptions. This intense tale reveals lies and deceit with every twist and turn, hooking the reader until the rousing finale. Amidst all the action, the novel explores motherhood, deception, betrayal, and justice. Readers who enjoy crime-solving mystery thrillers will find Point of Origin unputdownable and positively invigorating.

Grant Leishman

Point of Origin by Betta Ferrendelli is the seventh mystery in the Samantha Church Mystery Series. Samantha Church is a small-town community newspaper journalist who has a knack for getting involved in the very things that she is reporting on. With a nose for a mystery, this particular one hits way too close to home for Samantha’s liking. Their town of Grandview had been the target of a series of arson attacks this year but the latest one proved to be a step up in the terror and pain these fires were causing. As Samantha and her photographer rush to the scene of the latest house fire, she realizes in horror that the house involved is the home of Carol Brown, her daughter April’s best friend. When she discovers that Carol and her father have both died in the latest atrocity, she is devastated. With her usual determined doggedness, Samantha must put aside her own and her daughter’s grief to focus on finding out just who is responsible. The closer she gets, though, the more at risk, she and her family become.

Point of Origin is a good old-fashioned detective/murder mystery with the twist here being instead of a detective, the prime sleuth is a female reporter. Author Betta Ferrendelli has no doubt created a fascinating backstory to Samantha over the past six iterations of her escapades; however, it's not necessary to read the previous stories. This is a self-contained and well-deciphered mystery and stands alone as an excellent story. I particularly appreciated Samantha who is someone that many readers will identify with as a working solo mother who has to constantly juggle work deadlines with the needs of her child. Her checkered past, especially her ongoing battle with alcohol, just serves to make her more interesting and proves that despite her heroics, Sam is as flawed, confused, and as vulnerable as the next person. The solving of the crimes is well thought out and well written with the clues enabling readers to make their judgments and suppositions about who the perpetrators might be. This is an incredibly easy read, perfect to breeze through in a single afternoon. I was intrigued enough by this interesting character, especially the potential romance issues that were left hanging, and I am looking forward to the next installment. This is an emotional and satisfying read that I highly recommend.

Antoinette Wessels

A series of extreme fires and exciting mysteries are what you can expect in Point of Origin by Betta Ferrendelli. Samantha Church is an excellent journalist, one who goes above and beyond to root out the story behind the story. When a fire hits near home, Sam goes even further to find out who is behind the fire. The look on April’s face when Sam tells her daughter that her best friend, Carol, has died in the latest fire keeps Sam going. When Sam is brutally attacked during an activity for a citizens' fire academy, the stakes get even higher. But instead of backing off, Sam goes the extra mile. Will all her efforts eventually pay off to find the mystery arsonist, or will she be the next victim?

The mystery will keep you guessing who the arsonist is until the end. Betta Ferrendelli does not beat around the bush when she writes, and I could not guess the identity of the arsonist until it was revealed in the last few chapters. What sets Point of Origin apart from most books is the relatable main character, Samantha Church. She is a rehabilitated alcoholic with a fuller figure, with the same emotional issues most of us struggle with. This just made Point of Origin even more enjoyable. With relatable characters and an exciting storyline, Point of Origin should be on the to-read list of all mystery lovers. I am ecstatic that I had the opportunity to read this excellent novel.