points of origin
In Points of Origin, the death of 19-year-old patient Flowers Ridley costs Dr. Dan Foxworth his reputation, his fortune, his plastic surgery dynasty, and ultimately his own life. Still reeling from the tragedy and struggling to overcome his rejection from medical school, Dr. Foxworth’s son, Sher, breaks with family tradition and becomes a fireman. His new occupation pits him against a former schoolmate, now an arsonist hired to torch the mansion of Cordell Pixler, the same medical malpractice attorney who ruined Sher’s father. The shrinking Foxworth family’s resentment of Pixler is matched only by that of the attorney’s spurned mistress, humiliated personal architect, and the remaining Ridleys, who have squandered their medical malpractice jury award. When the attorney’s house explodes in flames, the origin of the fire does not rest with the arsonist alone. A fierce retribution is unleashed from many sources as Sher Foxworth finally avenges his family.
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(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.
Susan Pettrone, Reader Views

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.
Mary Emrick (owner of Turning Pages Books and More; Natchez, MS), Bluffs and Bayous magazine

I devoured both House Call and (North’s second novel) Points of Origin "…uncanny character development along classic southern lines.”

Kathy Spurlock, Executive Editor, The (Monroe, LA) News-Star