First edition cover
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Deception Point is a 2001 techno-thriller novel by Dan Brown. The plot concerns a meteorite found within the Arctic Circle that may provide proof of extraterrestrial life, and attempts by dark forces to prevent this finding from becoming public.
Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton works for the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office). Her father, Senator Sedgewick Sexton, is a presidential candidate who is more popular than incumbent President of the United States Zachary Herney. The President sends her to the Arctic as part of a team of experts to confirm and authenticate findings made by NASA deep within the Milne Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island. NASA's new Polar Orbiting Density Scanner (PODS), part of the Earth Observation System (EOS), a collection of satellites monitoring the globe for signs of large-scale change, has found an extremely dense spot in the Milne Ice Shelf. At this spot NASA discovers a very dense meteorite. In it are insect fossils very similar to, but not the same as, species on earth. NASA claims this as proof of extraterrestrial life.
The find is something NASA needs in the light of recent failures. Senator Sexton uses these failures as an example of government overspending to further his campaign (initially the idea had been Gabrielle Ashe's, his personal advisory); he wants to abolish NASA and direct the funding toward public schools instead. In order to ensure that the discovery is not tarnished by the reputation that NASA has developed, the President sends four leading civilian scientists (Michael Tolland, a famous oceanographer and TV personality; Corky Marlinson, a brilliant but eccentric astrophysicist; Norah Mangor, a prickly glaciologist and Wailee Ming, a palaeontologist) to the Arctic to verify the meteorite's authenticity.
A Delta Force team is also observing the discovery, monitoring the NASA staff for an unknown commander. Ming observes an irregularity within the pit from which the meteorite was extracted. He reaches into the water to obtain a sample and falls in due to an attack by microbots operated by the Delta Force team. He soon drowns at the bottom of the pit.
When Tolland sees the irregularity within the pit, he shares it with Corky Marlinson and Rachel Sexton. They report it to Mangor, who confirms that there is sea water in what should be a closed area with only freshwater. The four go outside to scan the ice from a distance. The scan shows Ming's body in the water and a column of frozen sea ice beneath the meteorite where it was drilled up into the glacier. Upon discovering this, the four are attacked by the Delta Force team, leaving Norah Mangor dead. Sexton, Tolland and Marlinson escape and are picked up by the Navy submarine USS Charlotte. The Delta Force team believes them to be dead, leaving the scientists a chance to tell the President's advisor and Rachel's boss at the NRO about their discovery, and the subsequent attack. Rachel's boss, NRO director William Pickering, has them airlifted from the sub to a chopper which escorts them away from the meteorite discovery site.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Gabrielle receives an email to meet with an anonymous contact inside the White House who has been providing reliable intel recently on the campaign. They meet in the White House, and the contact is revealed to be the President's senior adviser, Marjorie Tench. Tench attempts to blackmail Gabrielle with photos of her relationship with Senator Sexton.
Senator Sexton's true motive for wanting to abolish NASA is revealed to be his work for the interests of private corporations from the Space Frontier Foundation, who wish to profit from space exploration in the event that NASA is dismantled. Rachel is unaware of this, and believes that the President and NASA are part of the conspiracy to kill them. If so, their motive would be to cover up evidence that the meteorite is fake and solely designed to gain support for the incumbent President in the upcoming election. Aboard Tolland's ship off the New Jersey coast, where the Delta Force arrives via helicopter to kill them, Rachel sends a fax message to her father asking for help.
Sexton, Tolland, and Marlinson work together to kill the Delta Force squad in self-defense. Rachel is surprised to see Pickering emerging from the helicopter, revealing that he is the commander of the Delta Force squad. He tells Rachel about her father's true motivations for becoming President, and that he (Pickering) masterminded the fake meteorite to hurt Senator Sexton's campaign, protecting the American people in his eyes. When the President sent the civilian team to verify the authenticity of the meteorite, Pickering realized that they would discover his plot and that they needed to be eliminated at all costs. Rachel attempts to reason with Pickering, saying that murder is not a justifiable way of solving the problem. Pickering, however, says that he is "sacrificing a few to save many", and that he will finish the job personally. Pickering shoots at the three with a machine gun, but they manage to get off of the ship. The helicopter slides off the ship into the sea, sinking to the bottom. The intense heat at the bottom ignites the Hellfire Missiles still on the helicopter, tearing the existent magma plume at the bottom of the sea, creating a water vortex. The ship is sucked in by the vortex, and Pickering is implied to have been killed in the wreck.
Senator Sexton then reads the fax message his daughter sent him to the public, possibly incriminating the President and NASA. He copies the evidence and puts them in letters for the press. However, when he holds a press conference, Gabrielle disguises herself as a news reporter and swaps the letters (with the evidence inside) for pictures of the relationship between Gabrielle and Sexton, blackmailing Sexton into not accusing the President and NASA of a conspiracy, and allowing the President to reveal NASA's failings himself in an apologetic fashion. This leaves Sexton in a precarious position, whilst Herney enjoys renewed support.
By the end of the story, Michael and Rachel have developed a romantic relationship.
- Rachel Sexton – the protagonist; a data analyst for the National Reconnaissance Office and Senator Sexton's daughter.
- Michael Tolland – an oceanographer and television celebrity-scientist.
- Zachary Herney – the President of the United States.
- Senator Thomas Sedgewick Sexton – Rachel's father, a presidential candidate
- Corky Marlinson – a world renowned astrophysist called in to authenticate the meteorite found by NASA.
- William Pickering – Director of the NRO and commander of the Delta Force
- Gabrielle Ashe – Senator Sexton's aide
- Norah Mangor – a glaciologist
- Dr. Wailee Ming – a paleontologist
- Xavia – A Marine Geologist
- Marjorie Tench – Senior Adviser to the President.
- Lawrence Ekstrom – Administrator of NASA.
- Delta-One - A member of the Delta Squad.
- Delta-Two - A member of the Delta Squad.
- Delta-Three - A member of the Delta Squad.
- Charles Brophy – a Canadian geologist.
- Chris Harper – mission director of the Polar Orbiting Density Scanner
- Yolanda Cole – Gabrielle Ashe's friend and employee at the Washington branch of ABC
- Katherine Wentworth Sexton – Rachel Sexton's late mother and Senator Sexton's wife.
- Celia Birch – Michael Tolland's deceased first wife.
- Diana Pickering – William Pickering's deceased daughter.
Foreign language editions
The following is a list of foreign language editions of the novel. This is not a list of foreign language Wikipedias with an article on the novel, but merely editions in which the novel was printed. Those that are listed here are linked to the article on the novel on that language's Wikipedia. Foreign language Wikipedias that feature an article on the novel but in which an edition of the novel was not printed are not listed here are in the sidebar to the left of the article.
- Mashtrimi i madh – Albania
- Ponto de Impacto – Brazil
- El gran engany – Catalan
- 骗局 – China
- Anatomie lži/Pavučina lží – Czech
- Morderisk Bedrag – Denmark
- Pettepunkt – Estonia
- Meteoriitti – Finland
- Deception Point – France
- Meteor – German
- Αρκτικός Κύκλος – Greek
- נקודת_ההונאה – Israel
- A megtévesztés foka – Hungarian
- La verità del ghiaccio – Italy
- デセプション・ポイント – Japan
- Maldu Zona – Latvian]
- De Delta Deceptie – Netherlands
- Iskaldt bedrag – Norway
- Zwodniczy punkt – Polish
- Ponto de Impacto/A Conspiração – Portugal
- Точка обмана – Russia
- Тачка преваре – Serbia
- Bod klamu – Slovak
- La conspiración – Spanish
- I cirkelns mitt – Swedish
- แผนลวงสะท้านโลก – Thai
- İhanet Noktası – Turkey
- Точка обману – Ukraine
- Deception Point World Editions at Dan Brown's official site
- Statsbiblioteket. Department of the Danish National Library. Retrieved November 13, 2011
- Hr. Ferdinand (publisher in Denmark); Retrieved November 13, 2011
- "Rahva Raamat". Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- A Megtevesztes Foka. nappal.hu. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Bod klamu at Shop.sk; Retrieved August 11, 2010
- Точка обману on Book club's site