Point Blanc

Point Blanc

infobox Book |
name = Point Blank
title_orig =
translato =

image_caption = First edition cover
author = Anthony Horowitz
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series = Alex Rider series
genre = Adventure, spy
publisher = Walker Books
release_date = 4 September 2001
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 274 pp (first edition, paperback)
isbn = ISBN 0-7445-5971-5 (first edition, paperback)
preceded_by = Stormbreaker
followed_by = Skeleton Key

Point Blanc (North America, "Point Blank") follows on from Stormbreaker and is the second book in the "Alex Rider" series written by British author Anthony Horowitz. The book was released in the United Kingdom on September 3 2001 and in North America on April 15 2002, as "Point Blank".

Plot summary

At school, Alex sees drug dealers selling to students. In revenge, he uses a crane to lift their barge, intending to set it down in front of a police station. However, the crane is deactivated, causing the barge to destroy a police conference room instead. Alex is detained, and released to custody of MI6. The head of MI6, Alan Blunt, blackmails Alex Rider into investigating the death of billionaires Michael Roscoe, CEO of Roscoe's Electronics,and Viktor Ivanov, a high-ranking Russian, whose sons both attended an academy in the French Alps named Point Blanc. Supermarket magnate David Friend agrees to take Alex in as a "son," and Alex takes the identity of "Alex Friend." He spends a week at the Friend estate. Afterwards, he is picked up by Eva Stellenbosch, a teacher at Point Blanc. After dinner in Paris, Alex realizes that his drink was spiked. Unconscious, he is taken to a laboratory where every inch of his body is photographed.

When Alex arrives at Point Blanc, he meets a boy called James Sprintz who shows him around. The pair quickly become friends. Sprintz tells him that he believes the boys are being replaced, as a few unruly boys became obedient overnight. Sprintz, too, is soon replaced. Alex investigates, and finds the real boys in a jail, and promises to help them. Stellenbosch, however, catches Alex and turns him over to the director, Dr. Hugo Grief.

Grief explains his plans to Alex Rider, collectively called Gemini Project. In the 1980s, Grief was in South Africa during apartheid (which he greatly supported) and cloned sixteen copies of himself. When the boys were at Point Blanc, he had a plastic surgeon surgically alter his clones to resemble the real boys. After a short while, the clone and the real boy are swapped. As the fathers die and pass on their inheritance, Grief takes the assets from the clones. Eventually, he will rule the world, and reinstate apartheid globally. Grief then incarcerates Alex. Alex takes his exploding ear-stud, blows up his cage and escapes with a makeshift snowboard made from an ironing board. Upon discovering that Alex escaped, Grief sends men to capture him. Alex manages to evade them, but crashes and is hospitalized. Stellenbosch is told that he has died.

Mrs. Jones then sends Alex to raid the school with SAS soldiers. During the raid, the original boys are freed. In an encounter with Stellenbosch, Wolf shoots her and she dies. Alex then sees Dr. Grief taking off in a helicopter. He uses a snowmobile to take down the helicopter.

When Alex Rider returns home, he is told by Mrs. Jones and Alan Blunt that the rescue mission was a success and that all of the boys were rescued and that fifteen clones were disposed of. Alex Rider returns home, and his housekeeper Jack is stunned to see him, saying he only just left, he is then called to his school, to the shock of a janitor who states “you… again!”, Alex goes to the Head’s office where he discovers that the sixteenth clone, which Grief's surgeons had surgically altered to resemble him, eluded capture. Alex and his clone fight throughout the school and to the roof, when the school catches on fire. Alex Rider escapes, but his clone dies.

Critical reception

Reviewer Chris High said, "For first class spills, thrills, and adventure, Anthony Horowitz can be safely said to have cornered the modern market...influenced greatly by Ian Fleming's work." Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz review! "Read Hot" calls it a "must read for all teenagers". Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz The "School Library Journal" says, "Spy gadgets, chase scenes, mysteries, and a cliff-hanger ending will keep even reluctant readers interested in the second novel in this series." "Book list" also says that "Point Blanc" is a great read for any reluctant teenager ready for a thrilling spy adventure.


*Shortlisted for the 2002 Children’s Book Award.
*Winner of the 2004 Childdren's Book Award


ee also

*Alex Rider

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