Point Zero

Written by Joy Lanzendorfer Narek Malian
Review by Edward James

Point Zero tells three separate stories concurrently. Although they are intercut with each other, they deal with different people at different times and places. All they have in common is a concern with religious extremism.

We begin with Pope Urban II launching the First Crusade in 1095, and then we cut to Persia at about the same time to follow the career of a young man recruited to the Assassin sect, and then we move to present-day Paris and a young Syrian refugee’s romance with a French girl. The three stories are written in different styles, reflecting their different settings, and Malian draws no moral from any of them. However, there is an obvious moral purpose in setting them out in parallel. I presume that the author wants the reader to compare two discredited episodes from the 11th century (I presume the Crusades are now discredited) with the religious extremism of the present.

A short and entertaining read with a serious purpose.