|Point Blanc (novel)|
Point Blanc European and Australian cover
September 3, 2001 (UK); March 31, 2002 (North America)
288 (UK); 215 (USA)
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
|“||High in the Alps, death waits for Alex Rider||”|
—Point Blanc tagline
Alex Rider is at school and witnesses a man called Skoda selling drugs to some of his classmates. Alex follows him to his home, situated on a barge, but is caught by the police after using a crane to lift the barge out of the water. He accidentally drops it in a police conference center rather than a nearby car park, as he intended. The police arrest the man.
Fortunately, no one is killed, but Alex’s real identity is revealed when he’s taken back to the station. MI6 then blackmail Alex into investigating the deaths of Roscoe and Viktor Ivanov, a high-ranking Russian official - in exchange for all potential charges being dropped. The only thing linking these deaths are their rebellious sons’ attendance at the Point Blanc Academy in the French Alps.
Alex undergoes a dramatic physical change and takes the identity of Alex Friend, the son of billionaire David Friend. He stays with the family for a week in preparation for his infiltration of the academy. He is picked up by Eva Stellenbosch, who takes him to the De Mondu hotel in Paris. That night, his beverage at dinner is drugged, and while he is unconscious he is stripped completely naked, with every inch of his body is meticulously photographed, measured and examined for unknown reasons at this point in the plot.
Alex arrives at the academy and strikes a friendship with James Sprintz, another pupil at the academy who was asked to show Alex around. James explains that something weird goes on in the academy; the other rebellious, disrespectful students each underwent a sudden overnight change and become the seemingly "perfect" pupils. James attempts to escape, confiding in Alex about his plot. Alex investigates over a number of days, and one night after sneaking out, sees James being dragged from his room by several men and Stellenbosch. The next morning James acts strangely, and has given up his escape plan. Alex investigates further, before contacting MI6 via a device given to him by Smithers.
Alan Blunt and Tulip Jones decide against sending immediate help. They instead put a unit on standby, and Alex searches the academy’s basement, where he finds James and the other students, who explain that Doctor Grief, head of the academy, has made clones of them. Alex goes to leave to bring help, but Stellenbosch knocks him unconscious before he can.
Grief explains to Alex about his plan: in the 1990s, he made sixteen clones of himself, and is now using a plastic surgeon to alter their appearances to resemble the sons of rich and influential people, as a means to eventually have his clones inherit the assets of these individuals and become one of the most powerful men in the world. He adds that Roscoe and Ivanov were both killed for suspecting that their "sons" were acting abnormally.
Grief then threatens Alex by saying he will be killed the next morning through a live dissection, and imprisons him. Alex, using one of Smithers' devices, escapes and snowboards down the mountain the academy is situated on using an improvised ironing board. While escaping his pursuers, Alex is hospitalized when the force of a nearby train throws him into a fence.
When Stellenbosch visits him in hospital, planning on finishing him off, she is told that he is dead. She then watches as an SAS team carry a coffin onto a C-130 Hercules, which seemingly flies to London. This is false however, and Mrs Jones convinces Alex to return to the academy with an SAS squad, led by Wolf, in order to rescue the students.
While storming the school, Alex is attacked by Stellenbosch, who is shot dead by Wolf just before she could kill Alex. However, Wolf is also shot in the process, and Alex rushes out the building in anger to see Grief about to leave via helicopter. In a desperate bid to stop him, Alex uses a snowmobile to drive forward and smash into the helicopter, leaping off just before it hit. Grief is killed when the vehicle collides with his aircraft.
Alex returns home, where Mrs Jones tells Alex in a debriefing that the rescue mission was a success and that all fifteen clones were apprehended. Alex then receives a call informing him to visit the head teacher of his school, Mr Bray. When he arrives and finds a clone of himself, he recalls Mrs Jones’ words (as well as Jack Starbright's) and realized that one clone – his own – had escaped. Alex then fights his clone in the school, and one of the two fall from the roof of the school. It is left ambiguous which Alex survives.
- Galaxy British Book Awards: The Children's Book of the Year
- Lancashire Children's Book of the Year
- Blue Peter Book Awards: The Book I Couldn't Put Down
- Askews Torchlight Children's Book Award
- The book Alex Rider: The Mission Files claims that Anthony Horowitz was inspired by the first successful clone, Dolly the sheep. Horowitz read about it in a newspaper one day, and this inspired the book Point Blanc.
- Skoda's real name is rumored to be Jake.
- It was mentioned in a supplement that a third person was killed by the Gentleman before Alex's mission in Point Blanc; the man killed was named Robert Merrick.
- It is the second book where Alex is debriefed when the antagonist is still alive. The first is Stormbreaker.
- It's also the second book where Alex is blackmailed to work for MI6. The first is again Stormbreaker.
- Point Blanc (graphic novel)
- Point Blanc - Walker Books (UK)
- Point Blanc Mission - Alex Rider official Website
|Point Blanc Characters|
|Alex Rider • Alan Blunt • Tulip Jones • Jack Starbright • Hugo Grief • Eva Stellenbosch|
|Other Key Characters|
|David Friend • Smithers • James Sprintz • Michael J. Roscoe • Wolf • John Crawley • Fiona Friend • Julius Grief|