Tales Point Horror Book Club – The Fever by Diane Hoh

#PointHorrorBookClub was created by author Juno Dawson in 2013. Juno announced in 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on so, with her blessing, I took over the reins.

So why not grab a copy and join the discussion with this months #PointHorrorBookClub

The Fever by Diane Hoh

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on a re-read? Have they not stood the test of time? After a hit of nostalgia? Or are you new to Point Horror and want to see what its all about?

Beware…….Spoilers Ahead

A mysterious fever rages through Duffy’s body, robbing her of her strength and leaving her helpless in a hospital bed. Then she is woken in the night by terrifying sounds. Is it a fever induced dream, or is she the only witness to a vicious murder?

The Tagline

Try to stay cool….because fever kills!

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Poor old Duffy Quinn has a fever and has been admitted to Twelvetrees hospital?!

Oh No!  Poor Duffy!  She must be really ill!  I bet her parents are worried sick (excuse the pun)!

Ermmmmmm not exactly.  Basically her Mum & Dad are extremely busy accountants and just do not have the time to look after their daughter whilst they are doing their tax returns!

Lol!  What a good excuse for missing parents in Point Horror!  So was Duffy okay?

Suffering from a fever Duffy thinks she has imagined an incident that happened in her room when she shouted out for help in the middle of the night (and was ignored…how very dare they).  She is trying so hard to work out what she has heard that someone decides that Duffy deserves to die!  That’s when the nausea, dizziness and funny lights start and fever aside basically all Duffy really wanted was a shower!

A shower?!  Hasn’t Duffy seen Pyscho?

The killer is so determined to bump off Duffy by any means!  This includes swapping of an out of order elevator sign, releasing the brake off Duffy’s wheelchair down a hill (laughs hysterically), trys to kill her in the shower and with a pillow!


Fear not Duffy has a pink razor, bug spray and a wide range of Point Horror boys to save her at every turn!

The Hospital

Yep the only hospital in Twelvetrees is getting a heading all of it’s own!

Wow!  What a hospital!

I loved the creepy tall, grim, gradually decaying building with it’s worn grey stones, mildew and covered in ivy walls setting.  And not to forget mentioning the wooden wheelchairs (!).  It was like something out of a horror movie….only with real live patients, staff and volunteers inside!

I don’t think it was the swapped medication that was making Duffy ill….it was obviously those pea green slacks and tunic combo that the safe wore as uniform.

And lets not go there with health and safety and hygiene……how was this hospital still running?!?

The Doctor

Dr Jonus Morgan took on a whole new level of Dr I just had to give him a quick mention.  Young, tall, boney and skinny with thick shagging eyebrows, beard and gold earing he really did not look after his patient well did he?  And although he frowned a lot I kind of found him more appealing than the boys in this Point Horror – more on that later!

The Girl

Cue worst patient in the world….well according to everyone in this Point Horror anyway…..

Dorothy “Duffy” Quinn with her sudden unexplained fever, cinnamon red hair, pretty oval face, temper and her self proclaimed odd sense of humour had never been sick before!  And after ending up in Twelvetrees hospital I bet she never wants to be sick ever again!

I’m not entirely sure what I think of Duffy.  She did have some get up and go in her as I think most Point Horror girls would have just lay there in the hospital bed.  I mean Duffy was determined to have a shower after all as she obviously found the expert sponge baths and delicious back rubs the nurses gave her as creepy as I did whilst reading it!

She did go through a lot before she figured out someone was trying to kill her though.  There was the Elevator scare, the runaway wheelchair (omg that was hilarious – sorry Duffy), shower attack and then the pillow attack and of course someone changing her medication!  Who knew a pink ladies razor, a carafe of water and a can of bug spray would come in handy!

*pops these by the side of my bed forever…just in cases*

I mean that must have hurt right?!

And yes a ladies razor bloomin hurts when you cut your leg shaving!


All in all Duffy was a determined Point Horror girl even when no one believed her over anything.  Even her parents!  The less said about them the better!

I found her quite entertaining.  Especially when she ran out of the shower looking like this in my head……


Or was this just the effect of the Digoxin?!

The Love Interest

There was that many boys lusting after Duffy whilst she was high with fever that I do not know who the love interest was in the end so I’m renaming this heading….

The Boys

Oh where to start!

One thing these boys all had in common is that they were all lusting after Duffy!  Fever or no fever!

Okay lets go with the boy version of Cinderella only without the happy ending……Kit Rappaport! Cute, smart and nice, a math wizard with carroty red hair.  Duffy rescued his frog and they had been good friends ever since.  Orphaned at the tender age of nine (and unfortunately killed off Point Horror style at the tender age of, I’m guessing 16), turned down for a scholarship and forced to work in his Uncle’s shoe shop we didn’t get to see much of him as he “moved to California” aka snuffed it before chapter two!  Although this was not revealed until the end.

I feel we missed out on a decent Point Horror boy here as he was cruelly taken away from us!

Dylan Rourke blue eyed, devilish and shrewed with a square honest face and a trail of freckles on his nose that had been broken twice and leaned to the right.  An employee as janitor at the hospital and classmate of Duffy.  He was the total opposite of Kit and struggled for good grades.  He had recently broken up with Amy and basically fancied the pants off Duffy.  I liked Dylan….he can run after my runaway wheel chair and save me any day!

And last but my no means least Smith Lewis!  An orderly at the hospital and I think he was meant to be our Point Horror hunk!  With his eyes the colour of root beer, sexy proud walk (which Duffy found arrogant), thick straight hair, practical jokes and black sports car he apparently sent pulses racing where ever he went and his catch phrase “You think I’m adorable right?” made me want to grab the sick bucket!  I’ve been watching this years big brother whilst reading this book and all I could picture was Marco!  Help Me!  I think I have caught Duffy’s fever!


The Girls

Blue eyed Amy Severn a junior volunteer at the hospital and of course classmate of Duffy.  She was kind and helpful with her blond hair perfect and sprayed so much into place it looked like plastic and her preppy clothes which included plaid skirts and sweaters she was a quiet and dutiful student and made it quite clear that looking at patients charts was illegal in Twelvetrees hospital!  She had cruelly been dumped by Dylan and gave Duffy’s the evil’s inbetween smiles and patient care of course.

Best friend Jane Sabatini was described as breathtakingly beautiful with thick dark lashes, dark curly hair, heart shaped face, perfectly flawless ivory skin, almost violet eyes and perfectly arched brows.  And yay for another overweight not skinny fab Point Horror character!  I loved Jane!  I wish she had featured a little more.  I mean she walked up four flights of stairs just to bring Duffy some magazines and ran errands for her when she had been running errands all morning with no questions asked.  A true friend indeed.

In fact I’m starting her own hashtag on twitter – #GIVEJANESABATINIHEROWNPOINTHORROR !

And last and most intentionally least we have junior volunteer and so determined to get into medical school that she TOUCHED AND MIXED UP THE PATIENT CHARTS FOR THE MAN WHO OWNED THE HOSPITAL, Cynthia Boon!  With she straight sandy hair, pale eyes, full mouth, shiny skin and tension lines she was described as ambitious and energetic and a KILLER!!  She killed off poor Kit after he discovered that she killed off Mr Latham who funded the hospital with as many wooden wheelchairs as possible and then because she killed Kit in the middle of the night in Duffy’s hospital room she had to kill Duffy next!  You have to feel sorry for her a little bit…..she was given a classic Point Horror ending and was sprayed in the eyes with bug spray and stabbed herself in her face with a hypordermic needle and then shoved on a slate in the morge!

Fashion Faux Pas

I spotted a few…..

Too tight Bermuda shorts over an oversized hot pink sweatshirt and hot pink bow!

And best of all…..Jane wearing lime green pedal pushers and a hot pink short-sleeved t shirt with the slogan, GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY GIVE ME A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!

Get me one now!

Dialogue Disasters

Here’s some lines that made me giggle…..

“Residents of the town of Twelvetrees, Maine, had often remarked sourly that it was not the sort of look a hospital established to welcome the sick and ailing should have”

The obviously had not been inside Twelvetrees hospital….it was far worse than the outside!

“Had it been someone out in the hall doing something useful with the old metal bedpans?”


“Dr’s were supposed to be balding or grey”

Duffy has never watched Casualty or Holby City then?  Or even visited Hollyoaks?!

“He might look like an ad for a physical fitness magazine, but there was a lot more to Dylan then brawn”

Any volunteers to answer this?

“Sensing that Duffy would rather spend valuable visiting time with her friends, her parent didn’t stay long”

Oh there’s a surprise!

“I wish we could come more often.  I worry about you every minute.  But it’s tax time, honey, and you know what that’s like”

I sense Duffy’s parents are LIARS!

“What you need is a man in your life.  Someone to take you out to a funny movie or dancing”

Firstly no Amy!  No!  And secondly I’m surprised Cynthia didn’t bump Amy off for saying this to her!

“What was Amy shaving with?  A power saw?”

All the lol’s!

“No one will ever be able to tell that you were dead before the car ever went off the road”

This was pre CSI so I will forgive Cynthia for this comment!

Body Count

2!  One pre the book starting and one in front of our very noses!

Is it scary?

Hmmmmmm not really.  I mean this was no Stiney Phirana Pit was it?!  Other than the fact there was not a squirt of hand gel in sight in that hospital which was scary enough and the clear breaches of patient care aka changing someones medication in order to bump them off!

Oh!  I did find the whole shower scene a little scary actually I have to be honest….I mean it was kind of violent and horror movie style scary!  It made up for me laughing so hard at the whole wheelchair scene!

*starts laughing again*

*doesn’t stop…ever*

Did the best friend do it?

Hmmmmm not really, but most of the characters in this Point Horror were a confusing hot sweat of friends/classmates/worked or volunteered at the hospital and who liked visiting Duffy more than actually you know…doing there job!

Some Mild Peril?

It’s like PHBC just want me to keep mentioning the runaway wheelchair again!


I think being admitted to a hospital because your ill with a fever and almost falling down a lift shaft, being rolled down a hill in a runaway wheelchair, being attacked when you finally get a shower and having your medication changed could be classed as mild peril don’t you think?

Or was Duffy just overreacting?

Is it any good?

Possibly not the best Diane Hoh offered to the Point Horror brand, but certainly not the worst.  I loved the concept of this one with the unknowing witness to a crime becoming the target and must be killed by any means in a creepy hospital setting, but the various coming and goings of the so called “friends” at every given opportunity and the amount of time Duffy waited and moaned about wanting a shower was a little strung out.  However the “attacks” on Duffy were pure classic Point Horror gold!

Final Thought


Even PHBC member Tara’s cat got the fever!


Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • Which boy (or maybe girl) would Duffy have got with in the end?
  • But what would have happened if Kit was still alive?
  • What happened to Cynthia?
  • If you had to bump Duffy off what method would you choose?
  • What would your Point Horror weapon of choice be for getting that killer?!

Feel free to pop me a comment using the reply button at the top of the page.


Use the #PointHorrorBookClub on Twitter on Instagram, follow PHBC on Instagram @talespointhorrorbookclub or even follow me @chelleytoy … lets have a good old Point Horror chat!

Want to explore previous #PointHorrorBookClub posts? I’ve got you! Head to the main page here

Thanks for joining in….


Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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19 Responses

  1. Chelley Toy says:

    Sorry I was so late posting this months PHBC everyone! It’s been a busy month 🙂 Promise next months will be up on time!

  2. Cazzy says:

    Hey PHBC!

    Have to agree Chelley, not Hoh’s finest but certainly not her worst either – I found the book fairly entertaining and I have to admit, this one had me guessing. At first I thought this might be a Steven King’s Misery situation, where someone had a weird obsession with Duffy, had made her sick in the first place and was trying to keep her sick so that she would remain at the hospital and murdering someone who rumbled them – clearly wrong ? I thought any of the kids working there (just how many were there??) were likely suspects, although Amy was my first guess (too nice!).

    I quite liked Duffy. I thought she was quite funny in a moody teenager way. Her strops were a delight – certainly reminded me of being a teenager. Not sure about her sense of humour though! I know she was trying to protect Jane but claiming she’d sent of on a wild goose chase over the medication, but would surely have to be the lamest prank ever? Not even a prank, just pointkess. The fact Jane believed her says a lot about the usual quality of Duffy Quinn’s pranks!

    On the subject of Jane, I quite liked her! A beauty who did not live up to 90s YA conventions and her wacky dress sense gave her a bit of individuality often lacking in these books.

    BUT the standout moment for me had to be the runaway wheelchair. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at any scene in a PH book before. Comedy gold ?? makes me laugh thinking about it now.

    Which boy (or maybe girl) would Duffy have got with in the end?
    Unlikely to be Dylan seeing as he stitched her up and stubborn old Duffy just can’t forgive him. I think Smith is the leading candidate here.

    But what would have happened if Kit was still alive?
    Kit would have remained working at his uncle’s shop til he was 40.

    What happened to Cynthia?
    She ended up with the other psychiatric patients on the 5th floor, living under the delusion that she had become a doctor.

    If you had to bump Duffy off what method would you choose?
    Smothering – just to shut her up!

    What would your Point Horror weapon of choice be for getting that killer?!
    Bedpan ?

    I much prefer the original cover (as always ). The newer ones are far too serious looking and misleading.

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Cazzy! I’m so happy you were a Jane fan too! I also forgot to mention that I did not guess the ending of this one. I did think it was going to be Amy too if I’m honest 🙂

  3. Paul P says:

    Ah, Diane Hoh is my favourite Point Horror author. I agree this wasn’t her best offering, but it’s still better than what most of the other authors give us.

    For me the big problem was that the prologue basically told us that Duffy had overheard a murder being committed, yet most of the book had her being unaware of why someone might want her dead. At the halfway point, it just began to drag. When Duffy’s contemplating the ridiculous notion that Amy wants her dead because she’s jealous of Dylan’s obvious crush on Duffy, I was groaning out loud. I mean, this was page 121 in an 187 page book! I already knew why someone wanted Duffy dead, and was waiting for Duffy to catch up.

    Also, the whole affair was a bit rinse-and-repeat.

    1. Duffy thinks somebody is trying to hurt her.

    2. Everybody tells Duffy it’s her fever and she should try to rest.

    3. Duffy doesn’t want to rest and complains about being in hospital and generally behaves like a spoilt brat.

    And what sort of fever is this??? Why is it taking the doctors so long to diagnose what they already think is the flu? Is it because this is the early 90s and I’ve already forgotten how far medical technology has come since? I’m not sure. I think Diane got given the title and had to work with what she had!

    That being said, the first half was great, with the elevator switcheroo, the wheelchair hijinks and the shower attack. After that, it dragged a bit, with the tedious dithering about in regards to why someone might want Duffy dead.

    However, the climax was a ripper. An attempted strangulation, a chase into the morgue, and a confrontation that ends with a needle being lodged in someone’s face! Brilliant!

    I liked Diane Hoh because she didn’t try to write for teenagers. She just wrote about them. Minimal trendy teen speak. Just good, clean mystery thrillers that kind of remind me of what Mary Higgins Clark might write if she wrote for Point Horror!

    Which boy (or girl) might Duffy have gotten with in the end? Since you’ve opened up the possibilities, I’ll say “Threesome!” Those solve everything. You can pick the participants. Sorry to be prurient.

    But what would have happened if Kit was still alive? Again: “Threesome!”

    What happened to Cynthia? Sociopaths do well in the public service. Management would have liked her go-getter ambitions and after a short suspension, given her a promotion.

    If you had to bump Duffy off what method would you choose? I’d just let her take that damn shower. If she freezes to death (?), so be it.

    What would your Point Horror weapon of choice be for getting that killer? Lannie’s freezing powers from “Freeze Tag”.

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Paul P – It would be super interesting to find out if Diane Hoh got given this title….like you i’m sure she was. Like you I loved the ending!

      Ps – I am amused at your threesome obsession lol 🙂

  4. Don’t worry about being a couple of days late. It’s amazing that you do this for us every month!

    I agree: this isn’t the best by Hoh I’ve read. Certainly not the scariest. Parts of it were the funniest, though. I laughed so hard at the wild ride down the hill in a wheelchair that my husband ended up reading that chapter to find out why I was lol-crying. I was also in hysterics over that nurse, right after the shower scene, advising Duffy that she should have locked the door. NO SHE SHOULDN’T. The last thing you tell a dizzy person, whom everyone believes is delirious, and who has been bedridden for days with a fever, is to LOCK THE DOOR when they’re showering. I know this from having had the fun experience of finding fainting people in the shower, and also from having been in hospital and having to be assisted to shower.

    Honestly even without a teenage murderer running around the place it’s amazing anyone survives this hospital.

    Was anyone else startled to find out Duffy’s real name was Dorothy? I knew Duffy had to be short for SOMETHING but I was bewildered when a nurse called her Dorothy. I thought I had heard every possible variant on Dorothy before now, but I guess not.

    Jane was amazing, though. She can be the heroine of the sequel that someone NEEDS to write for this.

    The questions:
    * I’m assuming Duffy would have ended up with the somewhat-annoying Smith Lewis (um…Those are surnames. Someone buy that boy a first name.

    *Oh, poor Kit. I don’t usually feel much regret over Point Horror deaths but this one was really sad, I thought. Although I suspect that if he had lived he would have wound up a crazed serial killer himself, starting with his aunt and uncle. But if not (or even if so, I guess) I think he and Duffy would have ended up together.

    * I completely agree with Cazzy’s suggestion for what happened to Cynthia. Someone needs to write that as a sequel.

    * I’d summon her to a fake meeting with her parents at the top of a very tall accounting building, and throw her off. She’d be so bewildered at her parents wanting to see her that she wouldn’t question any of that.

    *Chloroform-soaked Doctor’s Mask. She’d be so chuffed at trying it on she wouldn’t notice the smell and the wooziness.

  5. @PaulHi says:

    Hey gang!

    I don’t have much to add to your comments this month, except to say that I concur wholeheartedly that the out-of-control wheelchair interlude was not only the funniest scene we’ve come across so far in Point Horror, but also the funniest scene in all of literature. I wonder if the Hohmeister found it as hilarious as we all did, or if we’re just terrible, terrible people..?

    I liked this one. Like other-Paul, Hoh was always my favourite PH author as a teenager, and this felt like a properly tight, decently-structured whodunit. Sure it dragged in the middle, but if I hadn’t remembered the killer’s identity, I think I’d have been guessing right to the end. Pony tail nurse, who didn’t even get a name, would have been right at the top of my list. She was defo up to something.

    Oh boy, that hospital. What an absolute shambles. Give me the underfunded and overstretched NHS, any day! I’ll take my chances with MRSA, thanks. I’d love a Duffy on my ward, though. Stroppy, argumentative, downright mean at times, handy with a safety razor – she was a blast, and definitely in my top 5 PH heroines. Only mad-as-a-box-of-frogs-dumb-as-a-box-of-hair Jane came close to being as fun. That cookie tshirt. Holy moses.

    Nothing much to add in the way of dialogue disasters. Smith’s “A sour female is a sad sight to behold” came close, but since Duffy pointed out how gross it was I’m gonna let it slide.

    All in all, it’s a thumbs up from me this month!


    1. UK cover by a country mile.
    2. She didn’t end up with any of them. She’s got feisty independent spinster written all over her.
    3. Still none of them.
    4. She got a job at Dignitas.
    5. Get her back in that wheelchair and do the job properly.
    6. Syringe to the face was BRUTAL. I’d up the ante with MULTIPLE SYRINGES TO THE FACE.

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Paul H -Wouldn’t it be brilliant if Hoh put that whole wheelchair scene in on purpose just to see if she could get it past the Point Horror peeps in revenge for being given the title lol

      Also how did I not mention pony tail nurse! Totally underated character right there!

  6. Tara says:

    I thought I was the only one who had a major reaction to that wheelchair scene. I was on “the train” (hehe) and people were actually looking at me because I was laughing so loud. I kept visualising her actually smashing and crashing into the water. I almost wished it actually happened.
    This wasn’t my favourite point horror so far but I still really enjoyed it.

    • Cazzy says:

      Oh noooo, that’s hilarious ??? I always get the giggles at the worst times and in the worst places!

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Tara. I think I may have actually laughed so hard it hurt! But imagine if she did go into that water lol lol lol

  7. Tara says:

    Oh and thank you for including my Will in the post! I think he looks like a snake in that picture!

  8. Amy McCaw says:

    Hi everyone,

    Apologies for the late comment! This wasn’t my favourite Point Horror but there were a lot of things I enjoyed about it. Like you Chell I found the wheelchair scene unintentionally hilarious and the pink plastic razor got a chuckle out of me too! Those things are so dangerous 🙂

    I genuinely couldn’t predict who the killer was and enjoyed trying to work it out. This was a bit slow to get going (did Duffy hear a noise/ didn’t she for the first 20 pages) but overall the mystery kept me hooked. There were also plenty of Point Horror boys to enjoy though I’m not sure why all of them were in love with Duffy! Another thing that annoyed me was the stupid pranks. I’d love to get through a Point Horror without the MC thinking they’re hilarious!

    Here’s my take on the questions:

    •Dylan was my favourite living PH boy (sobs for Kit) but I think if Kit was alive Dylan wouldn’t have had a chance with me or Duffy!
    •Cynthia died tragically and haunted the hospital, pulling increasingly outlandish pranks on unsuspecting patients.
    •I’m with Paul – I’m afraid it would be death by runaway wheelchair for Duffy!
    •My default answer for dealing with Point Horror killers is now and will always be PIRANHAS!

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Amy, Thanks for joining in 🙂 I know I forgot to mention it in my post I think, but yes I have to admit I struggled working out who the killer was in this one….partly due to the amount of characters in this PH which was both refreshing and sometimes a little confusing lol
      I love how you have a lttle crush on Dylan and the fact that your default answer is now always PIRANHAS! All the lol’s!

  9. Claire Muncaster says:

    i love king!!
    so duffy thinks someone is trying to hurt her. reminds me of a t-shirt i either had/wanted. “i’m not paranoid,” it said, “they really are after me!”. i also love the idea of cynthia living under the delusion that she had become a dr. when she was actually a patient the whole time. 🙂

    to me, that happened for the duration of the entire book, that was why she had that razor in the 1st place, & was also why nothing seemed to get done re her behaviour. i think some of your ideas re what happened nxt/alternate takes are better than most actual books