Breaking Point, by Dana Haynes
They are the Crashers. When a plane goes down, the “Go Team” assembles from across the country to secure the wreckage, investigate the incident, and determine what happened, and what — or who — was to blame. It’s a tough job that can sometimes be hazardous and thankless, and requires a certain amount of emotional distance from the horrible event, itself.
But how do you do that when the Crashers, themselves, are in a crash?
When three of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigators are involved in an accident in Montana, on their way to a conference, the personal and professional stakes are raised. The investigator in charge is a pig-headed egotist, his assistant is well-meaning but untried, and some of their best people have been sidelined by the wreck, or are elsewhere. But, as bad as the wreck and its investigation are, the Crashers have no way of knowing just how bad things are going to get.
They don’t know that the plane was brought down by a sophisticated device that can disrupt all electrical activity on a plane.
They don’t know that the plane was targeted in order to stop one of the passengers from speaking out about the existence of that same device.
They don’t know that the man who brought the plane down is lurking nearby, ready to kill any survivor who knows too much, or any investigator who learns the horrible truth.
They have no clue that a deadly collusion between the defense department, the CIA, and a tech firm turned arms manufacturer is depending on that assassin to keep their secret, and willing to go to any length to ensure he succeeds.
Fortunately, the heroes of Dana Haynes’ previous book, Crashers, are on the case. But this investigation may prove to be more than even they can handle. Can they determine the cause of the crash when their every word is monitored, their chain of evidence is compromised, and every move they make is watched by a killer?
It’s going to be a long and bad trip between the incident and the report, and they may not all survive the flight in one piece…
Crashers was a slam-bang first novel, filled with international intrigue, memorable characters, clever dialogue, and more sharp twists and turns than an out of control roller coaster. More importantly, Haynes was able to do a high tech thriller that didn’t bog the reader down in so many details that the momentum was irrevocably lost in the expositional slog.
With Breaking Point, Haynes has succeeded in crafting a worthy follow-up to his debut novel: a fast-paced and nerve-wracking continuation of the crashers he introduced that makes you want another book as soon as possible. In fact, it was so good that I’m actually going to break one of my own review rules and use a cliche – Once I started reading I really could not put it down.
And if you like an intelligent thriller with compelling characters and non-stop action, I’m betting you won’t either.
-Jim Tremlett, Eastwood