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Good thriller, weak ending
on 18 December 2008
Breakneck is a fast-moving and gripping police thriller that manages to keep up an incredible momentum up with a new revelation or murder every couple of pages and keep you off-balance by the fact that almost any one involved in the investigation is potentially expendable. That makes the novel a great read - it's very well paced and written with equal attention given to the case and the personal lives of the characters - but the case does unravel in a quite conventional manner, placing quite a strain on credibility and particularly on the effectiveness of the policing methods of RPD Detectives Mary Catherine Ruggio and her partner Kitt Lundgren.
As the number of bodies pile up you would expect a bit more care and diligence on the part of the police officers, particularly as the series of mysterious executions killings being carried out by a professional hitman on a group of young adults brings the matter very close to MC's family and their business. Yet, whether it is through the case being too close or the personal pressures and losses that each of the detectives have to deal with in their own private lives, they make some unthinkable errors, being particularly lax with youngsters under their care and even in police custody, that result in further unnecessary and shocking deaths.
You can perhaps forgive some of the flaws for the fact that it does show its characters as human and subject to normal pressure, giving the story an extra edge of their being something very real at stake. There's no excuse however for such a conventional set-up when MC confronts her killer and even the self-conscious acknowledging of the whole Bond villain I'm-going-to-explain-my-actions-and-then-leave-you-to-die-a-slow-death-hoping-you-don't-escape thing doesn't make it any more acceptable. Overall though this is a strong, well-written novel with no shortage of thrills, twists and surprises.