Review of BREAKING POINT by Suzanne Brockmann (see her website)
Ballantine, July 2005
When FBI superman Max Bhagat learns that his one great love has been killed in a terrorist bombing, he realizes what he threw away when he drove Gina Vitagliano out of his life. He drops everything and heads to Germany, intending to take personal ownership over the investigation. But what he finds is perhaps worse than his initial fear--Gina may still be alive, but if so, she's been kidnapped by someone with both terrorist and drug dealing connections. Together with gay FBI Agent Jules Cassidy, and dangerous and untrustworthy special forces renegade Grady Morant, Max needs to find a way to track Gina around the world.
Making matters worse, Gina's disapearance coincides with a huge terrorist outbreak involving multiple hijackings and possible dirty bombs. All FBI, CIA, and special forces resources are stretched to the limit. Max won't be able to call on his normal chain of command for any type of help. Indeed, if he does call in, he'll be instructed to take over the main conflict, leaving Gina to take care of herself--and Max definitely won't agree to that.
Author Suzanne Brockmann (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Brockmann) has become a best-selling author through her hard-charging combination of the romance and action/thriller genres. Once BREAKING POINT gets going, Brockmann delivers her trademark combination with style. I also appreciate the way Brockmann recognizes the moral complexities of the ongoing war on terrorism. While we never doubt which side we, and Brockmann are on, we also recognize that not every action taken by our government is consistent with our goals, being in the right, or even pursuing actions that make sense at all. For me, the occasional flirtations between Jules and other macho men he runs into adds a bit of amusement.
I did find, however, BREAKING POINT to be slow getting to the point. Long flashback scenes servedto explain the past relationship between Gina and Max, but they slow the narrative and made Max much less sympathetic (he was a jerk, so who cares whether he's disturbed about losing Gina?). At around page 150, we finally caught up with the story and Brockmann really got on track.
A nice secondary romance between renegade Grady Morant and relief worker, Molly Anderson, provides parallels and contrasts to the main Max/Gina relationship while allowing macho male bonding.
As always, Suzanne Brockmann's strong writing hooks the reader in and propells the story forward.
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