Homicide. Downtown. Rock River Towers. “Part-time
student at Rock Valley. Studying computer science.”
He had been named Matt Martin.
When Rockford PD detectives Mary Catherine (M.C.) Riggio and
Kitt Lundgren arrive, the scene looks routine for a home murder.
Maybe a burglary gone wrong. But what’s missing? The room
looks pretty tidy. The police start their investigation as they
normally would. But when a second and then a third murder occur,
they realize this case is far from routine. It appears that the
victims have nothing in common, except maybe that their computers
have been stolen. That seems like a pretty slim connection.
Nevertheless, it is a connection. However, the significance of the
connection eludes the detectives, and they had better figure it out
soon because they can hardly keep pace with the bodies piling
M.C. and Kitt moan and groan when the FBI gets involved. Police
personnel and federal agents don’t generally share crime
scenes too well. The FBI always wants the glory. But Agent Smith
comes across as a nice guy. Is this too good to be true? Riggio and
Lundgren can’t help but have their doubts. Once the evidence
starts to suggest a hit man as their murderer, they can barely
believe it. A hit man after computer geeks? The killer slowly
begins to take shape, revealing that, whoever this person is, he
has a high degree of intelligence, immeasurable competence and no
conscience. That certainly sounds like a professional killer.
Riggio and Lundgren feel a dawning horror.
Even with the help of the FBI, this string of murders strains
the relationship between M.C. and Kitt. Or maybe because of it.
M.C. is treading a thin line with the department and Kitt. It might
just be that their partnership is about to come to an end.
Sometimes relationships simply run their course. Lately, it seems
as though M.C. is leaving Kitt out of the loop. Why? Kitt has
sacrificed a lot to keep M.C. on this case. Is M.C. stabbing her in
the back now? Things don’t quite add up like they should, and
Kitt doesn’t know what to think.
M.C. Riggio needs someone to be there for her. She decides that
FBI Agent Smith may be the best person to turn to. In the midst of
a happiness that M.C. has waited for her entire life comes a
tragedy that threatens to undermine her belief in herself. Her
family is in turmoil, and that turmoil has carried over to her
professional life. She mistrusts almost everyone, and is finding it
harder and harder to know who to believe in. M.C. does not want to
spoil any chance to make amends with her partner, who has been her
best friend, but is her judgment compromised? What Detectives
Riggio and Lundgren need is to catch this killer before it puts an
end to their careers and maybe even their lives.
Erica Spindler’s BREAKNECK will keep you up until the
early hours, eager to find out who has wreaked such havoc on the
town of Rockford. This is a gripping story that unfolds with
breakneck speed, heart-quickening suspense and characters you
can’t help but root for.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 23, 2010