Breaking Point, by Dana Haynes (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 9780312599881)
Dana Haynes' first book, Crashers -- the nickname used for the National
Transportation Safety Board's team of investigators of airplane crashes --
brought a quirky but brilliant group of individuals together for an
investigation in Portland. We met pathologist Tommy Tomzak, sharp-eared Kiki
Duvall, and pilot Isaiah Grey, the core of that crash team. This time
around, they are passengers in the plane that crashes in a forest in
Montana. Turnabout is not fair play.
Haynes informs us that it is not unusual for real-life crash teams to have
different configurations each time. Members are drawn from experts all over
the country, depending on who is closest and available, and Haynes'
fictional team is no exception. New faces with new talents pop up to help.
However, Peter Kim, the pain-in-the-heinie from Crashers, is the
Investigator in Charge this time. Gulp.
Further hindering the dream team is the fact that tiny-but-tough Susan
Tanaka is on a rare vacation, so she isn't in charge of enabling the
investigation either on-site or in D.C. By-the-book Peter as the IIC is
missing the elusive creative factor needed to solve the mystery of the
crash. It's a good thing the NTSB survivors -- ostracized by Kim -- form an
unauthorized shadow team.
FBI agent Ray Calabrese and mysterious ex-Israeli agent Daria Gibron are
also back and join our heroes.
A silver-haired mercenary, nicknamed Calendar, caused the crash. One can
only think that his benign-sounding name represents the clock ticking and
time running out. Will the forest fire started by the plane crash destroy
all the evidence? Why was Calendar hired to destroy the plane? Will the
primary go-team stumble on the truth? Will the shadow go-team find Calendar
before he kills them? Are Calendar's days numbered?
The combination of main team, shadow team, double-crossers, and
double-double-crossers puts a lot of players up front, but Haynes does an
outstanding job sorting them out.
This is a page-turner that will put a blister on your finger.