Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Breakneck by Erica Spindler
ONCE in a while a thrilling author loses the thrill. Breakneck was like that for me.
It starts with a computer hacker murdered for his password. He or his friends have stolen $500,000 he happened to find lying around in a bank account.
Investigating the killing is detective ‘MC’ (Mary Catherine) Riggio, a nice girl from a big Catholic Italian family who’s about to marry the man of her dreams.
Then he’s killed. Then MC’s cousin Tommy is killed.
It should be thrilling. But somehow it all felt ho-hum. It was as if the writer was working from a formula.
She finally lost me when - after yet another murder - MC and her partner arrive at a suburban house garlanded with crime scene tape and surrounded by police cars.
They go in to interview the grieving parents, who tell them that the kids haven’t been told yet. The idea that anyone could conceal such delightfully gruesome excitement from a house full of kids is just not tenable.
There is a pleasingly evil bad guy, and Spindler has done her research about the shadowy world of the hackers.
And the life of big extended Italian families that love and protect every sister, kid and cousin.
If you love the subterranean world of the cracker, but long for a pasta-packing mama, you’ll love Breakneck.