The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

by Jefferson Bass

Overview: Past, present, and future collide to throw respected forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton’s successful, secure life into devastating turmoil in this poignant novel in the New York Times bestselling Body Farm mystery series.

It’s been ten years since Dr. Bill Brockton created the Body Farm—the world’s first postmortem research facility dedicated to advancing the frontiers of forensic science—and the researcher is at the pinnacle of his career. Under his leadership, the University of Tennessee’s forensic anthropology program has become the most prominent in the world, and Brockton’s skills and knowledge are in high demand among top law enforcement. Calling him in for a number of high profile cases, the FBI now wants him to identify the charred remains of a maverick millionaire, killed in a fiery plane crash.

But a storm is about to hit Brockton with cataclysmic force. First, his identification of the crash victim is called into question. Then he receives a threatening message from the serial killer who attempted to murder the scientist and his family a decade ago. And from Brockton’s beloved wife Kathleen—his lodestone and his source of security—he gets the most shocking news of all. Will Brockton be able to weather this deluge . . . or has he finally reached the breaking point?

Deanna Boe (04/17/17): There are so many “mystery/murder” writers and novels that it is almost impossible to know them all. I am always in search of a new writer along this line since so many of my “old” favorites have become somewhat repetitive or simply don’t grab my attention like they previously did. Am I simply getting too old to appreciate some of the mystery writers today? Anyway, I am bringing up two writers (Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass) who have simply combined their names to write this series. Their books have been around for over 10 years but I just “discovered” their writing in a section “up front” in the Roswell library for book clubs of mysteries. Anyway, I think that is the case?

First off, I feel to be an honest reviewer of this book I need to go back and read one of their first ones, but I am going ahead and reviewing this one simply because it refers several times to one of the characters in the storyline as a former pilot for Air America. Since it has been several years when the war in Vietnam ended, many do not know anything about this airline. It was a CIA organization that mainly existed during the Vietnam War. It flew in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and yes, Vietnam. Its purpose was to do things that our military wasn’t allowed to do. There has always been the rumor that they also dealt with the delivery of drugs, which this book ties to one of the characters i.e. drug dealer.

I happened to have lived in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam during the last four plus years of the war, and part of that time I was married to an Air America pilot. Neither I, nor my former husband, can verify or dispute the drug rumor but it does make for some exciting and critical ways to look at Air America and why it existed. I do know those pilots risked their lives daily in support of our military and our allies, fighting what we considered the “bad” guys during that period of our history; in short, participating in the “Secret War of Indochina.”

The main character of this story is Dr. Bill Brockton who is a famed forensics expert of the notorious “Body Farm.” This farm uses unclaimed or donated dead bodies to study the results of decay or whatever when bodies have been left for hours, days, weeks, or even years for the study of science. In short, the results often help when bodies are found and how long they have been there, what happened to them and why. The series predates “Bones” and “CSI,” easily including real and fantasy aspects of murders. The murder in this book, if it was a murder, was a pilot who was well known as a philanthropist giving and helping those in need throughout the world. He crashed into the mountain outside of San Diego. For all basic purposes there was nothing left of his body.

To be fair to this series, I will have to go back and read, as I said, an earlier novel. This one seemed to drag at times and jumped around in such a way it was confusing. But, for you who are looking for another author who specializes in murder mysteries from a different angle, this might be worth checking out. Who am I to say?
Rating: ***

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