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Breakneck    by Erica Spindler order for
by Erica Spindler
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Detectives Mary Catherine Riggio, or 'MC' as she is known, and her partner Kitt Lundgren work in the Violent Crime Bureau of the Rockford, Illinois Police Department. They have been called out to investigate the death of a young college student, twenty-one year old Matt Martin. It appears that he was killed in his bed while he slept, no sign of a struggle, but left with a broken neck. He lived in an upscale apartment with expensive furnishings for a student. Neighbours heard nothing, and said Matt was a quiet young man, always polite. MC and Kitt plan to check with his family to see if they supported him financially or if he held down a well paying job. Other than a missing computer the trail is cold.

MC and Kitt have been partners for many years, working well together, supporting each other on and off the job. Mutual respect makes for great team work. MC is happy in her personal life, just having become engaged to her boyfriend Dan Gallo. He understood MC's commitment to her job and her partner. Kitt is struggling in her life, trying to rebuild her relationship and marriage with her husband Joe. Everything had fallen apart for Kitt after the death of their six-year-old daughter Sadie. She was killed by a man dubbed the Sleeping Angel Killer, as he preyed on young blonde children. Kitt puts her job ahead of all else and it's a constant tug of war between her and Joe.

After MC celebrates her engagement to Dan with family and friends, tragedy strikes and Dan is gunned down on the street. Reeling in shock and grief MC does the only thing she knows - she gets back to work to solve the murder of Matt Martin, and now of Dan. Days later, another clean cut college student is murdered and this time it strikes too close to home for MC. There has to be a connection between the victims and MC and Kitt are determined to find it. Soon notes appear on MC's doorstep questioning how well she really knew Dan. Does someone think he was involved with the murders? After another computer turns up missing at the crime scene MC and Kitt find themselves drawn into the world of cyberspace, a world where no one is who they appear to be. They uncover a team of young crackers who steal money from bank accounts and move it elsewhere. Now it appears that the ringleader wants to remove all who worked for him and MC and Kitt seek his identity.

As they race to frantically uncover the killer the victims are adding up. The two partners struggle with the case, which involves family members for MC. To seek justice she must abide by the law. Breakneck is a fast paced read, full of suspense and surprises.

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