Cover image for Breakneck
Spindler, Erica, 1957-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2009.

Physical Description:
584 pages (large print) ; 22 cm.
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LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print

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A remorseless killer. A string of innocent, clean-cut victims. Detectives M.C. Riggio and Kitt Lundgren must race against a cold-blooded predator who moves at breakneck speed in this heart-pounding thriller from New York Times bestselling author Erica Spindler.Hot on the heels of their last case, partners Mary Catherine (M.C.) Riggio and Kitt Lundgren, detectives in the police department's Violent Crimes Bureau in industrial, blue-collar Rockford, Illinois, are called out to a college student's apartment where a young man with no criminal record, not even a noise complaint from his neighbors, appears to have been murdered in his sleep.The trail seems cold, until another victim turns up, and then another... each one striking closer to home for M.C. The growing list of seemingly emotionless kills leaves M.C. and Kitt little to follow--like the first victim, all the targets are young adults, kid-next-door types who've never taken a step outside the law. Meanwhile, the case starts to take its toll on M.C.'s personal life, setting her on edge with her partner and putting their hard-earned friendship in jeopardy. As M.C. and Kitt hunt a faceless killer, they are led deep into the cyberuniverse, where no one is who he seems and you never know who's watching. At the heart of this mesmerizing thriller is the relationship between two headstrong women as they struggle to balance their dual roles, to learn to trust, and to walk the fine line between upholding the law--and taking it into their own hands.

Author Notes

A New York Times and International bestselling author, critics have called Erica Spindler's stories, "terrific twisted tales." She received the prestigious Daphne du Maurier award for Excellence in 2002 for the novel, Bone Cold, and she is a two-time Kiss of Death award winner.

She lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, an advertising executive, and their two sons.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Rockford, Illinois, homicide detective Mary Catherine Riggio is having a rotten time. Not long after her boyfriend proposes marriage, he's murdered. Soon after that, MC's cousin Tommy is also killed. And then there's the mysterious death of a young computer whiz, whose killer apparently made off with his computer after breaking his neck. Can MC and her partner, Kitt Lundgren, solve the kid's murder, and can MC find out who's responsible for the deaths of her cousin and fiance? Readers of this follow-up to 2006's Copycat will likely see the plot twists and surprising revelations coming long before the characters do, but that's OK. The two leads are a likable pair, each with her own personal foibles, and the dramatic element of MC's unexpected loss of her fiance gives the novel an emotional layer that will keep readers interested, even if the story itself is rather predictable. This solid-enough mystery suffers from the lack of any real surprises, but it will appeal to the author's fans, who will appreciate the continuing development of the lead character.--Pitt, David Copyright 2008 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Det. Kitt Lundgren and her partner, Mary Catherine Riggio, of the Rockford, Ill., Violent Crimes Bureau pursue a serial killer ripped from Internet urban legend in this unconvincing thriller from bestseller Spindler (Copycat). When Riggio's too-good-to-be-true fiance is caught in the line of fire, the shooting at first appears to be unrelated to the murder spree of Breakneck, who targets computer-savvy 20-somethings. Of course, the connection is immediately obvious to readers, if not the veteran staff of the VCB. Lundgren's preoccupied with mending her broken marriage while ambling toward career burnout, and Riggio doesn't hesitate to throw out the procedural rulebook, eschewing her police training in a desperate search for the truth. Spindler strays from her comfort zone in tackling the mysterious world of cyber crime. Casting disaffected youth as criminal masterminds doesn't ring true, while descriptions of technology and its applications are painstakingly overexplained. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



CHAPTER ONE ROCKFORD,ILLINOIS SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2009 3:05 A.M. THE KID'S EYES snapped open. Matt Martin. Twenty-one-year-old computer-hacking loser. It took only a moment for his expression to shift from sleepy confusion to horrified realization: there was a stranger in his bedroom. That stranger held a gun to his head, to the tender place between his eyes, just above the bridge of his nose. The one called Breakneck smiled grimly. "Hello, son." The kid went limp with terror. His mouth worked but no sound emerged. "The gun I'm holding to your head is nothing fancy. An old-fashioned .38 caliber, semiautomatic. Ser viceable at best." He kept his voice low, tone soothing. "What's unique about this situation, of course, is the weapon's proximity to its target, your brain. When I pull the trigger, the bullet will rocket from the chamber and explode out of the barrel and into your head. In response, your brains will explode out the back of your skull." Breakneck firmed his grip on the weapon. "The sound will be muffled by the fact that the barrel is pressed to its target, the mess contained by the pillow, bedding and mattress." The bony young man began to shake. The smell of urine stung the air. Unmoved by the kid's fear, he went on, "I'm going to ask you a few questions. Your life depends on your answers." The kid's eyes welled with tears. "I know who you are and what you do. I want what you stole from me." "I don't know what you're--" "Where is it?" "What? I don't . . . who are y--" "I'm the guy you shouldn't have fucked with. I want my information. And I want my money." He increased pressure on the gun; the kid whimpered. "What do you think, son? Do we do this the easy way? Or the messy way?" "Easy," he whispered. "You jacked some information. And some money. Five hundred grand." Recognition flickered in his horrified gaze. Of course it did. One didn't forget stumbling onto that kind of money. Especially a small-time little shit like this one. "I see we're on the same page now. Good." "I didn't take your money." "Who did?" "I don't know!" His voice rose. "No one!" His eyes darted back and forth. A clear sign he was lying. Breakneck could almost hear him thinking. Mentally scrambling for a way out, weighing his options: Give him the information? How much--or how little--would keep him alive? Did he dare lie? Struggle? Beg? What were the consequences of each? All animals responded to predators in the same way, Breakneck knew. They fought for survival. Using whatever means at their disposal. Over the years, he had seen them all. Some predators, however, were so smart, so skilled, the fight was as pathetic as it was futile. "I don't want to hurt you, Matt. But I will. I'm going to count to three and then I'm going to pull the trigger. One," he said softly. "Two . . . thr--" "Okay, I found it, but I didn't move it!" "Who did? A name." "I don't know . . . an e-mail address and screen name, that's all I have. It's marioman. At Yahoo. Check for yourself . . . on my laptop. I'm Gunner35. My password's 121288. You can get it all with that. I promise . . . go see. It's all there." The kid's voice rose as he spoke. Breakneck laid a gloved hand over his mouth to quiet him. "You did good, Matt. Real good. Thank you." He moved quickly, snapping the young man's neck before he had a clue what was happening. With little more than a gurgle, Matt Martin died. Excerpted from Breakneck by Erica Spindler. Copyright (c) 2008 by Erica Spindler. Published in 2008 by St. Martin's Paperbacks. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher. Excerpted from Breakneck by Erica Spindler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.