cover image Breaking Point

Breaking Point

Dana Haynes. Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-59989-8

In Haynes’s lackluster second thriller featuring pathologist Leonard Tomzak (after 2010’s Crashers), Tomzak, a veteran crash investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, is flying on a commercial prop plane from Washington, D.C., to Seattle when a shadowy assassin known as Calendar uses a new weapon to short out all the aircraft’s electronics as it’s flying low over a Montana forest. Tomzak is one of the few survivors in the ensuing crash. Calendar resorts to further violence in taking care of loose ends in the crash’s aftermath. Meanwhile, Tomzak’s colleagues try to figure out what happened. Haynes undercuts the suspense by revealing the culprit and his motives early on, and the frequent action sequences suggest that, unlike Michael Crichton in Airframe, the author wasn’t confident enough that he could sustain interest with just the post-crash forensics. Uneven prose (“Tommy... worked really hard not to show two emotions: A: I’m about to pass out, and B: that peashooter ain’t loaded”) doesn’t help. (Nov.)