I’ve read a few books by Allison Brennan, including a couple in the series featuring Lucy Kincaid. I was a little worried coming in part way through after not having read the last few… however, that was actually not my biggest stumbling block when I first started this book.
It was more the ‘other’ players and their backstories. I really did feel like I’d inadvertently walked into someone else’s party and didn’t know anyone and kept missing the ‘in’ jokes. Names were being thrown around and I had NFI who anyone was. And I almost, almost…. ditched the book. But I’m very glad I didn’t. Because, I may not have completely worked out who was who and what they all did, but I certainly became riveted by this story about two engaging and strong women: Lucy Kincaid and Bella Caruso.
by Allison Brennan
Series: Lucy Kincaid #13
Published by Minotaur Books
on January 30th 2018
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1250164443, 9781250164445
Bella Caruso survived a nightmare of abuse and betrayal. Today, she has dedicated her life to saving other young women from the hell that almost killed her—first as an officer of the law, then by stepping outside the law and into the darkness where true evil dwells. Now, it appears that the darkness has taken her once again.
JT Caruso often worries about his sister, given her line of work. This time, when he learns that Bella is working undercover to find a missing girl involved in a dangerous prostitution ring, JT asks FBI Special Agent Lucy Kincaid for help.
Even with Lucy’s extensive experience in running down human traffickers, finding Bella will not be easy. Not only because she is in too deep. But because Bella, who will not rest until she saves the girl, doesn’t want to be found…
The book kicks off with Bella’s backstory. I’m not sure if she’s previously featured in any of the novels in the series but her brother, JT, is a member of RCK (Rogan Caruso Kincaid) Protective Services and rescued her after her stepfather ‘sold’ her to a pimp when she was in her early teens.
When we next meet her (when the novel proper starts) she’s infiltrated a prostitution ring (as a doctor to the girls and the various thugs hired to protect the boss and keep the girls and subcontracting madams in line). We learn however, that she’s been a cop and fallen out with her brother in intervening years over her choice of employer.
Meanwhile, Lucy’s grappling with a new boss who seems OTT harsh on her – a result of some recent unauthorised exploits I gather. But she’s informally (then formally) pulled into the investigation of the prostitution ring. And for me the story picked up A LOT at that point. I enjoyed the tussle between Lucy and her new boss… the way her boss’s lack of approval concerned her, her eagerness to please and play by the rules – despite being a natural rule-breaker.
And then of course there were the team of ex military types involving a plethora of Kincaids and Carusos. (Well one or two of each anyway!)
Cutting a long story short… when things get out of hand Bella has a chance to walk away from her undercover gig, but refuses until she locates the girl she came to find; and hoping to get enough on the major players to take them down and prevent more underage girls being coerced or sold into the life she escaped. Of course there’s a race against time as it seems Bella’s cover is close to being blown and we already know the men she works with have no problems getting rid of loose ends.
What started as a bit of a chore for me became really gripping and I couldn’t get through the second half (or third) quickly enough, flicking through electronic page after electronic page to discover everyone’s fate.
I’m not quite sure how the many players and organisations (from Bella and Declan to Simon Egan to Genesis Road [Adam and Laura] to RCK [JT, Jack, Kane and Sean] to Lucy and her colleagues) could be better explained or encapsulated succinctly; but my confusion (and lack of initial engagement) was probably the weakest part of this for me. Of course, if I’d read other books in the series this probably would not be an issue and I liked the various characters enough to want to get to know them better.
Breaking Point by Allison Brennan will be published by St Martin’s Press (Minotaur Books) on 30 January 2018.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes.