Review: Breaking Point by Allison Brennan

Breaking Point by Allison Brennan is the 13th book in the Lucy Kincaid series.

Check out our entire reread of Allison Brennan's Lucy Kincaid series and Max Revere series!

Why has San Antonio-based FBI Special Agent Lucy Kincaid been put on ice? For months she’s been running cold cases, never assigned to go out in the field. Rachel Vaughn, her new boss, seems threatened by Kincaid’s stellar reputation. But Kincaid’s professional limbo ends abruptly due to an all-hands-on-deck situation involving underage girls and human traffickers.  

JT Caruso—a friend and colleague to Lucy and her husband Sean Rogan—is frantic about his younger sister Bella’s safety. Once an officer of the law, Bella Caruso has been working undercover for months; her deep cover is that her physician’s license was revoked so she’s gone rogue to finance her gambling addiction. The perfect shadowy figure to keep a stable of frightened, demoralized young prostitutes physically healthy. Bella, because of her horrific backstory, is obsessed with bringing down the despicable men who have ruined the lives of hundreds of young girls. But JT fears she’s gone too deep.

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.

Breaking Point is not an easy read. Bella Caruso was sold into prostitution by her stepfather, who brokered his teenage stepdaughter’s future to clear a gambling debt. Bella’s flashbacks to the years before she was rescued are heartbreaking, very reminiscent of the brutal early years of Eve Dallas, the heroine of J. D. Robb’s In Death series.

Slowly, the reality of her fate broke through the numbness. She would be dead by dawn if Sergio found out she had killed the john, no matter what he had done to her. Whores were a dime a dozen. She was just one whore in the stable, and if one whore could kill a john, the others might get ideas.

you’re not a whore, you had no choice

Run away. The idea that there might be help somewhere had long ago been beaten out of her.

The teenage Bella knew she could never run away and disappear. Why then, after she was rescued by her brother JT, was she willing to risk her freedom years later to become “a prisoner” again? JT knows how much Bella’s risking. He confronts the man she’s working for, Simon Egan.

“Undercover work is dangerous,” JT said. “And the longer an operative stays deep, the more dangerous—and difficult—the work is. What did she have to do to prove herself? These people aren’t going to sit back and let her take the moral high ground on anything. Bella is going to have to live with the consequences of her actions—as if she doesn’t have enough to deal with.”

Bella’s perilous situation and Lucy’s knowledge of human trafficking converge. Lucy is told that Bella is missing—that “she may have been compromised”—and the house of cards may be collapsing. No one knows where Bella is. She’s cut off communication.

Lucy had never met JT’s sister. She didn’t know much about her other than she’d been a vice cop in Seattle for twelve years before quitting to work for a private organization that located missing persons, specifically runaways and minors sold into the US sex industry. She’d always wanted to meet the woman, but Sean said JT and Bella had had a falling out and it was a sensitive subject, so she didn’t push.  

“What can I do?”

Kane slid over a piece of paper. Lucy opened it.

Martin Hirsch.

“He’s the number two guy, or partnered with someone known by the alias ‘Z.’ No known address, description, nada.”

If you have “nada,” Lucy Kincaid is the person you want on your team. Breaking Point is a heart-in-the-throat gallop to a terrifying finish. Will Bella Caruso allow herself to be found? Will Lucy and her team track down the human traffickers and rescue their victims? Understandably, readers can’t get enough of the Lucy Kincaid series. Bring on Too Far Gone, the 14th in the series, which drops in October 2018.

Listen to Chapter 1 of Breaking Point!


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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee has unpredictable opinions on books. Season ticket holder of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on the books of Helen MacInnes, Mary Stewart, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Anne Perry … I'm always looking for a great new mystery series.

Read all of Janet Webb's articles for Criminal Element!


  1. Karen Hansen

    I can’t wait to listen to this book. I am definitely anticipating it with great enthusism.

  2. Elena Dench

    This sounds like a really gripping read. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  3. Elena Dench

    This sounds like a really gripping read. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

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