Home Opinion Book Review: The Breaking Point

Book Review: The Breaking Point


Nicole Tracy
Literary Columnist

Jefferson Bass is a two person writing team
consisting of Jon Jefferson, a journalist, writer and
documentary filmmaker,
and Dr. Bill Bass, the
forensic anthropologist
who actually created the
University of Tennessee’s
Anthropology Research
It is better known by
its other, more famous
name, the Body Farm.
The facility is used to study decomposition of
bodies (yes, real ones) and other things like bug
activity on a corpse.
The data obtained here helps law enforcement
and forensic scientists determine how long a person
has been dead and many other factors used to aid
criminal investigations.
In their new novel, The Breaking Point, Dr. Bill
Brockton is seemingly hit from all sides.
The forensic anthropologist is called in to help
identify the charred remains of a wealthy philanthropist
killed in a plane crash.
Brock’s trouble begins when his identification of
the crash victim is called into question.
Following that he receives a threatening message
from a serial killer who tried to kill him and his family
a decade before. His handling of bodies donated
to his Body Farm – the world’s first postmortem
research facility – is challenged. Things seem to be
spinning out of control.
But, by far the worst blow to Brockton is the news
that his wife of 30 years, Kathleen, is given a death
sentence when she is diagnosed with an aggressive
and incurable form of cancer to which she quickly
succumbs. Brockton is literally pushed to his breaking
point — emotionally, physically and professionally
— with no sign of things turning around.
Amid the hardship Brock tries to find answers
and solve problems before he reaches the breaking
The authors quickly draws readers into the plight
the protagonist is facing. They weave a tale of suspense,
frustration and despair.
The characters are well-developed, likable and
extremely realistic.
The emotional entanglements of the main characters
is gripping and adds another level to the story.
The story is fast paced and well written. Brockton
is an outstanding character and the reader is drawn
into his corner when the press, the FBI and other
outside factors threaten him, his reputation, and his
The authors blend professional and personal calamities
resulting in heart-wrenching moments very
The Breaking Point is the ninth installment in the
Body Farm series, but one will not be left in the dark
by unanswered questions from hints of prior stories.
The novel will hold one’s attention with the combination
of forensic science, intriguing mystery, and
personal tribulations.
If one is looking for an intense story with many
twists and unexpected turns this is the story to read.
The authors’ expertise in forensics is an absolute
plus to the storyline. Along with an intense plot and
interesting characters can only give one a guaranteed
satisfaction of the thriller that this story really
is. It is definitely a must read.
The Breaking Point is available at the Howard
County Public Library. Copies are limited, so if it is
unavailable, ask at the front desk to be put on the
waiting list for it.