The Breaking Point: A Body Farm Novel

HarperAudio

Narrated by Tom Stechschulte

11 hr 9 min

Past, present, and future collide to throw respected forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton’s successful, secure life into devastating turmoil in this poignant novel in the New York Times bestselling Body Farm mystery series.

It’s been ten years since Dr. Bill Brockton created the Body Farm—the world’s first postmortem research facility dedicated to advancing the frontiers of forensic science—and the researcher is at the pinnacle of his career. Under his leadership, the University of Tennessee’s forensic anthropology program has become the most prominent in the world, and Brockton’s skills and knowledge are in high demand among top law enforcement. Calling him in for a number of high profile cases, the FBI now wants him to identify the charred remains of a maverick millionaire, killed in a fiery plane crash.

But a storm is about to hit Brockton with cataclysmic force. First, his identification of the crash victim is called into question. Then he receives a threatening message from the serial killer who attempted to murder the scientist and his family a decade ago. And from Brockton’s beloved wife Kathleen—his lodestone and his source of security—he gets the most shocking news of all. Will Brockton be able to weather this deluge . . . or has he finally reached the breaking point?

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperAudio
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Published on
Jun 9, 2015
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Duration
11h 9m 37s
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ISBN
9780062350725
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Eligible for Family Library

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When his estranged grandfather is shot and left for dead, an Army Ranger plunges into the criminal underworld of his youth to find a murderer . . . and uncovers a shocking family secret

From the time he was six years old, Van Shaw was raised by his Irish immigrant grandfather Donovan to be a thief—to boost cars, beat security alarms, crack safes, and burglarize businesses. But at eighteen, Dono's namesake and protégé suddenly broke all ties to that life and the people in it. Van escaped into the military, serving as an elite Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, after ten years of silence, Dono has asked his grandson to come home to Seattle. "Tar abhaile, más féidir leat"—Come home, if you can.

Taking some well-earned leave, Van heads to the Pacific Northwest, curious and a little unnerved by his grandfather's request. But when he arrives at Dono's house in the early hours of the morning, Van discovers the old thief bleeding out on the floor from a gunshot to the head. The last time the two men had seen each other Dono had also been lying on the floor—with Van pointing a gun at his heart. With a lifetime of tough history between him and the old man, the battle-tested Ranger knows the cops will link him to the crime.

To clear his name and avenge his grandfather, Van must track down the shooter. Odds are strong that Dono knew the person. Was it a greedy accomplice? A disgruntled rival? Diving back into the illicit world he'd sworn to leave behind, Van reconnects with the ruthless felons who knew Dono best. Armed with his military and criminal skills, he follows a dangerous trail of clues that leads him deeper into Dono's life—and closer to uncovering what drove his grandfather to reach out after years of silence. As he plummets back into this violent, high-stakes world where right and wrong aren't defined by the law, Van finds that the past is all too present . . . and that the secrets held by those closest to him are the deadliest of all.

Edgy and suspenseful, rich with emotional resonance, gritty action, and a deep-rooted sense of place, Past Crimes trumpets the arrival of a powerful new noir talent.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.

She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and "a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion."

In the most suspenseful installment of the New York Times bestselling Body Farm series to date, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton investigates a bizarre murder—and confronts a deadly enemy he thought he’d put behind bars for good

Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton has spent twenty-five years solving brutal murders—but none so horrific and merciless as his latest case: A ravaged set of skeletal remains is found scattered in the woods of nearby Cook County. They are all that is left of a victim who had been chained, hand and foot, to a tree on a remote mountainside. The bones tell Brockton and his longtime graduate assistant, Miranda, that the victim was a young male under the age of thirty. As they dig deeper to establish his identity, they uncover warning signs that long-simmering hatred is about to explode into violence, engulfing the region in chaos.

But the shocking case is only the beginning of Brockton’s trials. In the middle of the troubling investigation, the unthinkable happens. The most frightening and deadliest criminal Brockton has ever foiled—the sadistic serial killer Nick Satterfield—escapes from prison, bent on wreaking vengeance. And he’s had nearly twenty years to plan.

Simply killing Brockton isn’t enough. Satterfield wants to make his nemesis suffer first, by destroying everything Brockton holds dear: his son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons, and even Miranda, who’s now on the verge of completing her Ph.D. and launching a forensic career of her own.

Barraged by dangers striking from all directions, haunted by the ghosts of old cases, and desperate to save those he loves, Brockton finds himself slipping closer to the abyss. Pushed to the edge, he is forced to question the two pillars that have guided his life and his entire career—the justice system and the quality of mercy. Can the two truly coexist?

If he cannot reconcile these principles, which will Brockton choose in his ultimate moment of truth?

A harrowing, thoughtful, and provocative tale that explores what happens when one honorable, rational man is tested beyond all measure, Without Mercy is a powerful exploration that raises uneasy questions about justice and revenge, compassion and principle, the desire to kill and the will to survive.

In the most suspenseful installment of the New York Times bestselling Body Farm series to date, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton investigates a bizarre murder—and confronts a deadly enemy he thought he’d put behind bars for good

Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton has spent twenty-five years solving brutal murders—but none so horrific and merciless as his latest case: A ravaged set of skeletal remains is found scattered in the woods of nearby Cook County. They are all that is left of a victim who had been chained, hand and foot, to a tree on a remote mountainside. The bones tell Brockton and his longtime graduate assistant, Miranda, that the victim was a young male under the age of thirty. As they dig deeper to establish his identity, they uncover warning signs that long-simmering hatred is about to explode into violence, engulfing the region in chaos.

But the shocking case is only the beginning of Brockton’s trials. In the middle of the troubling investigation, the unthinkable happens. The most frightening and deadliest criminal Brockton has ever foiled—the sadistic serial killer Nick Satterfield—escapes from prison, bent on wreaking vengeance. And he’s had nearly twenty years to plan.

Simply killing Brockton isn’t enough. Satterfield wants to make his nemesis suffer first, by destroying everything Brockton holds dear: his son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons, and even Miranda, who’s now on the verge of completing her Ph.D. and launching a forensic career of her own.

Barraged by dangers striking from all directions, haunted by the ghosts of old cases, and desperate to save those he loves, Brockton finds himself slipping closer to the abyss. Pushed to the edge, he is forced to question the two pillars that have guided his life and his entire career—the justice system and the quality of mercy. Can the two truly coexist?

If he cannot reconcile these principles, which will Brockton choose in his ultimate moment of truth?

A harrowing, thoughtful, and provocative tale that explores what happens when one honorable, rational man is tested beyond all measure, Without Mercy is a powerful exploration that raises uneasy questions about justice and revenge, compassion and principle, the desire to kill and the will to survive.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
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