Monday, May 21, 2012

The Breakthrough: A Precinct 11 Novel

Jenkins, Jerry B. The Breakthrough: A Precinct 11 Novel. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. September 2012.

Dr. Jerry Jenkins is the author of more than 175 books. He has been a journalist, a writer, and an editor. Jenkins is currently encouraging and training new writers through his Christian Writer’s Guild. His books can be found regularly on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

The Breakthrough is the third Precinct 11 Novel, preceded by The Brotherhood and The Betrayal. Although promoted as the third in a trilogy, Jenkins leaves the police procedural open to follow on novels.

Boone Drake is the youngest bureau chief in the history of the Chicago Police Department. Jack Keller, Boone’s first partner, then his mentor and his boss, sponsors Drakes promotion to the head of the newly formed Major Case Squad. Following the first two novels in which like the Old Testament Job, Boone has lost everything: his wife, his son, his home, and his faith.

Now he has a new wife, Haeley, a new son, a new home, a renewed faith, and an increased passion to get gangs off the streets. Haeley won a seven figure settlement from the City of Chicago for false arrest late in their courtship and paid early in their marriage. The money was used to buy a comfortable house in a nice neighborhood, to ensure college educations for Max, who has been officially adopted by Boone, and any future siblings, and to gift Boone with the car of his dreams, with the balance given to the two churches that are important in their lives. Yet Boone is somehow waiting for the other shoe to drop.

When disaster strikes, it seems that Boone is destined to lose everything again, as tragedy threatens those closest to him. Haeley needs him desperately. Max is kidnapped, and all clues lead to a human trafficking ring from the dark and infamous Hutong district in Beijing. The plot is predictable but deftly written, keeping the pages turning. The suspense is created, not by twists and turns of plot, but by the complexity of character development.

Jenkins’s father is a police chief, and he has two brothers who are police officers. Cooperation among police departments and forces from the other squads housed at the 11th Precinct and across state and national jurisdictions is emphasized throughout the novel. Equally emphasized is the true-to-life crises of faith shaped by circumstance and cultivated through the relationships of characters that are believably flawed but redeemable.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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