Book Review: The Breach by Patrick Lee

The Breach
Patrick Lee
Harper, January 2010
ISBN 9780061584459
Mass Market Paperback

Travis Chase has a past, a prison sentence served for deeds that deserved the conviction, although some might say he had justification for his behavior at the end.  Whatever the case, he has come to the Alaskan wilderness for the solitude that may help him make some decisions about the direction the rest of his life should take.   He’s not alone in the backcountry, though, and the sounds he wasn’t sure he heard three nights earlier have crystallized at the sight before him, the crashed Boeing 747 in the valley below.   This is not just any 747; this one is full of executed people and carried a very special passenger who left an ominous message before she died.

Paige Campbell has a past, too, as a member of an agency charged with protecting possibly the biggest secret in mankind’s history.  Spared the bullets of the executioners, she has spent hours being tested physically and psychologically and her resistance means time may be running out.  Paige holds the key to everything that has happened on the plane and to what the future might hold.

A book club I belong to discusses mysteries based on themes rather than choosing a specific book each month.   Not long ago, the theme was “Kept You Up All Night”, meaning you were compelled to keep reading to the end.  I had no trouble coming up with a choice once I started The Breach.  The sheer intensity of the story literally kept me up all night and Patrick Lee has, in my opinion, established himself with his debut as a premier thriller writer.  Few have grabbed my attention the way he did and the tension on nearly every page is memorable.  Fans of thrillers, suspense and science fiction should run to the nearest bookstore to get this.

The Breach will be on my list of best books of 2010.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2010.