Saturday, June 6, 2015

Reprise Review: Breaking Point / Gerard Brennan

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Crime

Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words

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Gerard Brennan lives in Northern Ireland with his family and recently completed an MA in creative writing at Belfast University and is now studying full time for a doctorate.

Gerard has previously published several other works including the novel, Wee Rockets, a novella, The Point, several short story collections and contributed to a number of anthologies.

You can learn more about Gerard on his website.


Brian is an insomniac, troubled by the death of his brother at the hands of his girlfriend, Rachel. She’s pregnant, unknown to Brian. They’re in hiding, but don’t know that they’ve been found by Owen, who wants his revenge…


I have to confess to being biased. Gerard Brennan has, over 2013, fast become one of my favourite writers. If he has a new book out, I’m there. However, with elevation onto a pedestal means gravity can take a stronger hold – big guys have further to fall. Add in that the predecessor to this novella The Point is my favourite of all then we have an interesting situation. Has Breaking Point brought me back down to earth?


Far from it. This was another excellent story from the author’s fingertips.

As I mentioned Breaking Point is a follow up story, but it works fine as a standalone. In it we revisit a couple of characters from The Point. All is not quite well for Brian and Rachel. They’re hiding in a small town, both working dead end jobs in the local garage. He’s stoned and drunk on an almost permanent basis and she’s fed up with his slipping into oblivion. To cap it all Rachel is (unknown to Brian) pregnant. They’re close to the edge.

One night when struck with insomnia, again, Brian goes to score a bag of weed from his pothead supplier, Tony, who’s a wannabee dojo master. Trouble is someone has a vendetta against Brian – Owen, another character from The Point.

That’s really it for a character list, there are a couple of minor players, but these four people are what the story revolves around. And it works. Tony is a hoot, he’s in debt to his supplier and the martial arts element is a way of him making some cash. Brian, a bit of a follower lost without his brother (an event from The Point which dogs his relationship with Rachel), gets sucked along.

Owen is a nasty piece of work and, in the end, Brian has to perform the ultimate task to keep his relationship alive.

This is a really good story. It knits together well and flies along at a great pace. The dialogue is sharp and snappy. I thoroughly enjoyed Breaking Point.

Phew. Potential problem over. If you haven’t read any of this author’s work yet, please make sure you do.


Some swearing, drug use (not graphic).

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: ***** 5 Stars

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