Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris


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Published: 18 July 2017

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Category: Thriller/Mystery

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Rating: 3 Stars

After reading B.A. Paris’s previous book Behind Closed Doors, I was anxious to read another book by her because I found her handling of suspenseful material to be well done and continually engaging. This continued in The Breakdown, where I found myself suspicious from page one and trying to figure out what was going on.

Paris is cunning in that she leaves hints that you think will lead one way and then they may or may not end up in the place you expected. Those moments are fun because you’re not sure which are the important ones and which are the red herrings.

I won’t say that the ending was entirely satisfactory, however. I found the culprits behind Cass’s “madness” to not be very surprising, nor their motives for commiting such a crime. The murderer wasn’t who I thought it was, I’ll give the author that, but it didn’t feel like a satisfactory ending. There wasn’t a shock or interesting factor behind it, reminding me instead of something like a Lifetime movie plot.

The best parts of the books were Cass trying to deal with what she thought was her dissent into early onset dementia, something her mother had had before her death. These chapters were suspenseful and, until the discovery of a key piece of evidence, as a reader I couldn’t be sure that this wasn’t the case.

As to that bit of evidence I mentioned, it is incredibly lucky that Cass came into contact with it. If not, the rest of the book couldn’t possibly have happened. Something of a Deus ex machina, that mobile phone.

I liked the pathways the story took well enough, though I was disappointed in the ending. I hope Cass will be alright, considering the trauma she’s been through during the story and the revelations at the end. Til the next book, eh?




I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

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