The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

29091461If 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…

Driving along country roads at night is never fun, especially in the pouring rain, and – for a woman alone – it can be especially scary, the idea of being stranded, alone, in the dark. For Cass all these fears start to come to the fore when she pulls over to help a stranded vehicle but can’t then get herself to get out of the car to see if the woman she sees sitting in the driver’s seat needs help. The fact that the woman doesn’t call out to her or get out of her car to talk to her convinces Cass she’s ok and so, instead of doing more, she heads home….only to wake up the next morning to the news that the woman is dead.

The news is bad enough, flooding Cass with guilt as she realises she may have been able to save the woman, but it’s made worse when she finds out that it’s someone she knew. This sends her spiralling, unable to sleep and a unable to concentrate. As the days and weeks go on, Cass struggles to get her mind back on track and starts to become more forgetful still, something which could be down to the murder, the mysterious calls she’s been receiving since then (with nobody speaking when she picks up), or it could be something worse – a sign of the early on-set dementia that killed her mother.

Her husband tells her it’s stress, her best friend tells her she’s been silly but Cass isn’t so sure. Something is wrong, a killer coiled be after her. The only problem is no one will believe her. That included me as a reader, at least at times. Her behaviour was so erratic; her friends, husband, doctors, are convinced she is stressed, anxious, cracking up and it does seem to be the case. B. A. Paris does a great job leaving you guessing almost all the way to the end as to who is right, then they reveal the truth and turn the story on its head.

It’s a formula followed by a lot of authors in this genre – the fragile woman who seems to be loosing her mind, the family and friends who want to support her but don’t believe her, the strange occurrences and odd happenings, before it all becomes clear at the end. I don’t mind formulas at all though as long as they are done well, and that was definitely the case here.  B. A. Paris created an interesting character in Cass, one I couldn’t help but like and root for. She was well written, as was the book, with short chapters to keep you turning pages – which I did – and a strong plot.

When it got to the twist I had an inking but wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen or how it would turn out. I thought B. A. Paris’ answer was clever and I was left completely satisfied. I hadn’t felt quite that way with their first book, though I had enjoyed it but this felt much more accomplished and much more confident. I am really glad I got the chance to read it – liked it a lot.




Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 9th February, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Genre: crime fiction

Note: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own





    • I got Behind Closed Doors because it was 99p I must admit and it worth every penny 😜 but I did feel this was a more accomplished read. I think the plot felt a little less obvious and, again, a good twist at the end.


  1. I loved Behind Closed Doors, so I have been eagerly awaiting this one. It doesn’t come out until June here in the US…so I’m a little miffed. LOL.

    Thanks for your great review, which makes me long for it sooner rather than later.


  2. Wow you enjoyed and thought the execution was better for this one, I’m excited. I loved Behind Closed Doors, the intensity remained high through out. I didn’t know there was a new book, very exciting to see this, can’t wait for June.


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