Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Published by St. Martin's Press on February 9, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley

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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.

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…

It’s happened to all of us, at one point or another. A forgotten meeting, a transposed number, or some other innocuous slip of the memory. For Cass, a series of escalating incidents ultimately causes her to question her own sanity.

Ever since the night Cass passed a car on the side of the road–a car in which a woman was later found murdered–she can’t think of anything else. From the start, Cass feels a strong sense of guilt about the fact that she didn’t get out of her own car that night and offer to help the woman.

In the days and weeks following the murder, Cass’s mental health slowly deteriorates. She can no longer remember how to do simple tasks, like how to start her washing machine or coffeemaker. She forgets where she’s parked her car. She can’t remember making appointments with her friends. She doesn’t recall buying things, even after they’re delivered to her house. Beyond all this, a pervasive sense of paranoia takes over, as Cass repeatedly receives silent phone calls every day that gradually chip away at her sanity.

Nothing is as it seems in The Breakdown, even up to the final pages and its shocking conclusion. Following her suspenseful debut, Behind Closed Doors, B.A. Paris has created another compelling work of psychological fiction and domestic horror. Highly recommended.

Rating: 5 stars


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