ARC Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The BreakdownThe Breakdown by B.A. Paris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unputdownable. I can’t remember the last time I read a book this quickly.

Fast paced and gripping, once I started reading I couldn’t stop. I will admit to a little bit of frustration with the main character and having a fair idea how it would all end but I really enjoyed it and got completely swept up in the story.


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…


This was actually my first book by this author but I don’t think it’ll be my last. I’d heard a lot of good things about her previous book, Behind Closed Doors, but I hadn’t yet managed to get around to reading it (so many books so little time). I have to say despite some wariness due to the level of hype around it this didn’t disappoint. I wouldn’t rate it as an all time favourite, or even a particularly stand out read but it’s fast paced, exciting and addictive reading.

The story which centers primarily around someone seemingly losing their mind is fascinating to read and as it’s all told from their pov you can feel their frustration and confusion. While this was the highlight of the story however, it was also it’s biggest flaw for me. I hate to say it but I just really didn’t like main character Cass. Not that there was anything particularly bad about her, she was just a bit wet. She’s so passive and emotional in the story I ended up getting very frustrated with her. If I could have reached into the pages, given her a shake and told her to get a grip I would have. I felt like she over reacted a lot of the time and didn’t really take any action or make decisions. I wanted to see her stand up for herself and take control, although I suspect there wouldn’t have been much of a story if she had.

With the focus very much on Cass and her downward spiral, there aren’t many secondary characters which for me (with the memory of a goldfish) is a good thing. New husband Mathew, and best friend Rachel are probably the only ones who have a substantial part to play and even at that they’re viewed through Cass’s eyes so it’s difficult to work out their true motivations and character. Something which works very well in keeping you guessing.

Despite a few niggles therefore, I did really enjoy the story. I flew through the whole thing in a few hours desperate to know whether Cass was losing her mind or if the murderer was out to get her.

The writing and pacing is pretty much spot on and the author does know how to create tension and a truly gripping story. I did think the ending was a little too quick and easy but there was a little surprise that I wasn’t expecting.

Overall a good read and definitely a book I’d recommend if you like a fast paced thriller.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own. The Breakdown is due for release on 9th February in the UK

Review: Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first book by Sarah Pinborough but I don’t think it’ll be my last.

I can be a bit hit or miss with psychological thrillers but this one had me hooked from the very first page until the very end.

It’s not a fast paced read (and there’s not a huge amount of action) but it’s an intriguing and twisty story with a main character I actually kind of liked, something which is too rare at the moment in this type of book.Read More »

ARC Review: Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

Good Me, Bad Me

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A compelling and occasionally disturbing read, I found myself unable to put it down. It’s rare for me to find a psychological thriller I enjoy but I loved this. Truly chilling.

Synopsis (from GoodReads)

‘NEW N A M E .
S H I N Y.
ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…


“The brain of a psychopath is different from most, I’ve weighed up my chances. Eighty percent genetics, twenty percent environment. Me. One hundred percent f*cked”

Would you invite the child of a serial killer into your life, into your family’s? Is it fair to judge someone for the actions of their parent? Do you think you should keep their background a secret to protect them or should you warn people so they can be on their guard?

These were all questions I found myself considering as I read this dark and chilling psychological thriller by Ali Land. It’s a gripping and addictive story that I found myself reading late into the night, scared to keep going but unable to put down. I felt so much sympathy for this 15 year old girl who had been so horrifically let down and abused by her mother but every so often there were these sudden chilling moments where I found myself wondering just what she could be capable of (and what involvement she’d had in her mother’s crimes).

The author shows real skill in keeping the tension throughout the story and also in creating such a distinctive character and voice in Milly (aka Annie) our narrator. For the most part Milly comes across as scared, quiet and unsure and generally just someone who wants the love and friendship she didn’t get from life with her mother. Every so often however there is this glimpse of something off about her, an inner strength and lack of fear but also a coldness and a lack of empathy for others. There are scenes that make for some seriously uncomfortable reading and a couple of occasions where I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue it was so disturbing, which sounds bad but to me is actually the mark of a great thriller.

The one and only criticism I have of this book, and the reason for knocking off that half star, is that occasionally I found the writing style and sentence structure a little bit off putting.

This is a book with a lot of hype around it, to quote the blurb “One of the most extraordinary, controversial and explosive debuts of 2017”, which is something I’m generally quite suspicious of but honestly in this case I think it’s definitely a book worthy of hype. I’m often let down by thrillers with a lot of hype (I didn’t like the Girl on the Train) but I doubt many will be let down by this. Read it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It’s released on the 12th January.

ARC Review: What Remains of Me by A.L. Gaylin

What Remains of MeWhat Remains of Me by A L Gaylin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The world’s a stage, Little Miss, but very few of us get to write our own roles.”

I hadn’t read anything by this author before but when I spotted it on NetGalley and read the blurb it sounded just the kind of book I was looking for. A psychological thriller about the darker and seedier side of Hollywood, it’s incredibly well written but I’m afraid to say that for me it fell a little bit flat.

I loved the language of the book, the twists and turns in the story but it felt a little bit too slow and too drawn out. The characterization is excellent and the descriptions make every person and every place feel very real. However for whatever reason I couldn’t quite connect with the story. I did have a lot of distractions going on in my life at the time of reading so that may have been part of the problem but it just didn’t hook me in and at points it felt like a struggle.Read More »