The 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