Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Title: The Breakdown 
Author: B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: July 18, 2017 

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…

"I'm determined to avenge Jane."

The Breakdown is the second book I've read by B.A. Paris. I love the cover of this book and since it had an intriguing blurb, I couldn't click fast enough to request it. 

The main character is Cass. She's a teacher and a recently married woman who after meeting some of her friends for a night out decides to take a shorter but darker pathway to get to her home. She's traveling at night and during a heavy storm. The storm is scaring her and it doesn't help that her husband told her not to take the shortcut because it could be dangerous at night. Soon after, she almost loses control of her car to avoid crashing into a parked car on the road. A woman is in the car. Cass is afraid it might be a way to entice her to get out of her car and then get attacked. After a few minutes of waiting to see if the woman comes asking for help, Cass drives away. The next morning she learns a woman has been found dead just a few miles away from her home. She, later on, learns the woman was murdered and it's the same woman she encountered on that dark and stormy night. What makes it even more disturbing is that she had met the victim, Jane, a couple of weeks back and they had clicked as friends.

Cass is overwhelmed with guilt because she forgot to call someone to tell them a woman was stranded on the road and later, she decides not to contact the police about what she knows because she feels ashamed. Cass can't stop playing scenarios in her head. She could have helped Jane or maybe the murderer could have killed them both. Her guilt festers and becomes unbearable. It also coincides with Cass having short term memory issues. At first is just something inconsequential like forgetting her purse but soon she's forgetting she has invited friends over or she's buying things she can't remember purchasing. She's terrified she has developed early onset dementia, just like her mother did.

The Breakdown is entertaining and suspenseful. Cass is engulfed with guilt and shame over not helping Jane on that frightful night. She's the perfect candidate to be manipulated. It was easy to guess who was manipulating her and the why but I still found myself absorbed by the plot. The last third of the book was the best and I was happy with the course of events.

So what part didn't I like? It involves a new pet peeve of mine. I've seen this in multiple thrillers I read recently. It involves the lack of common sense against calling the police early on.  Why wait so long? Want to get murdered before the bad guys are discovered?  No,  then call the cops!!!

Anyway, I'm happy to report that The Breakdown is going in my yes thriller column.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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