Book Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Title: The Breakdown
Author: @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress
#thebreakdown #whocanyoutrust
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Rating: 4 stars


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.

Grace Review

This is one of those thrillers where everything isn’t as it seems. And the title itself actually has a dual meaning. As the reader, what guides you through is the quest for answers.

The book title and synopsis introduce both elements to the plot.
1) The death of a motorist.
The mysterious death of Jane Walters is what beings Cass’ downward spiral.
It begins with guilt, not doing something that may have prevented the woman’s death.
That guilt leads her to cover up seeing the car before the murder was committed.
And that guild overwhelms her when she finds she knows the woman.

2) Fear of dementia.
With a mother who suffered the disease in her forties, it’s something that Cass has fear will fall to the same fate.
With each chapter, a new day in Cass’ life following the murder, she begins to deteriorate.
Forgetting conversations.
Misplacing belongings.
Fears of the murder coming for her, due to daily silent calls.
Everything begins to spiral out of control.
At times, I was frustrated by her. How she just seemed to give up on trying. But I liked her 180 later in the book.

Unlike Cass, I didn’t think the two problems connected together. I did believe the calls where someone messing with her head, but it never really occurred to me where everything was leading and what the point of it would all be. There are some parts where the chapters felt repetitive as Cass beings to fall apart mentally. However, the big revelation shows how all that prior detail was needed.

Although most of the book is a slow or steady pace, the last 10% definitely picks up speed and I literally could not put the book down. I was floored at the lengths taken towards Cass, and to avoid spoilers, I’ll leave it at that.

Overall, while your heart may not be racing through a good portion of the story, the ending will get that heart pumping. I was desperate to know if the guilty party would get away with it. And even though the book doesn’t have a HEA, the author will leave you in a good place.

– Grace

*An ARC was received from the publisher for an honest review.

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