Published by St. Martin's Press on July 18, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Pages: 336 (ARC)
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Disclosure: This is an advertisement for SheSpeaks/St. Martins Press. I received this books for free from SheSpeaks. All opinions are my own!
Cass is driving home late one stormy night when she makes a split decision to take a shortcut through the woods, despite her husband’s insistence that she stick the main road. On the isolated byway she spies a car pulled over on the side of the road. Inside is a woman who doesn’t appear to be in any distress. Cass pulls over for a moment, trying to decide whether she should approach the woman to ask if she needs help. Ultimately, Cass is too nervous to exit her car and she drives off, forgetting all about the woman. That decision comes back to haunt her when the woman is reported dead–murdered–the very next day. She was killed in that very same spot on that very same road, not one hour after Cass passed by.
Agitated and guilt-ridden, Cass starts forgetting things–the alarm code to the house, where she put her keys, purchases she has no memory of making. She becomes afraid that she’s headed the same way as her mother, who was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at the age of forty-four. And then the calls start–silent, with a threatening presence hovering at the other end–and Cass feels as though someone is watching her. Was the murderer lurking in the woods when Cass passed by that fateful night? Could he read her license plate number through the rain? Does he think she saw something and view her as a threat? These questions swirl in her mind as her memory worsens and fear presses in on every side.
The Breakdown is Paris’ sophomore novel. Her debut, Behind Closed Doors, was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in the mystery/thriller category last year and came in fifth place. I have a feeling The Breakdown will be nominated for this year’s award. I couldn’t put it down.
There are few things I love more than a good mystery and The Breakdown definitely fits the bill. I thought I had figured out the plot within the first fifty pages and I was sort of right, but there’s a surprise twist at the end I didn’t see coming. Even if I had been completely correct in my deductions, there was enough suspense built up throughout the novel to keep me reading at a breakneck pace.'The Breakdown' by B.A. Paris Is the Perfect Summer MysteryClick To Tweet
Though it’s not a perfect comparison, The Breakdown reminds me of The Woman in Cabin 10 in some ways. Both feature female protagonists dealing with some kind of mental/psychological challenge–Cass with her memory and Lo with her anxiety. Both protagonists are gaslighted because of those challenges.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Breakdown. It’s the perfect book to hole up with on a rainy summer afternoon. And I plan to request a copy of Behind Closed Doors from my library ASAP. I think I might just be a new B.A. Paris devotee.