The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
Expected Publication Date: July 18, 2017, by St. Martin’s Press
After reading B.A Paris’s gripping and compelling debut novel Behind Closed Doors last year, I have been eagerly awaiting her second book. Wow! All I can say was that it was well worth the wait! I read, no I devoured, The Breakdown in about 4 straight hours because the story drew me in from page one and didn’t let go until the last page! The book keeps you on the edge of your seat because it’s not only fast paced and addictive but the psychological suspense is so brilliantly executed by the author that you feel the terror, anxiety, guilt, and apprehensions right along with Cass, the story’s main protagonist. Cass’s feelings are so intense they practically leap off the page, and I think that is mainly what makes this such an engrossing read. Besides of course the major psychological twists and turns that play havoc with the reader’s brain!
That’s not to say that the story did not feel in some very small places a bit repetitive and predictable because it did. Less than halfway through the book, I figured out part of the plot, but that in no way spoiled the book for me because I was only partially correct in my prediction…B.A. Paris is much too clever a storyteller to completely give away her book’s secrets before the end! Plus, the intensity in the last 25% of the book and the climatic ending well make up for any repetitiveness there may be in the story or guesses the reader may have about the plot!
Cass is a school teacher who believes she is having a literal mental breakdown after discovering that a woman sitting in a car on the side of the road not far from Cass’s home during a horrible thunderstorm as Cass drove by was murdered. Cass blames herself for the murder since she didn’t stop to help the lady that night, but Cass doesn’t tell anyone how she feels or that she even saw the murdered woman that night because Cass fears being blamed somehow for being responsible for the death. The guilt Cass feels becomes considerably worse when Cass not only discovers that she knew the murdered woman, but Cass becomes terrified that the murderer is now after her.
Then the spiral into what appears to be a mental breakdown begins. Cass goes from forgetting little things like her purse, forgetting how to operate the microwave and washing machine, believing someone stole her car in the car park in town (when she finds it parked in the spot it was in all along), and ordering things she has no recollection of buying to acting paranoid and almost delusional at times. Cass begins to believe she is suffering from early stage dementia just like her mother had before her death.
Cass’s life begins falling around her, and you can feel her terror that not only is she losing her mind, but that someone is after her. Cass starts to receive silent phone calls every single day that she is convinced are from the killer trying to terrorize her. Yet, everyone tries to convince Cass the calls are from a call center, but the calls only make Cass hysterical and feed into her terror. Truly, no one believes Cass that someone is after her, not even her husband Matthew or her best friend Rachel.
The suspense in this book just continues to grow with every page, which is why I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it! You just have to know if Cass is actually having a breakdown or if someone is gaslighting her! Cass is a character that you feel sorry for, but she is extremely likable, especially at the end when things became really intense!
The Breakdown is suspenseful, intrinsic, gripping, and extremely clever. B.A. Paris has outdone herself this time! I predict that The Breakdown will be one of this summer’s hottest reads! It’s certainly made its way to the number one spot on my summer reading list thus far 🙂
Thank you, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and B.A. Paris for the chance to read an ARC of The Breakdown in exchange for my fair and honest review.