Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Title: The Breakdown
Author: B.A. Paris
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: Free ARC from St. Martin’s

Rating: A-

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from St. Martin’s via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: While driving home from a party in a terrible storm, Cass makes the fateful decision to take a shortcut home. As she’s driving the deserted, rural road, she comes across a car that appears to be stranded. The driver is a woman, but the rain is coming down so hard, she can’t make out any details. Being a woman driving alone, with no cell service, and with the dreadful weather, she pulls over in the hopes that the woman will give a signal that she needs help, but the car remains still, the woman does not get out or use her lights to signal. Though it tears her up to do so, Cass decides the safest thing for her is to go home and attempt to call for help for the woman. Unfortunately, when she arrives home, she is tired and forgets. The next day, she hears on the news that the woman was murdered.

Burdened by the guilt of what she didn’t do, Cass becomes increasingly anxious, and disengaged from her own life. She starts getting strange phone calls, the caller only breathing into the phone, never saying a word. As her fear increases, she starts forgetting things, losing blocks of time, and she starts to wonder if she’s got early dementia like her mother did. Her paranoia begins to damage her marriage and her friendships, and she becomes more and more isolated. But all along she feels like something isn’t quite right. She’s certain that the murder is closer to her than anyone realizes, and she begins to question the unraveling of her mind. What is the truth and can Cass get a hold of herself long enough to find it?

Review: My very first B.A. Paris and I wasn’t disappointed. While I had a very, very strong suspicion about some details very early on, there were elements of complexity that I hadn’t anticipated and I was delighted at the unexpected turns at the end. The suspense/intensity was well balanced – not so on edge that my nerves were frazzled (my anxiety doesn’t play well with prolonged periods of heightened emotional states), but enough that the story held my attention from the first page to the last.

Definitely a book I’d recommend. And I’m very glad that I have Behind Closed Doors on my Kindle already. An author I’ll be looking out for in future!

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