B. A. Paris's debut novel, Behind Closed Doors. (my review) I was very excited to see what she had in store for readers in her newest book, The Breakdown.
Cass takes a shortcut home late one rainy night through a dark wooded area. She comes across a parked vehicle and wonders if the woman driver needs help. She pulls over, but the woman never exits her vehicle, so Cass drives on, thinking she will phone the police to let them know there's a possible breakdown. But she forgets to call and is stunned to find out that a woman named Jane was murdered on that same shortcut road last night. Cass seems to forget a lot these days and she is terrified that she has the same early onset dementia that her mother had. And she is just as terrified that the murderer may have seen her license plate as she drove by. And then things start happening....
"It's hard to believe that my split-second decision to take a shortcut through the woods that fateful Friday night has had such a devastating impact on my life. Jane may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time but so was I. So was I."
Wonderful premise! And a decidedly unreliable narrator - are the 'things' happening all in her own mind? Or are they real? Is the murderer after her as well? And her memory seems to be rapidly deteriorating....
Paris introduces a set of friends and family and because we only meet them through Cass, I was suspicious of them all. The tension builds and builds as Cass becomes even more paranoid and terrified. The last one hundred pages turns everything upside down, providing the twist that psychological suspense lovers like myself are just waiting to discover. Read carefully as Paris drops little snippets of dialogue along the way that will point the reader in the right direction for the final whodunit. There are one or two pieces of the resolution that require a few grains of salt to be taken, but this didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book in any way. (In fact it ended up being read in a day on the weekend!) The Breakdown was another great read for me and I will be looking forward to Paris's next book. Read an excerpt of The Breakdown.
I always enjoy a clever title - Breakdown can be interpreted a couple of ways in this case. You can connect with B.A. Paris on Twitter.
I didn't like this as much as Behind Closed Doors but I still thought it was terrific. I thought the title was great too.
My first read of this author. I was lucky to get this book and I did like it.
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