Monday, August 21, 2017

The Breakdown ~ BA Paris (earc) review [@BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress]

The Breakdown
St Martin's Press
July 18, 2017
328 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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…

After reading B.A. Pari's Behind Closed Doors, I was excited to read her new novel. The Breakdownwas even more of a thrilling read than I had anticipated; the mystery and the tension are a step above that first book. Whereas in Behind Closed Doors you knew where the danger was coming from but not how or when (or even to what extent), here you aren't even sure if there is danger, if it's real or imagined. Nor do you know who or where it's coming from, when it'll happen or or how.

The Breakdown absolutely keeps you guessing, almost to that very last page.

From the start, the book gives you reasons to doubt characters, sometimes it seems they're up to something nefarious, others you don't know if you can trust their interpretation of things, or their memory of them. Even when it seems like pieces are coming together and some of the mystery has been solved, you have to second guess it all. When your main character is forgetting things (lots of things), you don't know how much of her deductions and recollections can really be counted on.

When you aren't sure how much you can rely on your narrator, even the most troubling seeming events or statements have to be questioned.

Are things really happening as Cas sees them? Or is there a much more innocent explanation?

B.A. Paris really put her characters through it. As soon as you think that she surely can't make them go through anything more, she does. It's that fact, that the author doesn't hold back and isn't afraid of being, really, quite horrible to her characters, that makes the mystery so thrilling - and rewarding. The characters are capable of so much more than one would think -- both in what they can do to each other and what they can survive.

The Breakdown is an exciting, thrilling read, a mystery with more twists and turns and surprises than you'll ever see coming, fantastic characters and a great title. Now, I am really looking forward to Book 3 from B.A. Paris, Bring Me Back.

Other Books You May Also Enjoy: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (buy), The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (buy) and Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (buy)

digital copy received for review, from NetGalley, via publisher

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