July 18, 2017 | St. Martin’s Press
Suspense thriller | Psychological thriller | Mystery
This is one of my “what I read when life was crazy and I didn’t have time to write, so now I’m catching up.”
Cass made one mistake. She took the shortcut.
On a dark, stormy night, she took the unlit shortcut down a winding rural road.
While taking that shortcut home, she sees the car pulled over and starts to stop, but thinks she sees the driver – a woman – wave her on. So she heads home.
The next day she learns that a woman has been found dead in her car. On that road. Her husband would be furious if he knew she had driven that road in a rainstorm, so she can’t tell him. She’s trying hard to put the whole thing out of her mind, but it’s hard. When she learns it was someone she knew, some with whom she had a budding friendship, she’s heartbroken and ashamed.
But what could she have done?
Beyond that, though, she’s having a hard time. Everything is slipping her mind: where she parked, how to turn the alarm off, if she’s taken her medication, why she ordered a stroller when she has no child.
She knows, she just knows, it’s early onset Alzheimer’s, just like her mother.
Plus she’s receiving weird calls, and she’s sure someone is watching her, threatening her silently . . .
And she can’t forget the woman she didn’t stop to help.
I was excited for The Breakdown. B.A. Paris’s previous novel, Behind Closed Doors, was a fast paced, quick thriller. and I was ready for another one. I was ready to lose myself in spine-tingling suspense.
And I was immediately engrossed in The Breakdown. I was immersed in Cass’s drama, and moving quickly through the expediency of her descent into seeming madness or Alzheimer’s.
And then it snagged. The middle almost lost me. I almost put it down.
It wasn’t in confusion, either. I expect that in a thriller, especially one where the protagonist is potentially losing her grip on reality. But it was Cass — I really just wanted to shake her, to tell her to go to her own doctor and start telling the truth, to fact check a few things. I didn’t give up, because I was interested, but she was seriously Driving Me Nuts!!!
But I hung on and continued. And it did pay off. I still wanted to shake Cass, but I understood the meandering and lag. It was part of the storytelling.
The ending is good, although pretty predictable. Paris did throw in some interesting twists at the end, but the who was pretty obvious — at least to me.
All in all, The Breakdown was decent. A bit of thriller that will get you through a long plane ride or car trip. I didn’t love it, it wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, but it was okay. And sometimes okay is all you need.
****Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.