If you read and enjoyed this author’s debut novel, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, you might consider trying this one as well, because this one was just as fantastically written and gripping. Since I enjoyed B.A. Paris’s first novel, I was eagerly looking forward to read this one ever since I’ve heard about it. ‘The Breakdown’ is a psychological thriller that really sucked me in from the very beginning.
Cass is a teacher who lives with her husband, Matthew, in a great, but isolated house in a small English town. Cass makes the worst decision of her life one rainy night when she decides to take a shortcut home, despite the fact that her husband told her many times the woods are too dark and dangerous for a woman. Cass is a little scared and she believes no one is as stupid as her to drive in the rain, especially in the woods, so she’s surprised to see a car. At first she thinks someone is driving it, but as soon she realizes the car is actually parked and sees a woman in the driver’s seat, she stops. Since the rain is pouring, Cass can’t tell who the woman is or if she needs help, but she’s willing to help with whatever problem she may have. She stays a couple of minutes in her car, waiting for the woman to give her a sign she needs help, but the sign never comes. Cass, wanting to get home as soon as possible, drives off. The next day, Cass finds out from the news the strange woman she “met” was found dead, murdered. She doesn’t tell her husband about the woman, feeling more than guilty, believing she could have saved her, even if she doesn’t know when or how was she murdered. Everything gets worse for Cass when she realizes she met the deceased woman when she had lunch with her not so long ago.
Stressed and depressed, feeling so guilty with each and every day, Cass’s mental state worsens considerably. She starts experiencing episodes of memory loss, forgetting even the most simple and obvious things. The fact that her mother suffered from dementia before she died doesn’t help Cass’s mental state since she didn’t tell her husband anything about it. Everything changes for Cass when she starts getting “strange” calls from someone, which she suspects to be from the one who killed the woman in the woods.
‘The Breakdown’ was, most of all, an addictive read. From the moment I started it, I couldn’t put it down. With each and every chapter I was more confused and more enthralled with everything. The fact that the story was fast-paced made me devour this thrilling read in one sitting. Cass’s story was filled with suspense from the first chapter, so yeah, the book definitely starts with a bang. I liked how the suspense aspect was blended with the psychological one. The suspense was fantastically done and I loved how it grew with each and every chapter. It held me at the edge of my seat as the story unfolded and the fact that our heroine wasn’t a reliable narrator made me love this story even more.
Cass was an unreliable heroine so I obviously questioned everything she said and everything she did for a good part of the story. I sympathized with her and, even though I found her to be an interesting and well-developed character, she frustrated the hell out of me. God, at times, I wanted to slap the woman senseless.
The big revelation/twist didn’t do anything for me since I saw it coming. However, I enjoyed the twists and turns as the story unfolded and with the outcome of the story in general. I also liked the fact that each one of them plays a role into the story. As ‘Behind Closed Doors’, the other book by this author, this one had a realistic vibe that made me think, keeping me at the edge of my seat the entire time.
If you are looking for a fast-paced, twisted, page-turner psychological thriller, with a captivating plot and interesting characters, look no further and try this awesome read!