Sunday, 19 March 2017

Review - The Breakdown by B A Paris

Last year I read Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris which was quite honestly one of the best thrillers I read all year. I was therefore eagerly anticipating the arrival of her second novel, The Breakdown, hoping it would be just as good as the first. Having read it all in the space of just one day, I can truly say that The Breakdown was an incredible book. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more and was in my view a very worthy five star read. 

We first meet Cass, a school teacher, on the last day of term before the summer holidays on a dark and stormy night. Keen to get home to her partner and out of the bad weather, on the way home she takes a shortcut through the woods. Whilst driving she notices that a car has broken down on the side of the road but, despite being concerned, decides not to stop. When she wakes up the next morning she discovers that the person who was in the car was a woman, someone she once met and she has been found dead. Feeling guilty for not having stopped to help the previous night, over the coming weeks Cass finds it hard to get the woman out of her head and not only does she receive a number of silent phone calls but she also starts to forget things. As she fears for her sanity, is she going mad or is there another explanation? 

Cass was a character whose story I couldn’t help but become incredibly involved in from the start. What was nice about Cass was that you could tell, from the way she felt so bad about not having stopped, was that she was a character who had a conscience and one who would do the right thing. She was a character who cared deeply for her friends, one who would do anything tc ensure that they were happy. Subsequently it broke my heart to read of her declining mental state and I really felt her fear that was present throughout the majority of the novel - the fear that she was experiencing early onset dementia like her mother did. 

Unlike in Behind Closed Doors in which it was pretty clear what was happening, The Breakdown was much more of a mystery. From one moment to the next it was impossible to predict what was going to happen and what was going to be discovered. I thought that B A Paris had done an incredible job at writing this novel, creating something that was atmospheric, addictive and breathtaking. As a relatively fast-paced novel in which the tension did nothing but grow, there was twist after twist and it was the sort of novel that certainly played on my mind when I had to put it down for just a few minutes. 

The Breakdown is the author’s second novel to date and all I can say is that B A Paris has proven that she is here to stay, an author who is so capable of having success after success. I really couldn’t have enjoyed this book any more than I already did and I’d urge readers not to miss out on what is truly an outstanding read. I’ll definitely be back to read more by B A Paris in the future!