The Breakdown by B A Paris

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The Breakdown by B A Paris

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Murder, mystery, intrigue – all the things we hold near and dear to our hearts in books like this. It will suck you in and keep you hooked, and it wonderful to lose yourself in for a good few hours.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes.
Pages: 352 Date: February 2017
Publisher: HQ
ISBN: 978-1848454996

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Sometimes the way we think we will behave when something happens is not the way we do behave when that same thing happens. Cass never thought she would be the sort of person to leave someone marooned in their hour of need – not least a lone female in a dark wood, late at night – but when she passes a stranded car on her way home she doesn't stop, get out, and go to offer help. She hurries on home, forgets about it, and crawls into bed.

This is not the only breakdown of the story, though. The next morning, Cass awakes to the horrifying news that a woman has been found dead in a car in a wood. Not just a car and a wood, in fact, but that same car in that same wood. The one she ignored. She just can't shake from her head the knowledge that she was there, and maybe she could have helped and maybe if she had, the woman wouldn't be dead and she wouldn't be slowly losing her mind thinking about it.

This is a brilliant book about regrets and a past that cannot be changed. All the elements are carefully crafted, right down to Cass's job as a teacher, meaning she has 6 long weeks to lounge around the house, going over and over the murder in her mind. It is hard not to empathise with Cass when things start to happen. With no one else's perspective on the table, it's difficult to take anything other than at face value. Firstly, there are the phone calls which haunt her during the day, silent callers who don't utter a word but just breathe ominously down the phone. Then there's the other stuff. As if the death wasn't enough to worry her mind with, her mind itself is becoming the worry as she forgets appointments, cannot remember where she's put things and just fails to recall proposals she agreed to, such as what to get someone for a birthday present on behalf of the whole gang. Something they spent ages discussing. When her mental health starts to waver, Cass doesn't know who or what she can trust, including herself.

I enjoyed this book over a long train journey from down south to up north, and it was the perfect companion as I got to lose myself in it. The story moves swiftly and although there are niggles in your mind that something's a little off, and although any regular thriller readers will pick on certain characters, convinced they must be involved in a butler-did-it kind of way, the unravelling is wild and absorbing, and the ending hugely satisfying much like in the author's previous hit Behind Closed Doors

I would like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review, and for making that Somerset to Cheshire commute so much more enjoyable. Of course it would also have worked well on a British Airways flight to France, if the author's name inspires you. For more who can you trust when you're losing your mind? drama, Everything You Told Me by Lucy Dawson is excellent.

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