Saturday, September 2, 2017

Book Review: The Break Down by BA Paris

Sharon Long reviews the latest BA Paris book, The Break Down...

The Break Down is the new psychological thriller by B.A. Paris. The New York Times Bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors which was the debut best seller of 2016.  See our drinks with reads post.  I absolutely loved Behind Closed Doors and was anxious to read The Break Down which was released by St. Martin’s Press. I am happy to report this second novel does not disappoint. 
Cass is leaving a friend’s house headed for home trying to beat the thunderstorm. Before leaving she calls her husband, Matthew, who mentions he has a migraine and is going to bed. He warns Cass not to take the shortcut through the woods.  She promises not to and starts off in her Mini. It begins to pour and then the thunder follows. Cass makes a split decision and turns off for the woods. Further down off to the side, is a car with a woman who looks at her as she drives by. Cass internally debates the pros and cons of stopping. She pulls over ahead of the car and waits to see if the woman approaches her. After a few minutes, nothing happens and Cass continues to home. She tries to assure herself, she did the right thing.
The next morning, Matthew informs her a woman was found dead in the woods under suspicious circumstances. Matthew mentions how he cannot believe someone did not stop and help the woman. Cass is on edge as she leaves to meet her friend Rachel to go shopping for a friend’s party. She had to ask Rachel to go along because Cass has forgotten what gift she promised to buy. This is the not the first time Cass has forgotten things. Recently she has put detergent in the fridge, left home without her purse and forgotten many appointments. Cass fears she has early onset dementia which took her mother’s life a few years ago. When Rachel also mentions the women in the car and why no one stopped to help, Cass begs off lunch. Later she finds out the woman in the car, is her new friend whom she just had lunch with last week. Cass is overcome with guilt not only about her friend but the ongoing forgetfulness which she has not shared with her husband. During the evening news, it is confirmed the women was murdered adding to Cass’s guilt.  
After Matthew leaves for work the next day, Cass receives some hang up calls. She is certain the murderer saw her and is now targeting her. What is worse, Cass cannot tell anyone even Matthew about the calls because no one must know she did not help the woman in the car. Cass must deal with the enormous guilt, her increasing forgetfulness, and a murderer all on her own. “If you cannot trust yourself, who can you trust.”

B.A. Paris is one of the best women’s authors I have read. Her novels are riveting, compelling and instantly draw the reader in. This book is no exception as I felt the guilt, turmoil, and confusion just like Cass. The story takes place in a small town outside London but really it could be any town in any city. The story is character driven. What I enjoyed most was the building tension I felt while reading as Cass is heading for a break down. I was sure I knew where the story was headed but was happily mistaken. You feel the need to read as fast as possible but must slow down to savor at the same time. Either way, the ending comes to fast. I cannot wait for the next psychological thriller from B.A. Paris. 

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