The Breakdown is the second novel by B.A Paris and I was lucky enough to receive a copy from NetGalley.
Cass is a teacher who is looking forward to her six week holiday. On her way home from the school end of term party she takes a shortcut through the woods despite her husband telling her not too. It is here she sees a woman in a car on the side of the road. Assuming she has broken down and called for help already or that it might be some kind of trap Cass doesn’t stop. The next morning it is all over the news that the woman has been found murdered. The guilt she feels over not stopping is intensified, when it turns out that Cass actually knew the woman. This is the start of a downward spiral, as she is already concerned that she is suffering from early onset dementia. As the story continues her paranoia and memory loss take over.
This is another novel that divided my opinion. On the one hand it was a very entertaining read. I read it on a train ride and finished it in a day. However I did feel that the story was a little bit predictable and relied very heavily on coincidences. The whole plot hinges on a mobile phone that gets lost which I think would have been better looked after. I also felt that it was obvious from the start the role that a couple of the characters were going to play later in the novel. However there was still a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Cass which is the part that really stood out to me. You almost feel as though you are in the head of Cass and can feel the fear she is living with. I did feel that some of her actions were a bit unbelievable. One example is that she is getting silent phone calls and despite having caller ID she still picks up the phone when it’s ringing displaying number withheld. The motives for the crime were a bit thin too I thought.
However it was still an enjoyable read and the premise was good. It’s one of those situations where we all like to think we would have acted differently and stopped for the car. However on a dark stormy night I imagine there are a lot of us whose first thought would have been that it was trap. If you like an unreliable narrator then the Breakdown is definitely worth a read.