by B. A. Paris
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. . .
She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a baby stroller when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her….
THE BREAKDOWN is another triumph by fan-favorite B.A. Paris. Readers won’t want to miss this chilling and propulsive new novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
It used to happen to Mum all the time. She’d be there, nodding away at things I was saying, offering her opinion, even making suggestions, but a few minutes later she couldn’t remember anything that we’d said at all. “I must have been away with the fairies,” she’d say. “Periodic amnesia” the nurse who came to check on her called it. Was that where I’d been, away with the fairies? For the first time in my life, fairies seem like evil creatures.
I alternated between captivated and exasperated by the main character of Cass and the tantalizing storyline of The Breakdown. It was maddeningly paced and kept me intrigued and on edge. There were two different types of “breakdowns” in the story. One involved a situation with an automobile and the other the mental health of the main character of Cass. I decided early on that poor Cass was either 1) suffering from a marked degeneration of her mental health and quickly descending into madness, 2) being Gaslighted, 3) being harassed, or 4) a combination of the first three. Turns out I was correct, but I won’t tell which of my hypothesis were proven. No spoilers here…
Watching her mother rapidly deteriorate with early dementia while in her forties, Cass was highly anxious when she was starting to have memory issues, although my first thought was she may have a dissociative identity disorder and was losing time to an alter personality. I grew skeptical of the Gaslighting, as it would have had to involve too many people to pull it off. Cass was being increasingly anxious, fretful, paranoid, forgetful, losing or misplacing items, completing complex tasks and conversations without recall, and was also possibly delusional and or hallucinating as she swore she saw things no one else did. I felt so bad for her but she wasn’t speaking up or being honest about her concerns and was also lying without reason. She started receiving multiple silent phone calls – which exacerbated her anxiety and kicked all her symptoms into hyper-drive. She was soon overreacting and thrown into panic mode every time the phone rang and was easily startled and terrified by any noise. The storyline was taut with tension, my shoulders were practically in my ears as I read, and B.A. Paris certainly knows how to weave that complex web while stringing us readers along, plucking at our curiosity, and heightening and maintaining the suspense and intrigue. I reveled in the outcome and nearly jumped from my chair to cheer for Cass when she finally snapped to attention. What a clever tale. This author could well be an evil genius, her family members should be on constant alert to ensure her good spirits or risk dire consequences.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
B.A. PARIS is the New York Time, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters.