The Break Down by B A Paris Book Review

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Initial thoughts seeing The Break Down by B. A. Paris, I wasn’t too excited. Thrillers have never been on my radar as a viable genre for me. The allure of travelling to distant worlds, casting spells and fighting in wars spanning galaxies always captured my attention much more than thrillers.

All books on my bookshelf exist as equals, every one gets a read, so I gave The Break Down a chance and I’ll say now that I’m very glad that I did.

It all started that night in the woods.

Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now that woman is dead.

Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her every move.

It doesn’t help that she’s forgetting everything too. Where she left the car, if she took her pills, the house alarm code – whether the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

The small act of driving away from the woman in the car turns the life of Cass Anderson upside down. It could not have come at a worse time for Cass. While dealing with the guilt from not helping the woman in the car and there being a murderer on the loose, throughout the book, Cass is also dealing with problems with her memory and worrying whether she has dementia like her mother.

In books like this, you often think about what you would have done in their position and naively think that you’d do the right thing no matter what. That you’re somehow stronger than the characters, because they’re fictional and you’re real.As she starts to forgets things I even found myself turning back to double check, did she really leave that window open? Did she actually sign the contract for the home alarm system? Did she really order that pram from the baby shop? I knew I’d read it only moments before, but it’s only when you question them do the littlest things start to matter.

Would I have stopped to help that woman in the car? If I had broken down I would hope that someone would at least offer to help even if it turned out they couldn’t. So, I would at least try to help the woman in need.

I could lie and say that I would have done everything I could for them, but in that situation, on a stormy night down a road I really shouldn’t have taken, I probably would have done just as Cass did and drive off. Frankly, I wouldn’t have taken that shortcut. No number of minutes shaved off my journey home would be worth it if I were potentially risking my life down an unsafe road in bad weather.

I finished the book in a matter of days. I stayed up till after 1 AM to read it and it’s not something I’ve done in a long while. I’ve not felt such a need to know what happens next in a story for good long while. My mind was blown. The twist near the end was less of a twist, more like a complete 180.

I loved reading it but didn’t like the way it put me on edge. Reading for me is a relaxing experience and this was totally the opposite. I’ve got enough stress in my life with university work, never mind in my down time as well!

As someone who doesn’t tend to read thrillers, psychological or not, I feel I can give an objective view for this book. The story was very well written. It was a bit slow going at first but built up as the story developed. It was as if there were little hooks pulling me back into the book and the hooks got bigger and bigger as I read on, eventually pulling me in and keeping me there.

After I’ve read a book, I judge it on two things: Will I read it again and will I read any more of the author’s work?

The first one is a maybe. I have enough books that need reading a first time, let alone again!

The second one, definitely. B A Paris will now most certainly sit on my radar as a good writer, as someone who can tell a gripping story and has definitely helped to convince me that maybe I should read more thrillers.

Photo via Visualhunt

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