Sunday, June 18, 2017

This fire is out of control: THE BREAKDOWN.

The BreakdownThe Breakdown by B.A. Paris

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars


Cass is driving home one rainy night--taking the back road to her house--when she sees a woman stopped by the side of the road. Cass pauses to help her, but eventually drives home without making any contact. She feels bad about not assisting, but the crazy storm prevents her from even seeing who is in the car. It's only later that her husband tells her that someone was murdered that night, and Cass realizes that it was the same woman she saw. Eventually Cass realizes it was a woman she knew, Jane, and she feels even worse. After, Cass is consumed by Jane's murder. She feels watched and is convinced the murderer is calling her house repeatedly. She's forgetting things, unable to work her household appliances, and receiving items she swears she never ordered. Is Cass truly going crazy--and is the murderer coming for her next?

This book was a weird one for me. I'm one of the few who didn't read Paris' first novel, but I'd heard all the hype and was curious to try this one. The novel relies on the unreliable narrator trope big time; I was certainly befuddled early on whether Cass was indeed an unreliable narrator going mad, or whether someone was messing with her. The problem, for me, was that I was expecting an amazing thriller, but I found the novel rather predictable from the get-go. I figured things out early on. Still, I have to give it to Paris: I felt compelled to keep reading despite it all. The book is a page-turner, for sure.

However, the plot is based on silly secrets and a lack of communication (both huge pet peeves of mine). Cass won't go to the police about seeing Jane's car simply because she doesn't want to tell her husband she took a shortcut she promised she wouldn't take? Seriously? Her friend's life is worth less than that? Further, she won't tell anyone about her dementia fears and forgetfulness. It was very frustrating and often times, I found myself more baffled than intrigued by the mystery.

In the end, this was an interesting one. I found it very predictable and honestly felt like I'd read this novel already (I swear I've read a book with a very similar plot: something that will drive me crazy forever). Still, it was compulsively readable and easy-to-read. Overall, probably about 2.5 stars for me. However, it seems like most people loved this, so take my review with a grain of salt!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere (in the U.S.) as of 07/18/2017.

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