The Breakdown

A Novel

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Pub Date 18 Jul 2017 | Archive Date 12 Feb 2018


Finalist for the 2018 International Thriller Writers Best Hardcover Thriller Award!
Named One of the Most Anticipated Thriller Novels Of 2017 by Bustle!


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

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was 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, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Finalist for the 2018 International Thriller Writers Best Hardcover Thriller Award!
Named One of the Most Anticipated Thriller Novels Of 2017 by Bustle!


Advance Praise

“B. A. Paris has done it again! The Breakdown is a page-turning thriller that will leave you questioning the family you love, the friends you trust, and even your own mind.” —Wendy Walker, author of the USA Today bestselling novel All Is Not Forgotten

“In the same vein as the author’s acclaimed debut, Behind Closed Doors, this riveting psychological thriller pulls readers into an engrossing narrative in which every character is suspect. With its well-formed protagonists, snappy, authentic dialog, and clever and twisty plot, this is one not to miss.” —Library Journal (starred)

“This psychological thriller is even harder to put down than Paris’ 2016 best-seller debut Behind Closed Doors; schedule reading time accordingly.… With two in a row, Paris moves directly to the thriller A-list.” —Booklist (starred)

“B. A. Paris has done it again! The Breakdown is a page-turning thriller that will leave you questioning the family you love, the friends you trust, and...

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Featured Reviews

This was a very fast paced thriller. I love books that I don't know what should happen next and this book covered that! Can't wait for more from this author

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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to preview The Breakdown" by BA Paris. I started hearing about this book, and was very happy to get the chance to preview it. The story started out slow and I did have some trouble getting into it, but quickly that turned around. This is a suspenseful story about a young woman on the verge of mental illness. She is married, has close friends, and should be very happy. Her mom passed away from dementia, and she has held this secret from her husband, Matthew.
This is written in the first person, and you can feel "Cass'" terror as she begins to realize that she may be going crazy.
Cass is driving home one night and she sees a car on a deserted road. Although she stops to check on the driver, she leaves the scene. The next day, it is revealed that the driver of this car, "Jane", has been killed. Cass is riddled with guilt - could she have saved this woman from death if she had stopped? Cass starts to get calls from an unknown person, but is she? She starts to forget things, lose things, and can feel reality sinking away? Is she the next to be murdered or is everything a figment of her imagination?
The Breakdown is well written, and one of the best for 2017 so far. RECOMMEND!!!!!

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I must start this review by saying I'm surprised about how much I enjoyed this novel. For those that follow my reviews (and thank you!) you may be aware that this author's first novel upset me immensely. Behind Closed Doors was a fast paced thriller that had a strong story of an abused wife. I would have loved it if that's all it was. But adding in the gimmicky feeling of torturing a mentally retarded girl ruined it for me. So when my fellow reading friends convinced me to give her a second read I did so cautiously. And I am so glad I did. B.A.Paris is a creative story teller and a genius at twists and turns. Her stories are haunting and shocking enough without adding anything. In THE BREAKDOWN her talents really shine through! Ms Paris reels you in and has you questioning everyone around you including yourself. The story takes a bit to develop but stick with it because everything comes together and you will be completely invested. I'd say at the 40 percent point I didn't want to stop reading. Also make your own theories but keep them close because these twists will make you question them all! Absolutely loved this book and hope the ones that come out stick with the strong story and twists so I can read her more

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an early read! This is the perfect mid summer read just read it with your phone off, doors locked and all the lights on!!

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I enjoyed this book very much== at times, I felt very in touch with the main character and thought I was going mad right along with her. I did however, figure out what was going on part way through the book, which did disappoint me because I truly love being shocked while reading. I look forward to recommending this book to my customers and coworkers though.

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Thank you BA Paris and Netgalley for an honest review in exchange of an honest review.
I just love this new author, Behind Closed Doors was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2016 and The Breakdown is going to be just as popular. I read this title in a day as the writing just carries you so fast through to the very end. The only problem I had with it is that the ending was just too short and quick.
Do yourself a favour and discover an amazing author. Highly recommend.

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4.5 stars rounded up!  What an absolutely thrilling and emotional ride this book took me on!

This book totally consumed me and I couldn't think of anything else but this book. I was reading it everywhere and anywhere which was annoying the heck out of my husband.

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. PARIS is an interesting, thrilling, suspenseful, and cleverly written psychological thriller that takes you on a very emotional and apprehensive tale here questioning the psyche of our main protagonist, Cass.  Is she really having a breakdown, early onset dementia, or is there something more sinister at work here?

B.A. PARIS delivers an impressive, tense, and mind-blowing story here that was executed at breakneck speed grabbing my attention from the very first page and didn’t let go until the very last word.  I could really feel Cass’s emotional distress, guilt, anguish, and frustration throughout the novel and questioning her mental health right along with her.  I didn’t know what the heck was going on and I loved it!

Okay, while I found this story to be really fun and exciting for the most part I must say that I did find some of it to be a little predictable and tedious in parts but it sure made up for it though with its heavy buildup of anticipation, the thrilling climax, and the unexpected and surprising conclusion to make this an extremely good read.

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, gripping, fast-paced, and an easy read with an unexpected and exciting ending. Highly recommend!!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, B.A. Paris, and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.

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Cass, a young high school teacher with a loving and attentive husband, makes a reckless decision one night when driving home during a horrible storm. She goes against her husband’s explicit request and takes a shortcut home along a lonely and desolate road. Halfway to her home with the rain pouring down Cass sees a car stopped on the side of the road with a woman inside. She pulls up ahead of the car and stops to see if the woman signals her in some way or gets out and comes to her car. When the woman doesn’t do anything to signal that she needs help, Cass drives on home assuming if she broke down she has already called for help and is just waiting for someone. The next day not only does Cass find out that the woman was brutally murdered after she drove by but also that she was someone Cass knew.
Thus begins Cass’s downward spiral. She is already concerned that she is experiencing signs of Early Onset Dementia, a condition her mother was diagnosed with. Added to that is the guilt she feels for not doing anything that horrible stormy night. Cass is soon convinced that the murderer saw her and it is he who is making hang up phone calls to her house. As Cass comes closer and closer to having a nervous breakdown the pace of the novel becomes even more intense. Fans of Behind Closed Doors will not be disappointed and if this is your first psychological thriller by Paris hold on tight you are in for a heart stopping ride.

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After reading Behind Closed Doors, I was eagerly anticipating B.A. Paris's next novel, and it did not disappoint! Cass's inner monologue throughout the book really made you feel like you were in the story. It moved at the perfect pace where it kept you hooked, but you didn't feel like you were being rushed towards the conclusion. Although I read this in the spring, it seems like it would be a great beach read for the summer.

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I loved this book! I read it in one day since it was very engaging and it kept me on the edge of my seat.
If you enjoy a good plot twist and a book that keeps you guessing throughout the story; then this is a must- read.

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I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, so here goes. TEN stars! This is by far the best book I have ever read, and I've read hundreds. I'm still in shock. Most reviewers feel compelled to describe the plot,over and over again, but I feel that just saying this is one heck of a thrilling, suspenseful ride should be enough. I finished it in one day because I knew I would not be able to sleep without discovering the ending. Do not miss this incredible book!

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If you love unreliable narrators, you'll love The Breakdown. Does the title allude to a car breaking down in the beginning, the driver later found murdered, or is it about the main character's declining state of mind after realizing she saw the driver alive and failed to render aid? Or does she, instead, have early onset dementia like her mother? I went back and forth throughout the book, thinking I'd "just" figured it out. I hadn't. Paris does a superb job of creating doubt in the reader's mind at every turn. Such a deliciously fun escape!

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Having read this author's first book and loved it, i could not wait to read her second book and boy was the wait worth it.

It was a truly magnificent read from start to finish, i was literally on the edge of my seat with anticipation as to what would happen next.

The characters were believable and story plot was cleverly written. It was a fast paced read that i got through real quickly.

Can't wait to read the author's third book.

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Firstly I would like to thank the author, publisher and NetGalley for my copy of this book. This is the first book that I have read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. This book hooked me in from the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed it right the way through. I think this book has a really good, gripping plot and a brilliant ending.

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Holy Cow! This book will keep you on the edge of seat from the 1st page to the end, I had a very hard time putting this book down.

I love how the author makes you think the breakdown is about one thing then turns it on it’s head and makes it something you didn’t see coming. I did start to get a little inkling of what was going on at about 80% but the reveal still blew me away.

This is one of those books that is hard to review, as I don’t want to give anything away. So I will just say BUY THIS BOOK! This is a must read for fans of psychological thrillers. BA Paris is a new star of this genre if you are a Lisa Gardner or Harlan Coben fan give Paris a try you won’t be disappointed!

I feel like I should say more about the book itself but I can’t figure out how to do that without spoilers.

4 ½ Stars

I received this book from the publisher & Netgalley for fair and honest review and I thank you!

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I read B.A. Paris’s first book “Behind Closed Doors” and enjoyed it but I honestly liked this one much more.

This starts off with Cass being on the phone with her husband, Matthew, as she’s getting ready to head home during a terrible storm. Matthew tells her not to take the shorter way home through Blackwater Lane but she does and everything changes the next morning as she wakes up and hears that a woman has been murdered on that road, the woman she saw as she drove through there the night before.

This book was honestly not what I expected and I mean that in a good way. I enjoyed “Behind Closed Doors” but this book was much better. It kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat until the end.

When I got to the last few chapters, the book had a total twist that I didn’t see coming. It made the book so much better. I would have honestly read this book in one sitting if work hadn’t gotten in my way.

If you want a compelling read, I definitely suggest this one.

Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Awesome psychological thriller. I was totally taken into the story with plenty of ,What?? What's??" As going along. I will definitely be recommending this book., and can't wait to read more by this author.

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4.5 stars
I received an e-galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved Behind Closed Doors so was very excited to read an advanced copy of The Breakdown and I have to say I was not disappointed. On her way home from an evening out, Cass sees a car (broken down?) at the side of a road with a woman inside. She pulls over, debating as to whether or not to get out of the car to see if the woman needs help, but decides not to, just in case it's a set up of some kind. The next day she learns the woman in the car was murdered and she actually knew her. From there, Cass's life seems to go haywire as she keeps getting hang up on her phone and mysterious things happen in her home. It's possible she has early onset Alzheimer's like her mother- or does she? Is something else going on? Who can she trust?
A total roller coaster ride of a book. Highly recommend.

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One of the best thrillers I've ever read! The more I read, the more I wanted to uncover all the details! Read this in one night. I just hope that B. A. Paris continues to write books. She surely have a talent.

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Loved that book! It was so much time since I read a thriller where, in the end, everything made sense! In fact, this is a strange sort of thriller. There's not much suspense in the first 3/4 of the book, but at the same time it kept my interest because you know something is not quite right... Cass is losing her mind. She thinks she's got early onset dementia like her mother..but that would be too easy an explanation. There's something more..who is trying to foul her? Or is she really losing her memory and if so, why? I suspected everybody and I went really near the thruth, but it didn't make sense with all the hint I was given from the very start of the novel. I was beginning to think that, like most of the time happens with thrillers, I will be left with some unaswered questions, and some hints that lead nowhere must have been placed all around just to make the reader guess different possible endings without being able to get the thruth before the end really come. But for one time I was wrong. Everything fit as it should, no lead was deliberately put in, and every little hint had some significance. This is something I really appreciate in a thriller, and I hope you would enjoy it even more knowing from the start that the author is not playing tricks with you.. Apart from this the book was enjoyable and kept my interest from the very firs page, it was sometimes a stressful read, but in a good way. Sometimes when I forgot something during the days while I was reading that novel, I was suddenly frightened that I could have early onset dementia too!! Umm.. and the ending..the last quarter of the book, is really diabolical and mostly satisfactory. Wow, I could not guess, well even Cass could not guess until the last page! And I was holding my breath with her!
This is my first B.A.Paris book but I already bought the audible version of her debut novel, Behind closed doors, and I really hope it is as good as this one!

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I really enjoyed this novel. How would you live with the guilt of passing someone by who you could have helped? This is the main storyline of this novel. It becomes so much more, and keeps you turning the pages in suspense.

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B.A. Paris has done it again. She is now one of my favorite authors for psychological thrillers. She is out of this world. I loved Behind Closed Doors and The Break Down did not disappoint. The first 50% of this book was good however, the last 50% will have you on the edge of your seat. I was pulled into Cass' story from the very beginning and the more you read, the more you feel her pain and frustration.

Cass is a teacher at a local school, however she took a leave of absence to care for her mother until she died. Now Cass is back at work and her life completely changes one rainy night when she takes a shorter wooded road home. She sees a woman pulled over in a car in the rain only to find out the following morning the woman was murdered after she saw her. All Cass can think about is this woman but can she trust her thoughts and actions?

This book can be read in one or two sittings if you have the time but be prepared to be wrapped up and on the edge of your seat towards the end. The character development is amazing especially of Cass and the plot is wonderful. Be prepared for a great read. B. A. Paris has done it again.

Thanks to NetGally for the opportunity to read this book and provide honest feedback.

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Oh wow, wowee wow wow wow! That was one terrific tilt-a-whirl ride. More to come.

OK, so here's the rest.

I love psychological suspense, especially if the plot involves domestic situations (and it seems since "Gone Girl" was published, most do), but it seems that lately many fall short of my lofty expectations. This one didn't. Paris' first book, "Behind Closed Doors" was a little too tense for me but this was just right. Even though Cass's responses to a few incidents were a little overwrought, I was in this novel's grip from the very start. And yes, I did suspect the final outcome (the author dropped a vague clue at the beginning) but the author still had a few surprises for me.

This is the perfect summer beach read, especially for fans of--OK, I'm going to say it, Gone Girl, but also lesser known titles such as The Couple Next Door and The Silent Wife. I predict this will be the blockbuster of the summer.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.

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If you like mysteries, this is the perfect book for you! But-- You had better make sure you have plenty of time, because you will want to keep on reading!
Definitely an entertaining and suspense filled story with surprises every few pages!
Just when I though I had solved the mystery, some thing would happen in the coming pages to show me I was wrong- right up to the the last few pages.
Great storyline!

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4.5/5 This book mixes the trauma of having been unable to stop a murder with the a completely different kind of fear: dementia. And if your protagonist doesn't have a clear frame of mind, then neither does the reader. This is a fast and fun read with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

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I was totally swept away by the suspense and mystery of The Break Down. Cass and Matthew have a great life together although she has secretly feared she will end up with dementia like her mother. Things begin to fall apart when Cass realizes that a murdered woman is someone she knew, and that she passed her car on the road in a terrible thunderstorm on her way home the night before. She becomes fearful that the murderer may be after her next. She starts to forget things, minor absent-mindedness at first but then it escalates to the point that she can't remember ordering packages that have been delivered, or how to work her own coffee machine. Is it just the stress? Is it the start of dementia? Or is it something more sinister? Could someone be gas lighting her? Or will she be the next murder victim? Alfred Hitchcock could not have crafted a more electrifying thriller with such a satisfying conclusion. 5 out of 5 stars from me.

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Loved this page turner and could not get enough of it and cannot wait for it to be available for purchase to recommend it to my friends to read.
Cass's story was intriguing and interesting. The ending was not as I suspected for the whole book. which is always exciting. The twist and turns of the emotional roller coaster that Cass goes through has you (well me) wanting to continuing reading even when my eyes did not want to stay awake.
I cannot wait to read it for the second time to see if I can find the hints I missed to figure out the ending. Loved the way the story was written and the suspension it kept me in.

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Let me start off by saying I read B. A. Paris' first book, Behind Closed Doors and absolutely fell in love with it. When I heard a new book was coming out I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. A lot of the time when a book is extremely hyped, I tend to be disappointed. Luckily that was in no way the case with The Breakdown.
The character building in this book was amazing, I felt like I got a wonderful idea of who each character was while also questioning them all throughout the book. I found myself immediately drawn in because the book was written with an extreme air if mystery. I physically felt as though I had to keep turning each page and find out immediately what was going on. I love the fact that it touches on the subject of early on-set dementia, which I don't hear or know much about.
Overall this book was a great mystery that was so unpredictable I couldn't stop reading if I wanted to. It flowed so well and kept me guessing until the very end. I would highly recommend this book if you like psychological thrillers.

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I loved this book as much as B.A. Paris' debut novel, Behind Closed doors. The author has suspenseful story telling abilities beyond words.

This book was suspenseful with so many twists and turns.

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OMG I just loved this book this Author is defo one that is going on my favourites Authors list..
I read the first book this Author wrote and so enjoyed it so i had to also read this one and yes it did not disappoint it was just as good....This Author has a great future in front of her if she keeps turning out books like these 2 I am not going to say what it was about you can read the blurb for that just to say the book is really well written the characters are all great and the ending is wow...

Thank you Netgalley the Author and Publisher for a chance to read this book...

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I would like to thank NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and B.A.Paris for the ARC of "The Breakdown" by B.A. Paris for my honest review. B.A. Paris is the author of "Behind Closed Doors", and her novel "The Breakdown" doesn't disappoint. The genres of this novel and Mystery and Thriller. One of the blurbs for this book are" If you can't trust yourself, who can you trust."
I find that B.A.Paris describes her characters as complex and complicated.This story reminds me of the movie,"Gaslight". I read this book in one sitting and did not stop until I was finished. I just couldn't put this down.
The story starts when Cass is driving home from a torrential downpour and is forced to take a path through the woods. She sees the headlights of a car, and barely notices a woman sitting in it. Not sure what to do, she flashes her lights and looks for some indication that the woman needs help. It is an isolated area, and with the heavy rain and lightening, Cass decides to move on. There is no cell reception to make a call.
Cass is extremely insecure, and had been taking care of her mother, who had dementia at 44 years old. When the mother passes away, Cass inherits a tremendous amount of money that she had no idea existed. Cass has a career teaching, a husband and friends.
When Cass gets home, she is distracted and relieved, and forgets to call for help for the woman in the woods. She doesn't tell her husband she went through the woods, because he would be furious.
The next day Cass finds out the identity of the woman in the woods who has been murdered. Cass feels guilty and starts questioning her decisions. Cass's house is near the woods and isolated. There is no information that is given that can determine the killer or the motive. There is a murderer running around. There is concern and tension.
Strange things start happening. Cass starts getting phone calls,with no one on the line. She has the feeling someone is watching her. Things are misplaced, and Cass has no idea how this could happen. Packages arrive at the house with items that Cass does not remember buying. Cass is missing appointments with friends, and making appointments she does not remember making.
Why is this happening? Who is the murderer? There are twists and turns. Some of the characters are not likeable. Some of the characters seem to be suspect. I enjoyed this intriguing book and would highly recommend it.

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Cassandra is a woman afraid. Coming home late one night she sees a car parked halfway on the road. She pulls up in front thinking someone needs help. It is storming and the rain is coming down in sheets ... all she can vaguely see is a blond woman. But as the woman doesn't wave or get out of the car, Cass drives off. She tells herself it could have been a trap..maybe someone was waiting to attack her.

The next morning she hears on the news that the woman was murdered. She feels so much guilt thinking that perhaps she could have stopped it. She doesn't tell anyone what she saw. But she does place an anonymous call to the police.

Cass thought she's feel better after calling the police, but the exact opposite is happening Police are going to the media asking that the woman who called to please call them back. And when Cass suddenly starts getting hang up calls, she's afraid that the killer thinks she knows more than she does.

This whole scenario sets the stage for a woman who is afraid she's losing her mind. The calls only come when she's alone. Is someone watching her ...watching her house? And now she's forgetting things like where she parked her car .... ordering jewelry from home shopping TV...she doesn't remember asking friends over for a BBQ. What was that alarm code again? Why did she order a pram when she isn't pregnant?

With a history of having a mother who died of dementia at a young age, Cass is so terribly afraid. She doesn't know who to trust .... especially if she can't trust herself.

I read this author's first book .. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS... and was extremely impressed by her writing. I was so hoping this one would create the same feeling ... and I was not disappointed. This is a well-written psychological thriller.

The first half of the book is setting the stage ... you can feel Cass's terror as she realizes that she is losing her mind. Her husband is trying to be compassionate but even he, after a while, begins to wonder. There are several characters that play a secondary part of the story, but they are all so important.

The ending is not what I had envisioned. There are some major twists and turns that took me by surprise. This is an author who is well-worth watching.

Many thanks to the author / St. Martin's Press / Netgalley for the digital copy of THE BREAKDOWN. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

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WOAH! This book absolutely blew me away!!! BA Paris knows how to get the heart racing and this book proves it. Writing with sharp precision and adding just enough anticipation over what is going to happen next will leave any reader hanging by the edge of their seat. This book is divine and I can definitely see it topping the best sellers list.

** My full review of this heart stopping novel will be posted on my blog and retail outlets closer to release"*

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Oh my goodness. I have one word for this book, trippy. If you have read Behind Closed Doors and liked it, you will totally enjoy the next book by the same author, B.A. Pris, The Breakdown. Even the cover looks completely intriguing.

Let me tell you a little about this tale. Cass is a teacher, a seemingly normal 30 something woman who just happens to stumble across what is later known as a crime scene. While driving home from a party one night she sees a woman in her car, only to learn hours later that that same woman was found murdered just minutes after Cass drove by. Not only does she blame herself for not stopping to help this woman, she finds out that the two actually knew each other, and had gone to lunch together.
All of this information is too much for Cass, and soon she is having a mental breakdown. She can't remember simple things she did, like when she orders an alarm system for her house, or the fact that she is almost certain the person who killed that young woman is now going to come and get her. Add on top of that all the things she seems to lose track of, like if she took her medicine or the fact that she lost her car in a parking garage. Being a witness is really taking a toll on her life, and on her marriage.

Then the calls start, no one is on the other end, at least no one is speaking. Could it be the killer? Or something even more crazy? This book has a whirlwind of twists and turns that will keep your little eyes in anticipation until the very last page. I for one, never saw the end coming, but maybe you can figure it out before you have your very own breakdown.

This book was just such a win for me. I had so much fun reading it, it gripped me from the very beginning because there was just so much information coming in from all directions. Not only that, but there was just something off about Cass, and I had to figure out what that something was. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, this will be the next best read of 2017, you just watch. I received this book from Netgalley, make sure you pick this one up!

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This was such a good book! It kept me up late and on the edge of my seat. Very well crafted. I am a mystery lover and this book was definitely a page-turner. Highly recommend. I will be reading more from this author.

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Another great read from an author I am already a fan of. It was exciting, suspenseful, & had just the right amount of twists & turns. I'm excited from what's next from B.A. Paris!

Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this novel.

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Oh wow, what a book! I went into this book with very high hopes, and these hopes were exceeded, this will be one of my favourite reads of this year. This is a psychological thriller that kept me guessing the entire way. The story follows a woman named Cass, who lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband. She is driving home late one night during a thunderstorm, and her partner gives her strict instructions to not take a short cut down a windy country lane, and to instead stick to the main roads. She promises to not take the shortcut, but then drives that way anyway, despite her best instincts telling her that it's a bad idea. Upon driving that way, she stumbles across a car with a woman in and Cass briefly stops with intent on seeing if the woman needs help. It is raining very hard, and Cass worries for her own safety and so doesn't get out of her own car, the woman makes no signals for help, and so Cass drives off home and goes to bed without a second thought. When Cass wakes up the next morning, her husband tells her that a woman has been murdered close by. This is really all I think you should know when going into this book, as with any psychological thriller, less is more.

I found this book truly addictive, I couldn't think about anything else while reading it, and truth be told, I would have read it in one sitting if time had allowed. It's one of those books that you can't get out of your head, from the moment you pick it up, until weeks after even finishing it. I was totally engrossed, I was obsessed with trying to work out who was guilty of what, and had many theories from very early on, although they all proved to be wrong. This book is far too clever for me, there are twists and turns I could never have dreamed of.

The characters all feel real, and I found myself feeling genuinely sorry for Cass. When she was scared, I too was scared, in fact I can't remember the last time a book chilled me to the extent this one did. I was a little shook up reading this one home alone at night, which is something I treasure because so few authors can achieve that sort of response from me.

I can't recommend this book enough, and I hope that if you pick this up, which indeed you should, that you enjoy it as much as I did. I live in the UK, and so this book has already been out for a while here, and I've been instructing all my friends to give it a read, this is the sort of book you scream from the rooftops to get as many people to read as possible, the writing flows and makes for a quick read. Can you really afford to miss out on reading one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read?

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WOW! There are no profound reasons as to why this book was so much fun for me. It certainly doesn't shatter any psychological-thriller molds, and to be quite honest, there wasn't all that much shock value in its pages. There were some seemingly mundane moments that some could even call repetitive.

So why, oh why then, could I Not. Stop. Reading?

It boils down to an exhilarating execution: The quick pacing; the heavy buildup of anticipation; the spark of mistrust in everyone, and the growing fragility of the main protagonist…


Cass is literally having a mental breakdown after the murder of a local woman is discovered…a woman she could possibly have helped.

As the guilt eats away at her conscience, Cass’s emotional state quickly spirals into hysteria. Add the growing forgetfulness and constant paranoia to her heaping pile of anguish, and suddenly Cass doesn't recognize the lunatic she’s become.

She’s almost certain she’s suffering from early onset dementia—the condition that stole her mother’s life—and no one, not even her husband, will believe that someone is out to get her.

Cass’s continual highs and lows will cause you whiplash, and you can FEEL her frustration as she grasps at straws (tongs, and cans of hairspray) to keep her crumbling life together!

It is exhausting for her.
It will be exhausting for you.
And that is the genius of it.
Because, like it or not, you’re sitting shotgun on the roller coaster of Cass's emotions.

And then there is the final 25%…packed with action and epiphanies, and decisions that will make you want to high-five your fictional friends.

From beginning to end, this read was addictive. I gobbled it whole, and even though some of the logic in this plot may not hold up under the heavy scrutiny of savvy thriller readers—I cannot recommend this one enough to fans of the genre!

My only problem is what to read after this…

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Wow. I loved, loved, loved Behind Closed Doors and as a bookseller was always recommending it to people looking for the next Girl on the Train. It had me up well into the night needing to know what happened, and books don't often keep me up late. So I had been wondering just how B.A. Paris would follow it up and if it would be as amazing as the first book. Well, I must say, it certainly was. In the case of The Breakdown, there is no such thing as the sophomore slump.

Well written and perfectly paced, this book took me on another ride and was another book that kept me reading late when I should have been asleep. I was hooked from the first page to the last. Lately I have been reading mystery books that have me figuring things out way too early but not with this one. I was left guessing right until the page before it all came out. That is an amazing feat to be able to pull off. I was invested in every character, even if I was suspicious of them.

I can't wait until this book is on the shelves so I can start recommending it to people.

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I was a huge fan of Behind Closed Doors, so I was thrilled to be able to review this one. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Lots of action, a compelling storyline and the main character, Cass, is one you want to root for..... all of these things make for an exciting read. This is one of those books that you will end up staying up late to finish because you don't want to put it down.

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I could not put this book down! The last book that kept me up all night was the author's previous release, Behind Closed Doors. Paris is an amazing storyteller and this one will penetrate your life, keeping you awake at night thinking about the levels of deceit that exist in this world. A definite 5-star read.

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Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and B.A. Paris for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

“The Breakdown” is a psychological thriller with a slow buildup that has you tensed for whatever is really happening to Cass. Even though I found it a little slow in the beginning, I couldn't put it down since it really felt like there's something else happening here and I don't know what it is yet so I need to be ready and looking for clues. I was definitely pleasantly surprised with the last 25% of the story and thinking OMG!

Cass makes a decision to take a shortcut home on a dark and stormy night even though she's feeling like it would be safer and less scary to go the long way around. She passes a car parked near the woods with a woman inside, and she stops to offer help. After stopping though, she's afraid to get out of her car in case it's a setup so she decides the woman will approach her if she needs help. When she doesn't, Cass decides to drives off. The next morning she discovers that the woman was later found dead in the car and had been brutally murdered! Cass is beside herself with guilt wondering if she could have saved this woman or would she also have been murdered if she'd stopped to help? She becomes scared, forgetful, paranoid and begins to show signs of early onset dementia which her mother had suffered with.

You get immersed in the perspective of a character whose world seems to be spinning out of control when she can no longer trust their own mental faculties. A well written psychological thriller that I could not put down! B.A. Paris is on my automatic read list since I really enjoyed "Behind Closed Doors" as well.

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I was a big fan of B. A. Paris' previous novel "Behind Closed Doors" so I was very eager to start this one. Wow, it did not disappoint. This is what great psychological thrillers should be - intricate plot, cleverness, and the right amount of paranoia and anxiety. I finished this book in one sitting - just couldn't put it down.

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This book is written by the same author who wrote the hugely successful and horrific Behind Closed Doors. I believe after reading The Break Down that it has the immense ability to be another HUGE bestseller. I’ve not read Behind Closed Doors yet – my Mum bought it some time ago but I've not got around to reading it. Yet!
Anyway, I started reading The Break Down and I got to over 70% by the time I’d snuggled into bed - although I did have the lights on. I finished the rest off in the morning whilst enjoying my morning cuppa.
This book was so fast paced, and so utterly gripping that I could not put it down – literally! It usually takes me about a week or thereabouts to read a book with all my studying and life stuff getting in the way, so for this to have taken less than 24 hours really tells you how amazing this book is. I slept with the table lamps on next to my bed and I still managed to have nightmares! It really scared the hell out of me!
The story centres on Cass as she’s on her way home from a party – but decides to take a route through the woods to get home which her husband has asked her not to go through for safety. She passes a car that’s pulled over in a lay-by, so she stops but as the driver does nothing to signal distress she drives on home. The next morning she discovers from her husband (who had called her the night before with a migraine so he slept in the spare room) that there was a murder along the road by the woods last night. A woman in her car was murdered in the lay by. Safe to assume Cass discovers the woman she passed in the car is the same woman that was murdered.
Cass then has to deal with the grief as she'd recently met this woman, along with the guilt of not doing anything. She thinks she’s going mad. She forgets things and as her mum had dementia, understandably her fear is that she has early onset dementia too. Her husband makes her go to the doctors and gets pills to help calm her down. (Jeez – i’m not doing this book half as much justice as it deserves! But I'm trying to keep it mainly spoiler free for you!) There is so much going on in the book which is why I simply couldn't put it down, I just had to keep on reading! A long story short – Cass discovers that the people close to her are not who she thought they were but with her ‘early onset dementia’ can she figure it out in time? And I don't think it's as straight forward as you may think!
What scared me the most whilst reading this was the fact that the more I read, the more I was ‘becoming one’ with Cass. What I mean by that is that I was terrified to walk around my house without shutting the curtains and locking the doors. I slept with the lights on. This for me is a huge testament to just how good this book is. When a writer can capture the characters so perfectly, and not only take you along for the ride, but to literally capture you as well, well that's a huge achievement isn't it?
I was just so desperate for Cass to figure it all out. I wanted her to be OK and I wanted to just know who the hell killed that woman. I had theories but I admit I was wrong - brilliant twist! I also wanted to know why it was having such an effect on Cass – because Cass had no idea, so we were all clueless.
The ending was absolutely bloody brilliant! I was squealing with delight and grinning from ear to ear as I got all excited. I reckon I must have looked like I was a cross between winning the lottery and needing the loo!!!
I definitely will read any future books by B.A. Paris now. Without question. What it has made me question even more is just how well I know people around me…I feel like I’ve become Cass in that sense (and no, it's not related to Mental illness on either part - mine or Cass's!). It just really made me question EVERYONE around me. How well do I really know someone? Really?
Whilst I’d like to follow her story and catch up with her in 5-10 years into her future, I just think she deserves a break. Boy does she deserve a break. She deserves to live her life in peace and be happy – I feel like I’ve intruded on her life far too much already…look at me talking as though she is real! Look what it’s done to me!!

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When I first heard about The Breakdown I was in two minds as to whether B.A. Paris could match the level of suspense she created in Behind Closed Doors but boy oh boy this is just as tense!

Cass passes a car on the side of the during a downpour; she sees a woman sitting inside but not clearly enough to recognise her. Has she broken down? Cass decides not to stop as it's dark and very stormy and resolves to instead call for help once she returns home. But she forgets. The next morning, she learns the woman has been murdered. She then slowly starts to lose her mind, thinking the murderer is watching her every move. But are they? This fear and paranoia ends up pushing her towards a nervous breakdown.

If you haven't read either of these books and love psychological thrillers then I recommend you read them, you will not regret it. One of the best at crafting thrillers that are twisty and unique, B.A. Paris is swiftly becoming a master of suspense. This will keep you on the edge of your seat from the moment you pick it up right until the end. I can't wait for the next book!

My thanks to St Martin's Press, B.A. Paris & NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This is another one of those "Unreliable Narrator" novels and I'd have to say that it really worked here. The reader is in the dark just as much as the main character and I really loved it. Did not see the ending coming which was really fun. I do wish we had gotten a little more background on all the characters and more world building so it was a little easier to get to know these people and where they are. Why was Rachel so close to Cass? The author explained but I would have loved to see more of their history together and what they have been through together before we start to follow their lives. Same with Matthew, how did they fall in love? What was their courtship like? I think it would have helped understand why the main character even wanted these people in her life.

Nit picks:
-For some reason, I kept getting all of the characters names confused. Maybe because we never were given any description on what anyone looked like? I just pictured all of the women having blonde hair and it made it more difficult to discern who was who.

Overall, I would definitely recommend you pick this book up. Really great mystery and I honestly couldn't put it down. I was thinking about it even when I wasn't reading. I've read Behind Closed Doors as well so I'm looking forward to seeing what else B.A. Paris can do!

**Received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

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While driving home on a deserted, dark lane, in a horrible thunderstorm, Cass sees a car pulled over to the side. Worried about her safety, Cass doesn't help the driver in the car; only to find out the next day that they have been murdered. With this tragic event, on top of her increasing forgetfulness Cass begins to spiral out of control.
A thrilling read that held me captive until the end!

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I read Behind Closed Doors a short while back and it shook me to the core. SO, when St Martin’s Press kindly sent me B.A. Paris’s latest book, I dived in straight away. I didn’t expect it’ll be similar to Behind Closed Doors, but it was. We’re once again an observer of the life of a married couple. And once again things aren’t as they seem at first.

The Breakdown isn’t a fast paced novel, at least not in my eyes. But that’s exactly what you want. You need to get the feel of the couple’s every day life and how it all slowly starts detiriorating for Cass.

Cass is returning home one night and takes a shortcut through the woods. She stops when she sees a woman in a stationary car, but as she doesn’t signal for help, Cass drives off. The next day she finds out that the woman was murdered. Cass starts receiving annonymous calls and forgetting things. Her mother suffered from dementia, so Cass’s biggest worry is that she’s going down the same route.

B.A. Paris is a master of getting us to understand the manin character’s anguish. But despite that, I was often annoyed with Cass (and then felt guilty as she’s obviously suffering). I understand the plan behind describing all the “memory lapses” and they add to the story. As always, there’s a great twist towards the end of the story, so even if you figured out who the bad person is early on, I promise there’s a surprise waiting.

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