Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Published July 2017 by St. Martin's Press
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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, 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 pram 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…
I accepted this book for review before I'd read Paris' debut, Behind Closed Doors. It was getting rave reviews so I thought I'd take a chance on this one. Then I read Behind Closed Doors and we all know how that turned out. I was more than a little concerned about picking this one up. But it did seem like just the right kind of book for the reading mood I was in so I decided to give it a shot. I read it in 48 hours over a very busy weekend. Which is not to say it's a perfect book; it isn't. But it was the perfect book for me right now.
Did Cass' deteriorating mental state happen a little too quickly and a little too conveniently? Perhaps. But I could well imagine the guilt I'd be feeling in Cass' place and Paris has a plausible backstory that makes it all the more believable. Did Paris keep me in the dark until the end? Not entirely. I had a suspicion pretty early on who done it and, to some extent, even why. But I wasn't certain and I had no idea how. And that only answered part of the mystery. There are plenty of red herrings and I bit on all of them. And the device used to launch the resolution is a little unbelievable. But I didn't care by that point; I was willing to go along for the ride.
Occasionally, the book felt like it dragged a bit but short chapters kept me reading and the last 65 pages raced along. One reviewer called The Breakdown a "beach read." That sounds about right - not overly dark, nothing that's going to stay with you when you've finished it, and just enough tension to keep readers turning pages. But, like most beach reads, you have a pretty good idea, even if you don't know how, that things will be fine at the end. Which is just what I need right now in a book.