The Breakdown Review

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Rating: 5/5
Source: Netgalley

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

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

Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is – and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.

I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this book. I read and reviewed Behind Closed Doors back in January, in preparation for this book being released new the following month, I think around a week later, but my TBR pile got a little out of control and I only just got round to it four months down the line. Oops. I'm sure a lot of you can relate. 

The Breakdown is everything that Behind Closed Doors was, exciting, gripping and so frustrating because you can see what's happening and yet our protagonist remains in the dark. This time around we are following Cass Anderson, teacher, wife and potential sufferer of early onset dementia. 

You don't want to be the person that no one believes in a thriller, that's a very dangerous position to be in. Cass sadly lost her mother, twice if you include the years of suffering from dementia. Now Cass worries that she too is losing her mind, too many things aren't making sense, it's the only logical explanation. Isn't it? 

I liked Cass as a character, she was a carer for mum up until she passed away, she bought her non-biological sister a cottage for her Birthday, she tries to keep an active social life going while juggling newly married bliss. Nice girl, good morals, terrible situation. She knew the woman who was murdered and now thinks that she is next, but anytime Cass tries to explain strange happenings to someone, there's plot holes in her story. 

Loving husband Matthew is on hand to offer support and get Cass the help she needs, but his encouragement that she takes pills to help with rising anxiety is putting Cass' life on hold. Best friend/sister Rachel isn't sure what she can do to help anymore. The Breakdown is a very clever psychological thriller that will keep you guessing till the moment that all is revealed, even then as the story starts to piece together there's plenty of ohhh moments to keep you entertained. 

The concept of using dementia as a psychological trigger in this book really resonated with me. Unfortunately, my granddad suffered seriously from dementia towards the end of his life, I've witnessed first-hand what it can do to a family. That made Cass' fears feel all the more real to me, it really is like living in a never-ending nightmare. Though the subject of memory loss is dramatised for the purpose of the plot, I think it was done well enough that even I was questioning what I read. 

So much goes wrong for the protagonist but in true BA Paris style, she makes her characters suffer but rewards them in the end. You won't be left disappointed even with this slightly unconventional happy ending. I would recommend this book to any thriller fan, especially if you have previously read Behind Closed Doors, sensitive subjects are covered in the book such as murder/suicide so read at your own discretion. 

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