The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

I received this ARC at no cost from She Speaks and St. Martins Press in exchange for my honest review. 

I read a lot of books, I mean a metric ton. My house looks like a library, and I'm always buying more books before I've read the ones I have. Then you add my book subscription boxes, and my order of books by the box, and I have a to-reads list that will wrap the earth more than once. Okay, maybe not that many, but it's still an insane amount. To add injury to insult, by the time I have any time to myself to read, I'm overly exhausted and it takes me much longer than it use to, to get through a book. So believe me when I tell you, that this book is so good, I sped through it quicker than I have ever read through a book in the 10 years that I have been a mombie. Yes, I said mombie. What is it about this book that held me so tightly that I couldn't put it down?

Well for starters, The Breakdown plays into a your (or maybe just mine) biggest fears, which is the completely losing your memory and being stuck in a situation where you can't remember what's going on around you while someone is after you. I don't know about you, but that's pretty terrifying to me. 

Cass is a school teacher, fresh out of work for the summer. Coming home from an end of the year party with her colleagues, she passes a stationary vehicle along a dark road in a remote location while a storm is pounding down rain. Concerned about the woman she sees in the car, she pulls over, waiting for a signal that the driver needs help, but fear takes over and since the woman does not make any signal that she needs help, Cass drives home, deciding not to tell her husband Mathew of the incident. After all, Mathew did tell her earlier in the night that he did not want her driving that road that night for fear that something may happen to her. 

The next morning, Cass discovers that the woman who was pulled over on that road had been found murdered, and the murderer was still on the loose. Grappling with the decision to tell someone that the woman was alive when she saw her really eats at her. In addition to the fear and guilt she feels, she's also having problems with her memory. 

Her decent into madness brings her face to face with the possibility that her biggest fears are becoming a reality. Cass's mother was diagnosed with dementia at a young age, and now Cass is concerned she faces the same fate. If that wasn't hard enough, she's now being harassed by phone. A silent caller she's sure is the murderer out to get her because she was there the night of the murder. Cass's guilt over the murder is much worse when she realizes that the murdered woman was a new friend of hers, and a coworker of her best friend Rachel. Cass quickly goes insane and the only thing that makes her feel even slightly better are the pills the doctor has prescribed that completely knock her out, but at what cost? She can no longer remember how to use the microwave or washing machine. She can no longer remember purchasing all the gifts that come in the mail each day, and she never remembered signing the order for a security system. What's going on?!

I can't give too much more away, but I can say that B.A. Paris has a way of grabbing and pulling you in right from the start. I had to force myself to put this book down so I could make dinner or even sleep. Truth be told, I actually ended up making coffee and popping a few energy gummies so I could stay up a little longer to keep reading. That is pure dedication. The book is really that good. 

I had a suspect in mind from the beginning. Maybe it's years of watching detective shows or reading Agatha Christie books, but I got a weird vibe from one of the characters straight off. I ended up only being half right and was completely shocked by the ended. You find out what's going on in the last few pages, but the story moves through to it pretty quickly. There are a lot of characters that initially don't seem to be anything other than filler in the story, but as the ending sneaks up on you, you discover that each and every character is important to the big reveal. The last few chapters had me shook. As Cass figures out what's going on, it's both infuriating and heartbreaking, but you feel a sense of pride for her as she is able to take control over her life once she discovers who she can really trust. You really root for her and essentially the karma that's takes a well deserved ride through the lives of others. The ending had me wanting more, but at the same time, I feel it wrapped it up nicely. I would be lying if I said I wasn't hoping the author finds a way to make a second book. 

The Breakdown is an absolute must read! 

Find The Breakdown where ever books are sold July 18th, 2017.

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