“The Breakdown” by B. A. Paris. The main character, Cass, is haunted by her fear that like her mother, she is suffering from early-onset dementia. She is traumatized on rainy trip home through a deserted highway when she comes upon a “disabled” car. As it turns out, the occupant of the car was murdered. She becomes consumed with guilt, fear, and anxiety. Her mental state continues to deteriorate day by day as she forgets everything from where she parked her car to social appointments. Why can’t she remember things? She tries short vacations, spa trips, and eventually medication, all to no avail. Day to day activities overwhelm and oppress her. There certainly is something wrong, but what? Then, finally, there is a point when, piece by piece, this book becomes the thriller it was meant to be.
The book is written in a first-person narrative by Cass, so readers definitely perceive that all these events are absolutely exhausting for her. Unfortunately, it is almost as exhausting to read. The action is slow and almost tedious. The reader is far far into the book before it truly becomes compelling. As a reader, I was tempted to just disconnect and not finish the book. If the last 25% had been integrated into the first 75%, bit by bit, it would have kept me questioning, looking, and guessing right from the start. As it was, I was just glad when she finds out everything and it is over.
I received a copy of “The Breakdown” from, St. Martin’s Press, B. A. Paris and NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. I thought the book was OK. I am surprised that I didn’t like it because the description seemed so gripping. I am sure that many people will love this book, but I really did not.