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review 2017-08-18 08:51
The Breakdown
The Breakdown - B. A. Paris

By:  B. A. Paris 

ISBN: 978-1250122469

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date:  7/18/2017 

Format: e-book

My Rating:  5 Stars


British author, BA Paris (one of my favorites) returns following her sensational debut, Behind Closed Doors, on my Top Books of 2016 with another gripping second thriller THE BREAKDOWN – A fitting title for a mysterious car breakdown, to a possible mental breakdown. 

The dark truths behind a façade. From friendship, love, trust, deception, madness, jealousy, gaslighting, to murder. 

It is summer in July and Cass’s husband has told her to drive carefully. There is a storm coming. Secondly, he cautions her not to drive through the woods on her own at night. She promises. 

Cass leaves a party early to go home when it begins to rain. She should have waited out the storm with her friends. However, she does not heed the warning. At the very last minute, she veers off to the left, taking the shortcut, Matthew told her not to take.

An eerie setting, Cass is determined she will be home soon. Suddenly there is the wind and she is in her Mini. She fears she will be stranded in the woods. More thunder and lightning. The road is deserted. She does not want to wake her husband. He would be furious. She cannot call him. She sees a car up ahead. The car is stopped. It is a woman. A woman looks back at her, her features blurred by the rain.

Thinking she has broken down, she pulls in a little way in front of her and comes to a stop. She waits to see if the woman will get out of the car. She does not get out. Why can’t she leave the car? Why is she just sitting there?

Then Cass notices there is something off about the way she is sitting with her headlights on. A shiver runs down her spine. It does not seem right to drive off and leave her. Maybe someone is on their way to help her. 

She is afraid and does not want to stop and help because it could be dangerous. Everything tells her to go. So, she does. But the woman is still her on her mind and wonders if she could call the breakdown services to tell them or the police.

Then she sees a text from Rachel. The message was strange. Did she forget something? She racks her brain. Memories of her mum, uncomfortable ones flood her mind and she quickly pushes them away. By tomorrow she will have remembered.

Rachel is the sister she never had. Their mothers had been friends. Rachel had spent a large part of her childhood at their house and they always referred to her as their second daughter. 

Cass is a teacher and had to give up her job to take care of her mum. She and Matthew had not been on a real honeymoon because they had been busy renovating their cottage. Turned out when her mom died she had been wealthy instead of a penniless widow after her father passed away. Her mum had lived on so little when she could have lived in luxury. 

The next morning, she learns the woman is on the news. A woman was found dead. Blackwater Lane. Could it be the same woman?

A woman had been found dead in her car near Browbury in Suxxex. Did she commit suicide? 

Feeling overwhelming guilt, Cass thinks if she had stopped to check on her, things might have turned out differently. 

Her death was being treated as suspicious. Had the killer been in the same spot? Had he been lurking in the bushes waiting for the opportunity to kill. Murder. 

Cass cannot stop thinking about taking this road. What about the woman? She had left her to her fate. . . to be murdered.

Turns out the mystery woman was Jane Waters, a young mother whom Cass recently befriended. A mother with two-year-old twins. She is shocked. She recently had lunch with her. Her cottage was only a few miles from where she was killed. She was her new friend. They had met by chance at a party.

Between this, Rachel and her husband continuing to tell her she is forgetting things, she begins questioning her own sanity. Or, is she getting like her mom with early onset dementia? She is terrified. 

Rachel and Matthew do not like one another. There is mistrust there. Rachel disapproved of Matthew. Could Rachel be jealous that she has someone in her life?

Jane haunts her. The constant nagging guilt. She has to find out what happened. Should she contact the police? She was on the road at around eleven-thirty but another voice tells her not to because she kept this information to herself. Could she be putting herself in danger if the killer is still out there?

Now she is worried about her own safety living so close to the murder. Strange things begin happening. 


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

Cass has a surprise for Rachel. A house. She will give her the keys to her house of dreams. She will keep the secret. Her mum and dad would have wanted her to have it. 

Tension builds to the point of madness or is it paranoia? Either someone is gaslighting her with an evil plot to make her think she is crazy, and losing her mind or she is actually losing her mind.

From Matthew to Rachel, something is not right. Someone is manipulating circumstances and Cass soon does not trust anyone. 

From the intensity and worry of trying to solve Jane’s murder — could there be a connection with her husband, Rachel, and Jane? Nothing is as it appears and Cass feels like she has nowhere to turn. Why is everyone out to get her? Does someone want her money? 

Cass wants the truth no matter how it turns out. However, will she get too close to the truth and put herself in harm's way? 

Once again, the author delivers a brilliantly crafted intense psychological thriller grabbing you from the first page to the last. Enjoyed reading the inspiration behind the book by the author. 

Gripping, riveting, and maddening, the author takes readers on a twisty, dark and scary journey. A page-turner which will keep you on the edge of your seat turning into the night. Emotional and addictive— (great cover)! Would make a suspenseful movie. Love the author’s style. 

The setting reminds me of all the rainy stormy late nights stuck out in the dark deserted woods on the Silver Comet 150 mile bike trail in Atlanta, GA — I rode every week (alone) 8 hrs (for years) and often after the time change I would be stuck out after dark before returning to the end, where I parked my car. There was no cell signal since most parts were very remote. I literally could not see anything in front of me, and no one on the trail for miles and miles. Pitch dark in the middle of thunder and lightning and pouring rain storms. 

Everyone warned me to stop doing this, but I was an avid cycler. Later, of course, several women were murdered on the trail. (guess it was fortunate I moved to Florida ). Also hiking on a mountain top in the dark with thunder, lightning, and rain on so many occasions. When looking back on these times, I wonder how I survived. Young, crazy, foolish, and adventurous. Would love for someone to write a book about this trail. I definitely have some scary and chilling stories. 

In addition to the reading copy also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Georgia Maguire for a chilling performance. (love the accent). 

Fans of Wendy Walker, Mary Kubica, and Fiona Barton (also my favorites) will enjoy this top-notch psychological suspense thriller. Can't wait to see what's next! 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy. 




On a personal note: 
My apologies for the delay in posting my review since I was fortunate to have read THE BREAKDOWN prior to the pub date back in March, and wanted to wait until closer to pub date to post a review. 

In early May-June, my dad became critical with congestive heart failure (I was his POA) and flew home rather suddenly to care for him (my mom passed away ten months earlier). Wound up remaining in North Carolina for another two months, was in a bad car accident (his SUV), and my dad passed away the same evening, planned a funeral, deal with the insurance claim, car repairs, and had to clear out and sell his home. (closed on it this week). Also being the executor of my dad's estate, dealing with probate, among other things. So just getting back home to Florida and returning to work full time, this week. 

Tons of reviews, book blogging, and lots of reading to catch up! (May-Aug)



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/02/TheBreakdown
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text 2017-08-18 06:52
Halloween Bingo 2017: My gorgeous card, my books, my bingo markers...

Moonlight Reader made my card for me yesterday, but I wanted to wait to post until I had it printed out (go MT!), my books chosen, and my bingo markers decided on.  So you're getting it all in one hit.



Last year I created my own bingo markers, each one's theme tied to its square.  I know I'm not going to have near enough time for that this year, so I decided to go with an enhanced version of my Dia de los Meurtos gecko I use for my avatar.  I did two versions, just to keep things lively and do justice to my bingo card.  


 I spent last night putting together most of my list and after clarifying one or two things, finished up this morning.  I was smart this time, and slapped a post-it on each book with the bingo square it's meant for written down, and MT had the idea of collecting them all in a wooden crate and it's going to work perfectly!



I might swap stuff out if I feel like it, but this way it's all in one spot and won't get mixed up with the rest of the TBR.  


My absolute steadfast rule is that I can only use books I already own - no buying books, or even borrowing them from the library, because truly, the TBR situation is getting dire.  My desire to own an infinite number of books is colliding violently with the reality of my finite amount real estate.  I either reduce my TBR or bring in a contractor, and the contractor isn't available until February - so, only books I own.  This means a couple of them are going to be re-reads.


This is what's in the box, by bingo row, left to right:



Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson  (Kirkus review refers to ghosts.)

Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry  

Trapped by Kevin Hearne  

Fatal Fortune by Victoria Laurie  

The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian  (A bit of googling; one of her parents is from India)




Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price 

A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders  

The Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries edited by Otto Penzler: I'll read a few shorts.

Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon or The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie  

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen  This is a re-read.




Hollow City by Ransom Riggs 

Gone Gull by Donna Andrews  There's a bad joke here that made me do it.  

A Graveyard for Lunatics - Ray Bradbury  

Chaos Choreography - Seanan McGuire  

Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier 




Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs 

Bibliomysteries edited by Otto Penzler: I'm going with a Micky Spillane short.

Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe:  I'll re-read some of his short tales.

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart     

Endless Night by Agatha Christie:  if you look hard at my cover, there's a forest.  :)




The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe by Arthur Conan Doyle: A re-read.

Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates  

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews**

An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James: A re-read.

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch  


** I'm told one of the 3 books in this has demons, so it might not be this book, but I have all three, so after reading them, whichever one is the most demon-y is the title I'll use.


Looking forward to September 1st!   :)

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url 2017-08-18 04:40
The dangerous difference between unlikeable and intolerable


There is a fine line between annoying and intolerable. Personally, I have danced across this line so often that I am very familiar with the difference. Unfortunately, there are some characters who are completely unaware that there even is a line. 

All readers have met unlikeable characters sometime in their book adventures. These are the characters who make your blood boil and your veins bulge in frustration. For some reason or another, they get on your nerves. In fact, they are a common literary tool used to stir up emotion within the reader. Think about all of the romances that are hate-to-love. In the beginning, we all hated Rhys from A Court of Thorns and Roses (and even though some of us still hate him, you get the point), Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices, the Darkling from The Grisha series, even Haymitch from The Hunger Games. When I think about it, there are a lot of characters who started pretty high on my "I'd-love-to-watch-you-burn" list, but ended up on my list of favorite characters. I classify these characters as "unlikeable" since they rub me the wrong way sometimes, but have not completely lost their chance for my respect. 

But, there is another kind of annoying character. The kind that crosses the line between decent indecency and hateful scumbag. These characters are definitely unbearable, but sometimes it can be hard to discern when they changed from merely unlikeable to full-blown intolerable.


Find out what will make a character annoying (and even intolerable) to me, as well as how characters can have a chance for redemption.

Source: 4evercrazyforya.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-dangerous-difference-between.html
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text 2017-08-18 01:32
Good To Go: Halloween Bingo 2017

I tired to weight my card heavily toward mystery since last year's Halloween bingo confirmed I haven't acquired much of a taste for horror. I still have a smattering of books that should work, along with plenty of ghost stories and a few vampires, werewolves and witches, so I think my TBR's will cover most or all of the squares. I've got my fingers crossed I hang in for the whole game this time. Third time's the charm!


And thanks to Moonlight Murder and Obsidian Blue for hosting what's shaping up to be another exciting game of Halloween bingo and fun buddy reads. The customized cards are fabulous, and Moonlight's design talents and production speed are amazing! :)







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text 2017-08-18 00:26
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
Where We Left Off - Roan Parrish

“Tell me you didn’t. Tell me you didn’t pull a full-on Felicity and come to school in New York to follow this Will guy.”

“Dude, Felicity?”

“Felicity’s my jam! Whatever, don’t judge me. I have an older sister. What the hell’s your name, anyway?”


“Ooh, are you one?”

“Um. No. I’m a Pisces, I think? I always forget the dates of it. Wait, what’s your name? In my head I’ve just been calling you Skinny Jeans.”

“Oh, weird, that is my name.” He bumped me with his shoulder, and I felt this wave of warmth just from some dude palling around with me.

“No, seriously,” he went on. “Everyone said to my parents, ‘You can’t name him that; those aren’t even in style yet!’ but my folks were all, ‘Well, we can’t call him Boot Cut, it’s not black enough!’”

I started giggling a little, and we both jumped up to sit on the side of the wall.

“It’s Milton,” he said.

“Whoa. Heavy name.”


❤️❤️❤️ I love Milton. 

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