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review 2017-08-02 22:32
Although it seems obvious at times, it is quite the page turner!
The Breakdown - R B Paris

Although the mystery may seem obvious from the beginning, the author’s sleight of hand will keep the reader guessing constantly. This is the first book I have read in a long time that literally kept me on the edge of my seat from page one even though it was uncomplicated. I loved the “double entendre” of the title. Was the main character having a nervous breakdown or was the book about a car that had been on a forested road during a terrible storm and suffered a breakdown, resulting in the loss of life? Was Cassandra (Cass) Anderson losing her memory as her mom had, from dementia, or was something else afoot? The reader will wonder and wander in different directions, testing out different theories and scenarios until the last page. The ending is somewhat of a surprise, although perhaps it should have been obvious; yet, it works!

One stormy night, in mid-July, while traveling through the wooded road her husband had begged her not to use, Cass came upon a car blocking the bumpy and unsafe flooded road. Swerving to avoid it, she attempted to look back to see if the person needed help. All she could see was the face of a woman who showed little emotion and whom she could not readily identify. Since the woman did not reach out for help in any way, and since she was afraid to get out in the violent weather, she drove on. The next day, she learns the woman was murdered, and it was someone she knew, someone she had recently met and liked very much. Ashamed of herself for not offering the woman help, he tells no one she saw her, and she grows consumed with guilt. She believes that if she had stopped and offered help, her new friend Jane Walters, might still be alive. She tells no one, not even her husband, that she saw her car on the road that fateful night, believing that she will be judged badly, and then ridiculed, or perhaps even suspected of being involved in the foul play.

Cass was only married a year to Matthew Anderson. She had kept other secrets from him, like the fact that her mom was diagnosed with early onset dementia in her forties, so when she grew more and more absent minded and forgetful, she wondered if she should have warned him before they married, that she might one day have the same disease. The only one who knew all of her secrets was her quasi sister and best friend, Rachel Baretto. Rachel’s mom had worked long hours, so she spent a great deal of time with Cass and her parents as she was growing up. She was thought of almost as a daughter. Cass was even afraid to confide her secret of the night of the murder to Rachel.

As the weeks and then months pass, with the murderer still at large, she becomes obsessed with her guilt and fear. She fantasizes that the killer knows who she is and is stalking her. Slowly, she seems to fall apart, losing her memory, becoming more and more afraid that she is in mortal danger. She begins receiving phone calls with no one on the other end. She believes it is the murderer taunting her. At the same time, she begins to forget how to operate the everyday appliances she always used, like the coffee pot and the washing machine. She forgets to take her purse with her or to keep appointments she has made. A doctor prescribes medication to alleviate her stress, and she begins to sleep much of the time. She neglects to prepare the lesson plans due for her teaching position, and she rarely leaves the cottage. She seems to be descending into the same dementia that her mom had suffered from and she is distraught. Her misery, coupled with her fear, is driving her slowly mad. Although Matthew at first seems to be offering support, after weeks pass, he seems to be losing patience with her failures and her fears.

The reader will easily follow the events that are presented carefully and logically. The twists and turns, the misdirection and the character setups work to hold the readers at bay, so that they are never sure which way the book will end, never sure what the mystery is exactly; they are always wondering who is the murderer, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Just what is the connection to Cass’s downward spiral and what is not, just what is real and what is fantasy? Is it what seems obvious or is it something else?

Is Cass suffering, as her mother did, from early onset dementia or is there is a diabolical plan afoot to make her think so? Is it related to the murder of her friend Jane Walters or are both issues totally unrelated? Is she being stalked by the murderer? Is it something else entirely that is driving her mad? Some answers may seem obvious to the reader, at times, but the reader will never be sure until the very end, about exactly what occurred and why.  This author is skillful at sending out clues leading in many directions at once, essentially misdirecting the reader at every opportunity. It is a great read that will keep you guessing and wanting more.

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review 2017-07-11 14:51
Too predictable
The Breakdown - B. A. Paris

Last year I enjoyed the Behind Closed Doors, and I was hoping that this book would be as good or better, but sadly it didn't surprise me. I found the main character very annoying with her getting so paranoid over little thing, but then later on I started to feel bad for her. The phone call scene kept repeating over and over again, which can get pretty boring. I figured out the ending about 1/4th through the book. I am one of those readers who can guess what happen early on in the story, and it takes a really good suspense to keep me on edge of my seat. The book was an entertaining and quick read, but it's just a bit too predictable for me. I'd still recommend it to those who enjoy reading psychological thrillers.

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review 2017-06-23 12:53
The Breakdown
The Breakdown - R B Paris

 

For three years, Cass Anderson had been taking care of her mother who had dementia.  It has taken its toll on her, and has also made her worry that she too may have dementia some day.

The worry actually seemed to be coming true since Cass has been forgetting everything including appointments, where she left money given to her to buy a gift, and lunch dates.

On her way home from a work party, Cass passed by a car on a deserted road and didn't stop because the driver gave no indication that any help was needed. The next morning the news announced that a woman had been murdered on that same road.

The guilt Cass felt from not stopping to help caused her memory to get worse and her fears that the murderer saw her that night and was after her escalated.  She did get phone calls that had no one on the other end of the line as well as many other instances that made her think she was heading the path of her mother. Was it dementia or stress?  Or could it be someone making her think her memory was declining.

THE BREAKDOWN was very tense, and did have me thinking someone was purposely doing all of these things to stress her to the point of losing her memory and deciding to not go back to work.

THE BREAKDOWN had me turning the pages as well as being nervous for Cass, but it was nothing like the tension and terror of her first book.

As the ending neared, the suspense was very high as the truth came out.

I sort of figured out toward the end what was going on, but the plot and revelation were carefully and cleverly carried out by Ms. Paris.

ENJOY!!  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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review 2017-06-22 00:29
The Breakdown - B. A. Paris

I could not wait to start reading this book. I was so happy when I found out that I had been approved to do so.

However, I think this one took way too long letting the reader know that Cass was freaking out over seeing her friend in the woods. I got it, I truly got it, pages and pages ago. And, it was pretty predictable. I was pretty sure what was going on very quickly and detested that character. However, what I thought and how the author ended the book were not exactly quite right. So, I do have to give the author an extra star for that.

That is not to say that I would not read another book by this author. I just think this one really didn't do it for me.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-06-15 21:06
Breakdown
Breakdown - Sara Paretsky

Not going to write a long review. This was not a good book. Seriously just skip it and if you really do want to read it, borrow it from the library.

 

Once again we have VI investigating something no one asked her to and I had a really hard time with most of the characters in this one. They all felt way too cartoonish to me.

And VI's love life is limping along with a guy who does not seem up to her level.

I should have put this down once I saw that Petra was littered all over this one.

 

Paretsky could have shined a light more on the problem with the 24 hour news cycle and some far left and far left personalities attacking each other via the media to score points with their followers. However, this book seemed to have everyone who did not agree with VI as the enemy. We eventually have people sitting around listening to a Holocaust victim's memories and the whole thing made me uncomfortable. Not because of the subject, but because we had VI demanding that she somehow be told about what was a painful period in his life. At that point, I was 100 percent done with this character. I will probably pick up the remaining books in this series some other time. But as of now, I need a break from VI.

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