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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. 

JDCMustReadBooks 

 

 



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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review 2016-11-03 00:01
Completely addictive
Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris

Jack and Grace Angel are the perfect couple.  He’s a successful lawyer representing battered women and has never lost a case.  His lovely wife Grace keeps the home so beautiful and is the ultimate hostess, never making a wrong move.  Jack is even ready to welcome Grace’s younger, disabled sister, Millie, into their home to be a part of their lives.  Yet, no one ever sees Grace without Jack by her side and she never answers the phone herself.  Is life behind closed doors as perfect as it would appear?

 

This is a debut novel and I do believe that this author will have a wonderful career writing thrillers .  The book grabbed ahold of me right from the start.   The tension and suspense never let up.  While the whole scenario might be a bit unbelievable, the book just flows along and carries you with it so you don’t even care about the little flaws.  You just have to know what happens.  And isn't that what you look for in a thriller?  My favorite character in the story is Millie, who is one smart young lady, even if she doesn’t like George Clooney!  I thought the ending was very clever and I can almost guarantee that this one will be made into a movie.

 

Addictive, fun read. 

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review 2016-08-10 20:08
Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris
ISBN: 9781250121004
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 8/9/2016 
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 Stars +  

 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 5 Stars +

Movie Worthy, Top Books of 2016, Brain Twisting, “Grip-Lit” (AKA gripping psychological thriller), B.A. Paris, delivers a smashing debut BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (love the cover), where nothing is as it appears.

Lovers of chilling "killer" psycho domestic suspense thrillers—move this one to the "top of your list." It is worth the hype, and then some! Also purchased the audiobook, narrated byGeorgia Maguire, delivering an outstanding performance!

Grace Angel, wife of brilliant lawyer Jack Angel, is a perfect example of a woman who has it all—the perfect house, the perfect husband, the perfect life.

Life had become perfect eighteen months earlier. The day Jack danced with Millie (her younger sister with Downs Syndrome) in the park. Or not?

Jack likes privacy. The house, grounds, and the privilege of owning the most beautiful house in Spring Eaton. Security is important to him. Control. Appearances. Perfection.

Esther joined the circle of friends a month earlier. Esther intrigues Grace. Esther and Rufus are welcome newcomers, to the area. Grace feels she has to impress. Possibly Esther notices more than Grace realizes.

Grace fell in love with charming, amusing, and intelligent—Jack. He knows what to say and how to say it with his film-star good lucks. After all, Grace was lucky Jack wanted to marry her. Or is she?

Grace’s sister Millie, age seventeen, nearly eighteen has downs syndrome. What exciting charming, and intelligent man would want to marry a woman with a sister and a burden to care for. A dream come true. A man who loves her and her sister.

Desperate to care for her sister, she never thought she would ever be able to have a family and a life. She even sometimes wished Millie was normal. Her parents rejected their daughter and it was left up to Grace to support her. Her parent’s wanted to put her up for adoption. Grace fought for custody of Millie, as her principal caretaker.

However, soon after the honeymoon she realizes she has to protect herself, and her sister. From the evil one in her own household. The man with two sides. Jack has turned into a monster. Behind closed doors he is evil, and slowly reveals an even more sinister plan, than she could ever imagine.

This plan does not involve a happily ever after. She is a prisoner in her own house.

Jack is calm, and collected on the exterior, but her new friend is intelligent- making it dangerous for someone like Grace. She is suspicious. Losing is never a word in Jack’s vocabulary.

To make things even more intense, Millie talks about George Clooney (inside joke between the two sisters), and a strange grotesque painting with shades of red, a red room, a facade yellow room, abusive patterns, a room, a basement, steps, a prison, Thailand, sanity, no cell phone, no money, no housekeeper, no life, and a constant threat –taking time away from her sister, limited visits--she has no rights.

Torture. How will she escape? She is not even allowed to go to the bathroom by herself. This man controls her every move.

Where had the perfect gentleman gone? Had it all been a façade? Had he covered his true self with a cloak of geniality and good humor to impress her, or was there a bigger plan to his madness?

Had she sold her soul and Millie’s to the devil? A psychopathic husband.

Grace has to find a solution to this nightmare. As the time draws near for Millie to come and live with them (tick-tock) —Jack gets clever. Everything Grace has told him, he uses against her. He is keeping her prisoner and she is scared for Millie. He is out for revenge. Fear (and desperation) - the best deterrent of all.

“In the drive outside, he holds the car door for me and waits until I’m in. As he closes it behind me, I can’t help thinking it’s a shame he’s such a sadistic bastard, because he has wonderful manners.”

An abusive past, a craving. Jack becomes a lawyer, specializing in cases of domestic violence—the defender of battered women. However, is Grace really the reward or is it Millie? From perfection to horror. Jack even wants her to appear unstable. A husband for a psychopath. How will she convince people he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Jack loves torture and imprisonment. He thrives on it.

As the day’s countdown for Millie’s release, will Grace be able to outwit and beat Jack at his own game before it is too late? Is she capable of murder, when it may be her only choice to save her sister?

From past to present the author keeps you hooked, from the first word to the last- What a page-turner. OMG! Jack is pure evil. This is one of those thrillers you will want to read in one sitting. Unputdownable. A “Sleeping With the Enemy” on steroids with a modern twist. From being held prisoner to complete control, this is one cleverly crafted psychological suspense gripping thriller.

 



The character development, the twisty plot, the choices, and moral conflict, along with fear and anxiety --all drive the psychological tension in unpredictable ways. The author brilliantly delves into the psychology of her antagonist and builds suspense slowly through ambiguity, making BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, A Top 10 List "Best psycho-thrillers for 2016!"

EVIL. Guaranteed to mess with your head! The author truly emphasizes the unstable mental and emotional state of her characters. You have to “LOVE” Millie and (Jorj Koony) George Clooney. Her sharp character added just the perfect amount of wit. "Bad Jack. Very bad man." Plus, every Grace needs a friend like Esther.

I enjoyed the “battle” of Grace and Millie against Jack. Their mind; filtering the good and evil, the moral and immoral, sane and insane – where the line between fact and fiction is blurred. The ending was priceless. Do you really know what goes on behind closed doors?

No surprise the film and TV rights to talented B.A. Paris’ debut thriller has been acquired, and can certainly see why it was the #1 bestselling Kindle novel with 100K copies sold in the UK in the first three days.

Can’t wait for Every Little Thing, coming January 26, 2017 and one I will be pre-ordering. An author to follow!

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Behind-Closed-Doors/cmoa/570f07f00cf2d6bf6ee48b65
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