Book Review – The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

I read through the last quarter of the book at one sitting. Yes, that was how much it sucked me into the plot and took me along for the ride. This would be the second book I’m reviewing by B.A. Paris (Behind Closed Doors didn’t disappoint, in case you were wondering), and boy, she has once again outdone herself here. I could sense her style of writing from her first book I’ve read: fast paced, plot-thickening quickly, sudden but sucker-punch reveal that really gets your heart rate going through the roof. To say that I enjoyed this book is perhaps a bit of an understatement, I was disappointed I had come to the end.

The meaning of breakdown here is a bi-fold one. It, (a): refers to the vehicular breakdown that Cass Anderson witnessed one stormy night, in which she didn’t render assistance to the victim and eventually the victim has reported murdered and she starts spiraling into guilt, as well as (b): her slow mental breakdown as she starts to lose it after getting ‘threatening’ phone calls from whom she thinks is the murderer of the breakdown victim, leading to her forgetting simple tasks like her house alarm code, how to use the coffee machine, etc. My favorite part of the story, is seeing her go through that slow mental degeneration and how that process is described, as the constant calls and her internal guilt start to take their toll on her. Her desperation is slowly unpeeled and one can start to see her slow but sure slide into madness as she forgets appointments, starts to see things that don’t exist.

Of course, with Paris, there is always the satisfying twist at the end, just like the cherry that tops off the proverbial chocolate cake. The twist is presented in a very unique way, let’s just say it amalgamates two forms of media. thus we see the twist presented from a different perspective(s) *hint*.  I found myself playing match-up to re-read certain parts of the story. It was also a nice touch that Paris explained some of the lesser elements (things that Cass couldn’t remember how to do) even though she probably didn’t have to – it just tied everything up nicely.


Rating: 5/5

(The description of her spiraling into slow and certain madness is my favorite part here, probably the best description out of all the books I’ve ever read about people going mad. It makes excellent use of the unreliable narrator device which I really enjoyed. A real classic psychological thriller. I couldn’t find anything to fault here, a must-read)

Book Review – Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Let me start off by admitting I have not read random books in awhile. Most of the reading I’ve been doing revolves around popular books (i.e. books by authors that are already firmly rooted in the bestseller’s section of popular bookshops, Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon Kindle, etc [READ: Harry Potter, 50 Shades]), as a result of my reluctance to venture into something new.

Behind Closed Doors captivated me at the 5% mark. The writing style is easy to read- however, the story is told in flashback. The author constantly shuttles back and forth between different times in the past and present, which some readers may not enjoy.

Mystery surrounds you right at the beginning. Questions pop up in your head. What the hell is going on?  -you will start wondering. I promise though, things will become apparent about 20% into the book (don’t you hate it when a mystery thriller only lets you in on the secret right at the end?).

This is a story about a happily married couple. Or at least, the way it seems to their friends. I know you must be thinking -domestic violence, psychotic killer, adulterous affair. Noooo.. that’s far too predictable. As the title suggest, behind the closed doors of their homes, things are not all it seems.  With lots of plot twists and turns, the author will keep you guessing, playfully toying with your emotions so just when you expect something to happen, it gets thwarted and doesn’t (cue rage in my brain).

The reader will be rewarded with happy ending. Perhaps a role reversal? Perhaps somebody discovers their secret? Perhaps somebody who doesn’t seem to know knows all along? Ah-ha! Have I intrigued you yet?

Go on, check it out.

Rating: 8/10 (slight terror, VERY refreshing genre, unexpectedness, flashback)