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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: THE BREAKDOWN, B.A. Paris

The Break Down, by BA Paris. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

“Had me desperate to reach the end, totally hooked.”


If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

It all started that night in the woods.

Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now she’s dead.

Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her.

Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is – and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.


Oooh, what a start. A dark and stormy night and a lone woman, Cass Anderson, driving in heavy rain. She pulls over to help another driver who has seemingly broken down. Then Cass has second thoughts… It’s the sort of thing that could happen to any of us. It’s the paranoid, worst case scenarios that flit through most people’s minds when they stop to help someone. That is what is so clever about B.A. Paris’s opening scenes.

The first 20 per cent of this novel was brilliant and dragged me in. The last 30 per cent had me desperate to reach the end, totally hooked. But the middle had me struggling, as I wanted to give Cass a good shake. She seemed to reach the edge of hysteria very rapidly, for little reason, and teeter on the edge of it almost permanently. But you need to feel that impatience, that annoyance; it's precisely what you should feel for the character. It means the author has you right where she wants you emotionally, ready for that ending. Ah, that last 30 per cent of the book was worth the wait. Everything cleverly ties together, at breakneck speed, and I found myself forgiving Cass for everything.

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