In The Breakdown by B.A. Paris, Cass is coming home late at night from a party (and taking a short cut on a usually deserted road) and sees a woman sitting in a car on the side of the road. At first she pulls over to see if the lady needs any help but it’s late, pouring rain, and as the lady does nothing to acknowledge her like waving or flashing her lights, Cass drives on. She has heard of motorists getting robbed or assaulted just pulling over to help someone and so she is scared it’s a trap. She means to call the  police when she gets home for their help but forgets and in the morning she is horrified to learn that the woman in the car was murdered. Even worse it turns out to be someone Cass recently met. The police ask for any witnesses from the road to come forward but Cass is afraid of being judged for not offering to help the lady so she stays silent. Then she starts getting harassing phone calls and forgetting all kinds of minor things. As time passes she is wallowing in guilt about the murder victim, worried she is getting early onset dementia like her mother had, and convinced that the woman’s murderer somehow saw her that night and is the one harassing her. Cass’ husband and friends try to reassure her (but they do not know she was on that road that night) and try to have patience with her as summer wears on but she gets more and more paranoid and forgetful and their patience begins to wane. Very fast paced-a great read.

Stacy W.