Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
B.A. Paris is of course known for her best-selling Behind Closed Doors; and its successor The Break Down is set to follow in its wake. It deserves to do so for its pace and gripping psychological intensity are remarkable.
It all begins for narrator and protagonist Cass Anderson on a rainy drive home. She decides not to stop when on the lonely country road she passes a stationary car with a woman in the driving seat. The woman shows no signs of distress, and a relieved Cass continues on the last stretch of the drive to her home and loving husband Matthew. The next morning however she hears the terrible news that a woman has been found dead in her car and that the death is being treated as suspicious. Should she or should she not ring the police?
Her psychological conflicts have begun. Neither her husband nor her best friend Rachel can help her when she fails to make that phone call and the pangs of guilt kick in. She begins to forget things, she sees things that don’t exist, the telephone rings but there is only silence at the other end; all these sap her confidence and affect her relationships with husband and friend. The pressure builds until at last she has to face the truth.
The pace of the novel is extraordinary; even though the outcome become largely predictable the twists and turns keep it going to the end.