The Breakdown is a pretty good psychological thriller that really had me wondering what was going on. Cass is a woman who becomes convinced she has early onset dementia when she starts forgetting things, and her mental stability is further threatened when a woman is killed nearby and it turns out to be someone Cass knew. To make matters worse Cass passed the murdered woman's car the night of her murder, but since it was pouring rain she didn't offer to help. She figured the woman had called for help on her mobile, and when the woman didn't seem to need assistance, she drove on. Only to find out later that the woman was murdered.
Torn by grief, her life starts to spiral out of control when she blames himself for not assisting. And her dementia seems to get progressively worse as time goes on- it doesn't help that her mother also had early onset- and even though her husband is supportive, she can't stop blaming herself. She phones the police anonymously to let them know that she stopped briefly and that the woman, Jane, was still alive at that time- and after the news releases that info, she starts to get silent calls. Cass begins to fear that the killer knows she was there, and is now after her. And weird little things keep happening, things she knows but can't prove, which just makes things worse.
I thought this one started a little slow, but as it went on and Cass' condition worsened, I got more and more intrigued. What exactly was going on? I started thinking Cass might be the mother of all unreliable narrators, and this was going to be one of those books where you realize at the end that half the book was imagined. That's not entirely the case, there is something going on and while I had my suspicions (especially given a crucial clue revealed early on), the how and why of it were something else again. And honestly this could have went any of several different ways.
I also thought at times that Cass was losing it, frankly, as things got more and more bizarre. When the truth starts to come out it was a breakneck finish for me as the story ramps into high gear. I couldn't get to the resolution fast enough.
This would be a fun book to compare theories or just commiserate over. If I have any complaints it's that the explanation for some of the events is a wee bit unrealistic perhaps, but that's a minor quibble. And there's a certain sense of satisfaction towards the end as well, as things develop and it all comes together. If you like psychological thrillers, or a good suspenseful read, this is a great choice.