Review: Brake Failure by Alison Brodie @alisonbrodie2

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: January 9, 2017

Publisher: Clipboard Press

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance


“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you are looking down the barrel of his gun?”
An English debutante transforms from Miss-Perfectly-Correct to criminally insane as she breaks the bonds of her rigid upbringing. Sheriff Hank Gephart tries to reel her in – but she’s out of control and she’s not hitting the brakes.
What happened to the genteel lady in twin-set and pearls? And why did she shoot Mr Right?
Brake Failure is set in 1999 in the months leading up to Y2K “meltdown” when the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon As Lionel Shriver says in her novel, We Have To Talk About Kevin: “1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.”


This book takes place in the weeks leading up to New Year’ Eve 1999 and it was nostalgic in a way for me. I remember all of hoopla and uncertainty surrounding Y2K and revisiting this time period was a whole lot of fun! The prologue begins with sheriff Hank being shot and found in front of a nursing home, then flips back to a few months prior. I was curious as to how the prologue would connect to Ruby’s story as she’s an English woman and Hank is a sheriff in Kansas, but as the details are slowly revealed and things start making sense, I didn’t expect to have so much fun along the way.

Ruby and her new husband Edward move to Kansas after his job requires him to do so. Ruby isn’t exactly happy as they were supposed to be moving to Paris instead and she was hoping to finally one up her sister, Claire once and for all. The two have an epic sibling rivalry and I really didn’t care for Claire. She’s hoity toity and arrogant and not always kind to Ruby. I liked Ruby though, she tries very hard to make the best of her new and unexpected life, I was reminded of Rebecca Bloomwood from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series as she kept finding herself in these wacky and outrageous situations.

Ruby undergoes quite a transformation throughout the book, when it begins she’s a neurotic hypochondriac who always seems to be a ball of nervous energy. By the end she has done a complete one eighty and is confident, sexy, bold and wildly funny. There were so many moments where I was cracking up laughing here, one of my favorite parts was when Ruby was writing her epic poem. Epic indeed. There was tons of funny, sarcastic banter and just the right amount of romance. 

As I wasn’t sure how things would all fit together in the end, especially as there was quite the eccentric cast of characters converging including a group of bikers, pearl clutching older women, and Ruby’s upper crust family, I had no real expectations but even so, the ending really was fabulously perfect. I loved that it wasn’t so tidy and happy ever after but it was still totally satisfying. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy. 

10 thoughts on “Review: Brake Failure by Alison Brodie @alisonbrodie2

  1. amandalynn9204 says:

    LOVE your thoughts on this and review! I just finished it today and I also thought Ruby was great and found myself laughing more than once while reading this. I loved how everything came together in the end since there was so much going on! My review will be up tomorrow, can’t wait! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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