Molly has returned from Amsterdam and told Will about an assault she experienced while she was there. Molly has had months to deal with it and has put it behind her, but for Will the pain is still fresh and he is struggling to move past it. He can’t understand how Molly is ok or why she didn’t tell him right away, and Molly doesn’t want Will’s sympathy, she just wants to keep moving forward. It doesn’t take long before Molly calls in the boyfriends, Truman and Hugh, to help them get through the conflict.
But even after that issue is behind them, Molly knows it is time for things to end between her and Will. Molly cares for Will, but wants something different from her life. When Molly breaks his heart, Will takes all his anger, sadness, and disappointment to the boyfriends’ door. Now Hugh and Truman need to try to help put Will back together again.
Breaking Down continues Kris Ripper’s fascinating Scientific Method series. It is the fourth book (fifth if you count Catalyst as two stories), and it takes things in an interesting direction as the book is technically about Will and Molly, but ends up being about how Hugh and Truman help Will deal with his relationship with her and his own feelings.
The story is told kind of as two separate events, first the issue with the assault and later with the breakup. We jump right into the first conflict with Molly furious at Will for not being able to get over her attack and calling Truman for support. I did wish we saw a little more on page, as the action between Will and Molly is already mostly over at this point and the focus is on how Truman and Hugh help the two of them move on. But I think it explores some interesting ideas as both Will and Molly struggle to understand the other’s feelings with the boyfriends’ help.
The second issue is the breakup, and again we are brought in at the tail end after Molly has decided to end things, but has told Hugh it is coming. Will is hurt and in pain and is furious with Hugh for not warning him, and again the focus is more on how Will deals with it with Hugh and Truman than on he and Molly. One of the things I find most engaging about this series is watching the way these men work through their issues and how Hugh helps Will find that place where he can handle his various emotions. Here we have a conflict that is between the two of them directly, which leaves Hugh at somewhat of a loss, and Truman steps in to help them sort through it.
To some degree this story felt a little disconnected from things for me, as it is really two incidents more than a larger plot arc, though I guess the plot is the ultimate demise of Will and Molly’s relationship. But at the same time, I like the way we see it from the perspective of our three main characters and how Ripper is able to show how connected Will is to these men and how crucial they are to his happiness, even as he is outside their primary relationship.
This is a short novel and it sets the series up for Will to move forward to new things romantically. I am looking forward to seeing how the series continues and really enjoying these books a great deal.