Review: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Review: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Published by St. Martin's Press on June 19, 2018
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Format: ARC, Print
Source: The Publisher

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three-half-stars

I received an advance copy of this book from The Publisher.

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She's turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

B.A. Paris has become one of my favorite authors of psychological fiction. I loved both Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown and had been eagerly anticipating reading Bring Me Back. For the majority of the book, I enjoyed trying to figure out the twists and turns of the story; but in the end, I found myself wanting a bit more.

Finn and Layla are on holiday in France when Layla goes missing. Finn steps away from their car for mere moments, but when he returns, Layla’s no longer in the car and can’t be found anywhere. A subsequent police investigation turns up few leads. Layla has disappeared.

Twelve years later…

Finn has moved on and is now engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Layla’s and Ellen’s personalities are quite different: where Layla was more fun-loving and mysterious, Ellen is serious and a bit boring. Finn and Layla had an intense, whirlwind romance. Although Finn would say that he’s happy with Ellen, his relationship with her feels like a consolation prize in many ways.

One day, Finn comes home to discover that someone has left a nesting doll outside the home that he shares with Ellen. This has a special significance because Ellen and Layla had a similar set when they were children. Gradually, more clues turn up that lead Finn to believe that Layla might still be alive after all this time—and that she might be trying to come back to him.

As always, B.A. Paris weaves a twisty plot that had me guessing for the majority of the book. However, the big reveal felt rather disappointing to me, partly because I wanted it to be something more mind-blowing and plausible. Also, the ending is quite bleak, but not necessarily in a satisfying, resolved way.

Ultimately, I’m still glad I read Bring Me Back because I do love this author, but it’s definitely not my favorite in comparison to her other fantastic novels.

Rating: 3.5 stars

three-half-stars

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