Review: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris (@KristinKC1)
BRING ME BACK
THE NEW TWISTY, GRIPPING READ FROM B. A. PARIS, THE AUTHOR OF THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING NOVELS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS AND THE BREAKDOWN
“We’re in a new Golden Age of suspense writing now, because of amazing books like Bring Me Back, and I for one am loving it.” —Lee Child
“[An] outstanding Hitchcockian thriller.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
She went missing. He moved on. A whole world of secrets remained—until now.
Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.
Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him…even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?
A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.
After having LOVED this author’s past two novels, it pains me that I cannot say I loved this one as well. But I can say some other *stuff*, so here goes…
I’ll start with the positive because life is good: When I open a B.A. Paris novel, I know I’m about to be put under her spell. I’m ready to be completely transported into the life of a slightly repulsive human who starts reading with the sun and doesn’t stop until she looks up and realizes an entire day has ended with her still in the same pajamas that may or may not have the telltale stains of vanilla-flavored coffee binging.
Blame it on B.A.
Because Bring Me Back was no exception on that front. As expected, I couldn’t put this book down, despite it not being particularly fast-paced. There’s something about this author’s storytelling that is so compelling and easy to digest. Simple, yet forceful and imaginative.
Not every story is going to work for every reader. What didn’t quite work for me was the actual content of this one…
Although wonderfully conveyed, the plot itself didn’t hold much intrigue. The characters never seemed to come to life. I felt as though we were only shown outlines and whispers of what was intended to be a solid, complex cast. I wanted to know them better, each of them, but never got the chance.
Much of the story felt like a wild mental goose chase, circling around the same issue without much progression or variety.
The “twist” didn’t pack too much of a punch, which isn’t always a bad thing, but certainly would have brought more power to the read in this case.
There also seemed to be a lot of “telling” and not enough showing. I wanted to see more events unfold
for myself, rather than being told what took place.
All of that said, I read this in less than 24 hours, which is rare, and a solid testament to this author’s capabilities. True talent, and I look forward to more!
Thanks a bunch for the digital copy, Dearest Netgalley!