Title: Bring Me Back
Author: BA Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Publishing Date: 19 June 2018
“That was the statement I gave to police, sitting in the police station somewhere off the A1 in France. It was the truth. But not quite the whole truth.”
What if you had a second chance with the one that got away? In this dark and twisty thriller, BA Paris paints the worst possible picture of this scenario. Twelve years ago, Finn’s girlfriend, Layla, disappears. He has no idea what happened to her. But with more than a decade since she’s disappeared past, he’s started to move on with his life — by marrying his presumed-dead girlfriend’s sister, Ellen.
Soon after the engagement is announced in the local paper, strange things start happening that all point to Layla alive. Not only alive, but alive and close by. Old neighbors think they spot her on the street. Russian nesting dolls show up on the porch, in the mail, on his car when he and his fiance visit the local village. And then Finn starts getting e-mails from a strange address he doesn’t recognize. Suddenly, everyone in his life is a suspect trying to torture him and ruin his happy, perfect life.
“He must have reached the point where he’s beginning to doubt everything he thought was true and everyone he thought he could trust. Which is exactly what I want.”
While being tormented by the truth about his feelings for his Layla and Ellen, Finn is still someone that’s difficult to feel sorry for. It’s clear from the beginning he wants the reader to see him in a certain light. Yes, he’s incredibly wealthy and has a perfect life and, yes, sometimes he has a temper, but everything is under control. In fact, he’s pretty sure the local barkeep he had a casual relationship with is the one setting up this whole “Layla is back” business.
What Paris creates in Finn — a character that can be argued is incredibly narcissistic — is a situation that’s not unfamiliar to many women: a man putting himself in a situation where he’s trying to decide what he really feels for someone but backs off and wants women to fight over him. Finn doesn’t want to have to make a choice between the woman he loves now and the woman he loved before, if she’s even really back.
Bring Me Back is the fast-paced, need-to-read-in-one-day type of book I’ve come to expect from BA Paris. Both chilling and satisfying, this summer-released thriller is perfect for these cold autumn days.