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Bring Me Back: A Novel by B. A. Paris
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Bring Me Back: A Novel (edition 2018)

by B. A. Paris (Author)

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7789120,647 (3.42)22
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.… (more)
Member:juliarum
Title:Bring Me Back: A Novel
Authors:B. A. Paris (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2018), Edition: First Edition, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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Bring Me Back by B A Paris

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Twelve years ago, Finn's girlfriend disappeared while they were vacationing in France. Finn told the police that while stopped at a service station, Layla simply vanished. That was basically the truth....but not the whole truth. Now years later he is engaged to Layla's sister, Ellen. But someone is sending strange emails and leaving things for both Ellen and Finn to find.....things that hint Layla might not be dead. If Layla is alive, what does she want? And if she's dead.....who is stalking them?

All I can say is.....wow. As I read this book, I thought I knew what the ending was going to be. I had it all mapped out in my head. But, the story managed to wallop me with a complete surprise. I love it when that happens!

Bring Me Back is a psychological thriller. Most of the story is told from Finn's point of view, with a few chapters from Layla's perspective. The whole situation is completely screwed up....Layla gone for 12 years, Finn getting ready to marry her sister, Finn never telling the truth about what happened. Then Russian nesting dolls start showing up everywhere. Layla and her sister both loved those dolls as a child. Now dolls show up on their backyard fence, on the windshield of their car, tucked in with their bill at a restaurant.... Seriously creepy. Not to mention the emails. Someone hinting that Layla isn't dead. Slowly, the story unfolds and Finn tells the truth.....but the whole story doesn't come into focus until the last few pages. The epilogue....the very last page of the book....brings it all full circle. Chilling, creepy and awesome!

This is the first book by B.A. Paris that I have read. I'm definitely coming back for more!

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from St Martins Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Bring Me Back by B.A.Paris

June 2018
Fiction

I received a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an unbiased review.

The story is told from the perspective of Finn McQuaid and Layla, his girlfriend who goes missing in 2006 after a ski trip in Megeve. The couple begin to argue and escalates when they stop at a rest stop on their way home from Paris. What follows is a confusing situation which results in Layla’s disappearance and Finn being the center of the police investigation.

After Layla’s disappearance, police detective Tony Heddon arrests Finn for suspicion of the murder of Layla when she is never found. Eventually, Finn is able to move on and become a successful businessman. By chance, he meets and eventually falls in love with Ellen, who happens to be Layla’s sister. Brought together by the grief and confusion of Layla’s disappearance and presumed dead, they build a life together.

After the couple become engaged and start planning for their wedding, clues begin to emerge that Layla might still be alive. When a small Russian nesting doll appears their pleasant life gets turned upside down. Rumors and secrets emerge which are meant to provide suspense regarding what happened to Layla. Unfortunately, the plot becomes rather monotonous and slows while unfolding the events which transpired over the years.

Although the Russian nesting dolls provided significance to the sisters relationship, they become “overused” as a mysterious indicator that stirs up anxiety from the past. Likewise, the plot begins to lose suspense during the Russian doll “plateau” so that the ending becomes more obvious.

I had wanted to like the book more than I did but it lost me half way through when it seems the plot “stalls”. Overall, it is an enjoyable read but not for those who desire a deeply suspenseful psychological drama. ( )
  marquis784 | Sep 28, 2020 |
I liked it. Pretty good twist! I was left wanting at the ending though. ( )
  jpeterman | Jul 10, 2020 |
So going to flat out say this is much better than "Behind Closed Doors" or that book I referred to as when a woman keeps doing really dumb crap for no reason besides plot. "Bring Me Back" had an interesting plot, but what kept me interested were the characters. I didn't really care for Layla or Finn, but did find the story engrossing. I was very disappointed by the ending, it didn't really hold up with the rest of the book.

"Bring Me Back" follows two people, Finn and Layla. Finn was dating Layla when after coming back after stopping at a rest stop he realized Layla was gone. The police investigated him and couldn't tie him to her murder or disappearance. Ten years later Finn is moving on with his life, with Layla's older sister, Ellen.

Yeah I did a hard pause too. Finn still thinks about Layla, but is happy with Ellen and is ready to move on with marrying her in a few months. However, someone has a hard time with Finn moving on. He starts finding Russian nesting dolls (still one of the weirdest parts of this story) which ties back to Layla's story about having one as a child and Ellen telling him about how Layla "stole" her doll. When the police call Finn to tell him that an old neighbor of his saw Layla and Ellen argues she has seen her too Finn wonders what is going on. And when he starts to receive letters and emails from someone calling themselves Layla he wonders could she be back.

Finn is pretty terrible. You find out throughout the story that he's not as charming as he seems. He seems to use women and look down at them as soon as they do something that he considers out of order. He also has a terrible temper and the book slowly reveals the times it has gotten him into trouble. I also found the relationship between Layla and Finn to be fraught as hell. He tries to make it sound happy, but you realize at the end of the book why Layla reacted as she did at times to Finn. He was focused on keeping her away from London and others and them only being the only important thing to each other.

Layla was a mess and I felt sorry for her. She meets Finn when she was 18 and honestly you get to see that she didn't really have anyone else. Paris reveals all in the end, but I am not a fan of emails being used to reveal huge plot elements.

Ellen was too passive. Her sole focus is on Finn and being there for him all of the time. There are hints here and there she's not as passive as you may think, but Finn's personality rolls all over her.

We get secondary characters in this one. Ruby the local proprietor of a pub that had a romantic entanglement with Finn. Finn's best and longest running friend Harry. I seriously wonder why in the world Harry put up with Finn's terrible ass. It was confusing and I thought that Paris was going somewhere with that.

The writing was fine. Jumping back and forth between Finn's Now and Then and then including Layla's POV was fine. I think I was more engaged in Finn's chapters. Layla's after a while were all over the place and it was confusing. The flow was very good though.

The setting of Flynn's new home with Ellen though needed a bit more of something. I don't know if it needed to be set up more a la Manderley or what. It just felt off, but it seemed like Paris didn't want to focus on it too much and really wanted the readers eyes to be set on what happened before with Flynn and Layla in Devon.

The ending as I said earlier I saw coming, but the way Paris tried to wrap things up didn't really work. I think the ending could have been a bit longer and we could have gotten a better idea of how much time has passed. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I have been wanting to read a book by B.A. Paris for awhile but never got around to it until now.

Finn and Layla are living a story book romance until one fateful night Layla mysteriously disappears. Years later, Finn becomes engaged to Layla's sister, Ellen. Everything seems perfect until strange things start happening. Finn and Ellen start finding Russian dolls around their home and other places Finn used to go with Layla. Ellen and a neighbor spot someone who suspiciously looks like Layla. Then Finn receives an impossible email that sets in place a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
As other reviewers have noted, the story is predictable. Regardless, I really enjoyed my first foray into her fiction. Though the story is predictable, her strength lies in her writing for the telling of this story. The way she develops the plot line through the first person experiences of the three people involved slowly builds the suspense. I honestly don't mind if I am able to guess where a book is going if the writing is good. The writing is amazing in this book. I ended staying up late to finish it. I am definitely glad I picked this one up to read. This may be my first book by this author but it won't be my last. ( )
  Veronica.Sparrow | May 18, 2020 |
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We waren op de terugweg van een korte skivakantie in Megève.
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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.

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