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.
Who’d have thought Russian Stacking Dolls could be nefarious? Turns out, they are when they suddenly start appearing on the fence outside your house, on your car, in the mail, and even with the check at a restaurant.
Twelve years after Finn’s girlfriend, Layla, disappeared while they were holidaying in France, Finn has moved on and is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. We’re immediately pulled into the intrigue of what happened to Layla, what Finn knows, and more importantly, what he had to do with it. The only thing we know for sure is that Finn lied to the police and that he is one of those problematic and unlikeable characters that I, personally, love.
Suddenly, Finn is told that an elderly neighbor saw Layla outside their old cottage in St Marys. Then, little Russian dolls start appearing, and Ellen becomes convinced that Layla is alive. Finn thinks someone else is harassing them, especially once emails start arriving from someone wanting to buy the cottage, casting doubt on almost everything. He becomes paranoid and secretive, especially with Ellen, and when he’s asked to make a choice between past and present, things start to spiral even further out of control.
Bring Me Back is a bit of a slow burn, told in three parts and two voices. While I had figured out the likeliest scenario about halfway through the book, there was enough clever misdirection and other problematic characters to keep me second-guessing. Even once I had figured it out for sure, there were still a couple of surprises. The conclusion is both tragic and satisfying at the same time.
While I haven’t read any of Ms. Paris’ previous works, I’m told this one is a little different, but don’t let that put you off. It’s definitely a good, quick read.
I was provided this book for free by St. Martin's Press (via Netgalley ) in return for my honest opinion. Please note that some links in this book may be affiliate links to help us keep the lights on :)