Title: Bring Me Back
Author: B.A. Paris
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Publishing Date: June 12, 2018 (1st publ. Mar. 1, 2018)
Purchase Link: Amazon
My Rating: 3 Compelling Hearts
*Many thanks to HQ for a copy of this arc via Netgally.
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?
Bring Me Back is an edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that begins with the mysterious disappearance of a woman, Layla, at a restroom stop in France. Finn, her boyfriend, is frantic when he discovers her gone. After months of searching, he gives up and returns home. Fast forward twelve years and Finn is engaged to marry Ellen, Layla's sister, and yet Layla is never far from his mind. After Finn and Ellen's engagement announcement appears in a local paper, an omen in the form of a tiny Russian doll appears on the wall in front of their house. The relevance and implications are monumental as it's a link to Ellen's childhood. Only she, Layla, and Finn know the significance of the Russian doll. From this point, events spiral out of control as Finn begins receiving sinister and threatening correspondence from someone claiming to be "Layla". Is it possible Layla has returned to reclaim her life . . . and man? Or is someone playing cruel, obsessive mind games?
Through alternating chapters of past and present, Bring Me Back unfolds through two points of view. I was quickly drawn into this thriller and found my heart racing as the story and Finn's state of mind spiral out of control. The first half is addictive as the dark and ominous tone, frantic pace, and urgent sense of time running out escalates. I burned through pages looking for answers along with Finn. The author does a great job setting up the characters, scenes, and plotline leading to an explosive first half. As the story progresses, secrets and lies surface clueing readers into the fact that all is not as it seems. A little more than halfway, I realized what was happening, but still felt a sense of urgency and trepidation as I read on to see how the author would weave it all together. Approaching the end, events occurred that had me thinking back over the story, and I just wasn't quite able to accept things as plausible. As a result, a story that began with great promise fell short of the mark in my opinion. Bring Me Back is a compelling story that I admittedly read nonstop, but the direction the author chose to take the plot line didn't work for me in the end. I think psychological thriller fans will be evenly split on this one. Give it a shot and decide for yourself!
My Rating: 3 Compelling Hearts . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx