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Thursday, June 7, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris @baparisauthor @stmartinspress

Bring Me Back
by B.A. Paris

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for these gifted copies!
Jessica and I both love B.A. Paris and are excited to give you our reviews.
We had a little bit of different opinions but one thing we agree on is that Paris is one author to put on auto-buy and devour at every release!

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publishing: June 19, 2018
336 pages
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

My Review:

Remember when everyone was screaming about Behind Closed Doors last year?  And then soon after, Paris came out with The Breakdown and that also brought about a lot of discussion?  I know there's a lot of mixed thoughts on both of these books and I have a feeling the same is going to happen with this one.  I absolutely fell in love with Behind Closed Doors, read it in one sitting and the ending gave me literal chills (see my review for this one HERE).  Then The Breakdown fell slightly flat for me and you can find out why HERE.  This one fell right in between these two and let me tell you why.

The concept isn't something that is very new to this type of genre:  Guy loves woman.  Woman goes missing and is said to be dead after so many years.  Guy falls in love with said woman's sister.  Past comes back to haunt them.  It's the execution that makes this a fun read.  Paris keeps her chapters short and hanging so you continuously keep turning the pages until you realize you've just finished the whole damn book.  Genius.  For this particular story, I caught on fairly early what the twist was going to be .... well, mostly.  The twist ended up being a little bit of a different variation to what I was thinking but the same concept was there.

I did find myself getting utterly annoyed with the characters but I expect I'm supposed to.  Again, COMMUNICATION people!! But when it comes to matters of the heart, communication is usually nowhere to be found (when things start to go haywire anyways).  I think what got me in this story line is that even though I was certain where the book was going, as the main character kept questioning himself, I found myself doing the same.... I needed to know.  Am I right? Am I wrong? DO I CARE either way?  

There is definitely going to be some divisiveness with this book amongst the thriller readers, I think.  As a shorter novel, there wasn't as much character development as in her other two books and does lull a bit in the middle.  What worked for me, and why I ended up loving this more than I had initially though I would, is an ending that's not so happy.  And that's not ruining anything, folks.  You'll need to read to find out why and decide for yourself.  B.A. Paris, you have a fan in me. AUTO BUY AUTO BUY AUTO BUY


Jessica's Review:

B.A. Paris' newest release is another one that I can see the avid thriller fans being divided on. While it's not as tense and suspenseful as BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, I did enjoy this one a little more than I did THE BREAKDOWN. We bounce back and forth between present day and a decade ago with one question - what happened to Layla?

The blurb on the book is perfect to set the tone: "She vanished. A decade ago his girlfriend disappeared. He lied. He told the police the truth about that night. Just not the whole truth. The past won't stay buried. Now he's moved on. But the past isn't done with him yet."

We start the book with the police statement he gives about the night Layla disappeared. On their way home from a vacation in France, Finn pulls over to a rest area to use the bathroom. After being gone only a few minutes, he returns to their car to see Layla's door open and she is nowhere to be found.

Fast forward 12 years and Finn is now engaged to Ellen (Layla's older sister) and has moved from his old home he shared with Layla. Their happy life together comes to a quick halt when Ellen finds a little Russian doll outside their home. A toy isn't that ominous, right? Well, this is one that she had lost years ago when she and Layla were kids. Only the three of them know the story behind this doll. Pair that with sinister emails and now we're all wondering, is Layla alive?

B.A. Paris always does a great job creating the atmosphere in her novels. It's always unsettling and eerie, and you never know why until you're pulled through the rest of the story. The characters are all hiding things from you at the beginning and their stories slowly open up as they continue to develop. I personally enjoyed this one and would categorize it more as a psychological suspense than a thriller. Paris had me flipping those pages and flying through those short chapters!

I give this 4.5/5 stars

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