Bring Me Back
By B.A. Paris
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250151339, June 2018, 304pp.
The Short of It:
Great start. Poor finish.
The Rest of It:
B.A. Paris wrote Behind Closed Doors which I thought was a pretty good read. Many of you read it and I think overall it was well received. Her next book, The Breakdown was also very popular with readers. What I cannot deny is that she writes tense, suspenseful page-turners and that was what I was in the mood for when I picked up her latest book Bring Me Back.
This story is all about Finn, Ellen and Ellen’s missing (presumed dead) sister Layla. It’s a love triangle with a lot of twists and turns. The last time Finn saw Layla, was at a rest-stop. After a lover’s quarrel, Finn steps out of the car to use the facilities and when he comes back Layla is gone with no leads, except for the little Russian nesting doll she left behind.
Years pass. Layla never shows up. During this time Finn falls in “like” with Ellen, Layla’s sister. As the two of them approach marriage, Finn does his best to push his feelings for Layla aside so that he can spend the rest of life with Ellen. But then, a little Russian nesting doll appears out of nowhere. What does this mean? Is Layla alive? Is she trying to communicate with him? Is someone holding her captive?
The set-up is good. I was pulled into the story, but very early on I figured out what happened and because of that realization, the rest was too much of a cat and mouse game and the ending was ultimately lackluster. Plus, I never want to hear about or see a Russian nesting doll again. It’s seriously overused.
I really DO enjoy these types of books. I am all about page-turners this summer but I need a solid plot. Give me that, and some decent characters and I’m good. This story was just too much of Finn running around trying to figure out what was, in my opinion, very obvious to begin with.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
15 thoughts on “Review: Bring Me Back”
Yeah, I read this awhile ago and remember being disappointed, too. Its just too obvious what is happening and that ruins the book. Oh well, on the next read, right? Hopefully a much better one 🙂
It was obvious wasn’t it? Anyway, I just started The Cabin at the End of the World and at just 11% in I got the shivers over something in the book. It’s supposed to be pretty scary. King said something about it once too.
I’m hearing some good and some bad about this book. I have a copy, but haven’t been motivated to pick it up yet. Oh, and The Couple Next Door was written by Shari Lapena (read that one too). I bet you mean Behind Closed Doors. Sorry, it’s the librarian coming out in me. LOL
And ‘Russian nesting dolls’ shall never be mentioned again. 😉
Oh yes!! Wrong “door” book. Will fix.
I agree with you about those dolls…I have a set and I had to hide mine! Maybe you should take a look at The Other Woman…
I liked her previous 2 books and plan to read this but, not top priority right now. My last 2 books – no reviews yet —were just so so: House Swap and The Other Mother.
I liked The Other Mother because it was so out there. It WAS hard to put down too although a lot of the story line was too convenient. I just started The Cabin at the End of the World and it’s giving me shivers. I don’t scare easily.
I wonder if the thriller market is a bit too saturated these days, so much so that it is difficult to be surprised at all. I am finding way too many are just mediocre now whereas a year ago there were some stellar ones.
I think it’s the fact that these books come out so quickly. They seem to be written one, right after the other and I can’t help but think that the story suffers when they are put out that way. When someone has a hit I get that the publisher and readers want a new book right away but not if it’s just going to be so-so. I’d rather wait.
Me too. And I totally agree that some of the market saturation is the fault of the publishers trying to pump out hit after hit once an author gets that first one. The writing and the story definitely suffers.
I really disliked Behind Closed Doors but enjoyed The Breakdown, even with its flaws. Think I’ll pass on this one!
It is such a bummer when a book with a good premise doesn’t quite live up to its potential. Sounds like the matreshka dolls needed a good/better editor 🙂
It’s just that those dolls were used as a device which pretty much no one got. There was some significance in that that is how they knew the stuff with Layla was legit but there was no heartfelt story behind those little dolls. Not really. Maybe that part was edited out because all that was left were those dolls being left all over heck, over and over.
I read her first book and really enjoyed it, but I heard mixed reviews on the next one and this one hasn’t gotten nearly as many good reviews. I don’t want cat-and-mouse unless its police procedural.
The nesting dolls were the death of me. And then… the next book I picked up had a nesting doll reference. I kid you not. I almost took a picture.