Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris
Brace yourself for something rare. I finished a book I confess I should have abandoned. That doesn't happen often!
Bring Me Back is the story of Finn, a man whose girlfriend disappeared at a rest stop in France 12 years before the book begins. Layla was in the car when he left; when he returned she was gone and so were two of the other vehicles that were parked when they arrived at the rest stop. Was she kidnapped or did she run away? No sign of her has been found.
Now engaged to her sister, Ellen, Finn is disturbed when a former police officer who became his friend phones to say that the elderly man who lives next door to the old cottage Finn and Layla shared, which has been locked up since a short time after her disappearance, has spotted Layla. Then, small Matryoshka dolls start showing up in places that Finn and Ellen will easily find them. Finn and Ellen both know the meaning of the dolls. Finally, Finn begins to receive emails asking about his cottage in Devon and then clues about Layla after Finn realizes the emails are too much of a coincidence and questions the sender. What's going on? Is Layla alive? If so, why doesn't she just show up instead of dropping hints? Is it her kidnapper toying with Finn? Or, could the emails be the job of an ex-girlfriend of Finn's, now that he's engaged to Ellen?
Not recommended - I gave this book 3 stars and I'm rethinking that rating. Midway through the book, I considered abandoning it. It had become repetitive -- another doll found, another email, the sender is off his or her rocker. Finn theorizes, Finn walks back his theories after eliminating people from the suspect list, another doll is found, and another and another and another. I found it less compelling than exhausting. And, the ending was simply impossible to buy.
Would I read this author again? Oddly, yes, but only if the book comes highly recommended. I was quickly immersed in the story, even if I later decided it wasn't going anywhere and the ending was implausible. I've heard B. A. Paris's first book was excellent. If I do ever read it, I'll check it out from the library. I would definitely give her a second chance. But, I just don't feel like Bring Me Back was worth the time I spent on it.
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