Bring Me Back

by B. A. Paris

Thriller and Suspense Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime and Mystery eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Bring Me Back

March 2018 Book of the Month

A tale in three parts and dual-narrative.  Part one gives you the before and after Layla disappeared, part two when her lover Finn is haunted by her and part three, obviously enough, the conclusion.  The narrative is in alternating chapters, one side, annoyingly, in italics.  The time frame; twelve years, the plot; terrific.  Finn, aged 28, falls heavily for Layla but on returning from a skiing trip in France she disappears.  Years later her sister, Ellen, enters Finn’s life and rescues him from his despair.  They have a gentle, solid, comfortable relationship which develops into love and eventually a proposal of marriage.  Then things start to go wrong and part two seriously changes gear giving us a very unstable narrator and escalating tension.  Part three turns the whole thing on its head again, drawing us at a hell of a pace to a conclusion that you only see coming as those final chapters unfold.  This is compulsive stuff, a one-sitting read, so give it space.

Sarah Broadhurst

Bring Me Back Synopsis

The Disappearance - Twelve years ago Finn's girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion - He told the police the truth about that night. Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear - Now Finn has moved on. But his past won't stay buried...

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008244873
Publication date: 8th March 2018
Author: B. A. Paris
Publisher: HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
Recommendations:

What To Read After Bring Me Back

The Siege
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
The Hit List
Dust to Dust

Bring Me Back Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

In reading this book, I have lived the life of an addict – even the thought of taking a break from it caused me to shake uncontrollably. A totally addictive thriller.

Initially switching between the ‘now’ and ‘before’ the first part is written through the eyes of Finn, a 30+ Irishman and successful businessman who 12 years before (the ‘before’) whose girl-friend, Layla, disappeared when on holiday in France.  At the time of her sudden disappearance, Finn immediately reported it to the local police but as the pages unfold, we realise he did not report every detail of what had occurred.

In the ‘now’ Finn has forced himself to move on from the early days, months and years of the disappearance of the one person who he truly loved.  He has just announced his engagement to Ellen, Layla’s older sister.  

Is it a coincidence that suddenly claims are made from those who knew Layla, not least her sister, that they have seen her.  Or that emails sent to Finn imply she may still be alive. Or that knowledge only Layla, Finn, Ellen and Finn’s long term very best friend, Harry would know is suddenly being used to suggest that the mystery of the disappearance may well be solved.  But is the truth something Finn wants revealed if it has implications wider afield?

Part two and then ultimately, part 3 deliver the answer and boy, what an answer it is.

Wonder where I go to be cured of my BA Paris addiction – though not sure I want to having also read the brilliant ‘Behind Closed Doors.’

Phylippa Smithson

I couldn't read this book fast enough! I loved the thrill and suspense. The TV went off and I just kept reading!

When I saw this book was supposed to be addictive I was a bit sceptical to be honest. So many books are sold as "you won't want to put it down" but I can honestly say I couldn't stop reading this one!! It was captivating from the outset as you just couldn't help but need to know what exactly had happened. I like the fact the story was told in the past and present as the story came together piece by piece and even as I read and thought I knew what was going to happen the story gave another twist. I'll be amazed if this doesn't get made into a film. Start reading now!!

Julie Watkin

Clear your diary as this book will take over your life until you have finished it - a fantastic read, I loved it!

This was the first book I’d read by B.A. Paris and without a doubt it will definitely not be my last – in fact, I’ve already bought all her other books, as I enjoyed this one so much.  

 

On the way back from a trip to France, Finn pops into a service station, but on arrival back to the car he finds that his girlfriend Layla has disappeared into the night. After frantically searching for her, he goes home and reports her missing. Twelve years on, he’s now engaged and happily settled in a new part of the country. Then things start to change…

The book is set in alternate chapters, going through the then and now, building the pace as it goes with incredible tension. From the moment that I picked this book up, I was completely hooked and all I could think about was when I could get back to reading it again. This is definitely one of the best books I have read in a long, long time and would highly recommend this book to any thriller fans – just #forgetsleep as the promotion for this book suggests!

Nicola Edwards

Great read, believable characters and a real twist at the end.

What a great read.  I loved the characters of the two sisters Layla and Ellen, one good and one not so good.  The ending was unexpected and was exactly in line with the good.  Another good book by this author.  Can highly recommend.

Sue Burton

With just a few pages left, the train arrived at my station and I didn’t want to get off! An exciting and thoroughly enjoyable read.

Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared.  Now he is going to marry her sister.  After news of the wedding is announced, Finn begins to receive mysterious emails claiming that Layla is alive.  The emails become increasingly menacing but who are the emails from and is Layla really alive?  Finn is desperate to find out.  I found myself thinking “This is what is going to happen… no wait this is what is going to happen … hang on no it will be this…”  I was kept guessing right to the end. 

Rachel Aygin

Bring Me Back is a taut and tight psychological thriller with more than enough suspense in the plot to keep you guessing from beginning to end.

When Finn’s girlfriend, Layla, goes missing on their journey home from a skiing holiday in France, the finger of suspicion falls on him, but twelve years later and with no further clues to Layla’s disappearance, Finn has moved on, but then, strange things start to happen which upsets the balance of Finn’s ordered life.

What then follows is an exciting page-turner which has all the hallmarks of this author’s exceptional writing. Her meticulous attention to the connection between people, and her fine observation of human frailty, is captured in this emotional story, which is rich in detail and alive with malice. The multiple story strands, which move backwards and forwards in time, gradually reveal a dark story of lies and deceit and as we get further into the nitty-gritty of the story, so the chill levels start to rise.

I raced through Bring Me Back at top speed as the concise chapters lend themselves to speedy reading. And as the story evolves, so the need to know more about what’s going to happen next gets more and more gripping. Over the course of the book, I tried to second guess where the plot was taking me, only to have it veer off in a completely unexpected direction.

There is no doubt that this talented author has captured the domestic noir genre to perfection and her ability to control a complicated plot, whilst holding the reader’s attention, from start to finish, is to her credit.

Josie Barton

Impossible to put down, disturbing but addictive, I am still thinking of the ending and marvelling at the twist... a must read for 2018. Brilliant!

If you like thrillers then you will love this, I stayed up all night reading, it was impossible to put down. ...Finn's girlfriend disappears one night on a trip back from France, he was interviewed but didn't quite tell the whole truth. Twelve years later Finn has moved on, he has asked his girlfriend to marry him and it was published in the paper. But his past starts to catch up with him, someone doesn't like the fact that it is the sister of the disappeared girlfriend that is his fiancé. Finn has a temper that rarely gets out of control, he is a genius at work but the past starts to play with his head. Soon he is suspecting his friends.  His fiancé Ellen is convinced she has seen her missing sister from all those years ago but can't quite catch up with her whilst shopping with Finn. Clues that she is alive begin appearing and then the emails start…

Katie Dickinson

This book then suddenly draws in the reader and suddenly becomes an incredible page-turner.

Slow start, but stick with it...it's worth it At first an uninspiring read, but one learns to take an instant disliking to the lead character.

Peter Myneham

Really enjoyed this as it went along - never knowing quite what was going to happen next.

Has Finn’s missing, presumed dead, girlfriend, returned after twelve years when he starts a relationship with her sister. Who is telling the truth about the past? All seem to have something to hide. 

Finn’s girlfriend, Layla, disappeared in France 12 years ago and was never heard from again. He never knew whether she was dead or alive. He tried to move on with his life, but then he met Layla’s sister and they tried to make a life together. Except the past would not stay hidden and past secrets begin to unfold. Secrets that Finn has too, so can we believe him?

Really enjoyed this as it went along - never knowing quite what was going to happen next, and from the different perspectives of Finn and Layla.

However, I am not sure the ending entirely held up but a good read nonetheless.

Maureen Gourlay

An exciting page turner about a woman who is missing presumed dead ... but is she...?

‘Bring Me Back’ is a psychological thriller about an unresolved mystery surrounding a young woman. Finn is haunted by the strange disappearance of his girlfriend, Layla, 12 years ago. The young woman was declared dead and Finn has more or less managed to rebuild his life since the incident. But his now comfortable existence (involving a relationship with Layla’s sister) is threatened when a series of events suggests that the missing woman may still be alive.

This was an enjoyable read, and quite a page turner, though compared to other thrillers I found some aspects of the plot a little repetitive and I didn’t feel that the characters had been drawn in much depth. Having said that, it is definitely worth getting to the conclusion at the end of story. ‘Bring Me Back’ would also make a great film.

Annie Day

This took me a day to read and kept me reading mainly because I wanted to find out if the unlikeable main characters got their just deserts.

Too many gaping holes in the plot. However, in order to get to the end I had to suspend belief and ignore some of the gaping holes in the plot…and there were a lot.

Not what I would call great literature but it would keep you occupied on the beach if you had nothing else.

Not one for me I'm afraid.

 

Evelyn Love - Gajardo

This kept me awake, reading and boy did it mess with my head. Once again, B A Paris has her reader's, captivated, spooked and engrossed.

Twelve years ago, on a way back from a skiing holiday, Finn and his girlfriend Layla stop, to use some toilets, but when Finn returns Layla has gone, there is no sign of her.  Presuming she has followed him, Fimn checks the toilets, no Layla, and now he's worried, Layla hates the dark, what if she's fallen,  stumbling round looking for her,  Fimn knows he has to ring the police, once they arrive he tells them what he knows, but he doesn't tell them EVERYTHING! Something's have to be kept hidden, it's for the best, what they don't know, won't matter will it? Twelve years later, and Finn has moved on, new life, new girlfriend, things are rosey in his life, until he finds a little Russian Doll, the same little Russian Doll Layla had, one she kept for luck.  Next comes a phone call, from a detective who looked into the case, telling him, that an old neighbour of theirs, has seen Layla, back at their old house, but can he be certain, as he is now quite old. Slowly things start to happen, more dolls turn up, and Ellen (Layla's sister) Finn's new girlfriend, is becoming very nervous,  Is it just their imagination or is Layla back from the grave? After all no body was found.

Angie Rhodes

A superb page turning psychological thriller that will keep you guessing right until the end. B A Paris has a fantastic way of writing. A must read.

I love B A Paris and was excited to review the latest book, ‘Bring me Back’.  I was not disappointed.  The book centres on Finn and his girlfriend Layla.

Twelve years ago, whilst stopping for a break on their return holiday from France, Layla mysteriously disappears from the car.  She is not found and Finn moves on with his life.

Finn is now in a relationship with Ellen.

The story revolves around Finn, Layla's sister Ellen and various friends trying to piece together what happened to Layla all that time ago, especially when after all this time it appears that Layla may not be dead.

This psychological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat right up until the end of the book.  You are drawn in from the start and completely hooked.

I thought I had worked out what had happened, what a shock that I was totally wrong, the ending was a complete surprise.

A superb book.

Catherine Dugmore

A clever, addictive read - I couldn't put this book down!

‘Bring Me Back’ is the latest book from the bestselling author B A Paris.  It is about a young British couple, Finn and Layla when they are on holiday in France.  One night as they are driving, they stop to refuel.  He goes in to pay and she stays in the car – or so we are lead to believe, except when he returns, Layla has vanished.  He tells the police what he remembered that night, but he doesn’t quite tell them everything.  Finn is arrested, suspected of murder, but later released and no body is found.  Finn starts to rebuild his life when a chance sighting of Layla by an old neighbour casts new doubt about her and her whereabouts.  When a series of Russian dolls start to appear in Finn’s life, like a love note from Layla, he starts to question his life and everyone around him.  Like a Russian doll, a series of layers are uncovered until finally we learn what really happened on the night Layla disappeared.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, from Lovereading co.uk and the suspense kept me gripped until the end.  I also really liked the black and yellow design of this book.

Sarah Mustafa

A stunning psychological thriller, this will play with your mind.

Finn’s love for Layla burned fiercely but when she disappears from a motorway service station in the middle of the night questions are asked and fingers are pointed. Twelve years later and Finn has moved on but such a pivotal event, such an all-consuming love, can never really be left behind. It never lets you escape. With his impending marriage to Layla’s sister, Ellen, the ghosts of the past re-emerge. Somebody is manipulating Finn, making him doubt everyone close to him, but why are they being so cryptic and why now? Could it be Layla? Could she really be back?

 The premise grabs you from the outset. The plot is expertly woven. The tension ramps inexorably and the morsels of information, dropped throughout like a trail of breadcrumbs, give you just enough insight into the characters to have you doubting everyone and questioning everything you thought you knew. But oh, I wish it had just been a teensy bit more plausible. There is no doubt that it’s a stunning psychological thriller and it will play with your mind however I would probably place it third in the ‘amazingness’ ranking of B A Paris’ books (purely for the believability issue mentioned above), after Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown, in that order. B. A. Paris is a fantastic author and I absolutely love her books but I guess when you set the bar so high with your debut thriller it’s tricky to better it each time and expectations are high.

Sarah Harper

An interesting proposition, and very easy reading.

I was intrigued by the first few chapters and surprised when the mystery was (partly) explained so soon. Unfortunately the plot-holes were too numerous for me. 

The characters were interesting but I spent most of the second half asking why he/she didn't just do X or Y. I finished it but was quite frustrated by it, and did not find the ending sufficiently satisfying to reward my perseverance. 

Beth Winsor

We all have secrets. If we are faced with life and death would we reveal all to the ones we claim to love? The conclusion is both shocking and brilliant in equal measure.

Finn is devastated when his girlfriend Layla disappears from a service station in France that they’d stopped to refuel at. 

Ellen is Layla’s elder sister, the more sensible, more caring of the two and Finn just couldn’t help but fall for her. Even though still deep down his loyalty and love still resides with Layla.

Ellen is horrified when she finds something that would have no meaning to anyone but her, Layla and Finn. Then she thinks she spots Layla in a nearby town and Finn must question everything he knows about the past ten years.

He’d always assumed that something bad had happened to Layla due to the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. He didn’t quite tell the Police the whole truth about that night and now he must decide if he needs to involve the police or not to help find Layla, if it really is her trying to contact Ellen and Finn.

The possibility that Layla could be alive and nearby puts a huge strain on Ellen and Finns relationship. Ellen has been convinced for years that her sister must be dead, and Finn knows that she could be right.

Vicky-Leigh Sayer

B. A. Paris Press Reviews

`This book is compulsive reading from start to finish. A perfectly crafted work of art, seamless and mesmerising. I envy those yet to read it for the pleasure they have in store.  Amanda Robson 

`A cracking page turner with a killer twist.  Camilla Way 

`An incredibly pacy, heart-pounding thriller - the twist at the end left me reeling. B A Paris does it again in this exhilarating exploration of love, jealousy and betrayal. A must read for 2018!  Phoebe Morgan 

`Bring Me Back will not leave your hands until you have turned the last page!  Wendy Walker 

Praise for The Breakdown;

`A psychological page-turner'-Good Housekeeping

`Gripping!'-Woman

`You'll race through to discover what's happening!'-Prima

`You'll be unable to rest until you've followed the twists and turns to an ending you didn't forsee.'-Daily Express 

`BA Paris has done it again! The Breakdown is a page turning thriller that will leave you questioning the family you love, the friends you trust, and even your own mind.'- Wendy Walker, author of All is Not Forgotten

`Utterly compelling, brilliant and tense.'- Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008244873
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Format: Paperback

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About B. A. Paris

B. A. Paris is from a Franco/Irish background. She was brought up in England and moved to France where she spent some years working as a trader in an international bank before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband. They still live in France and have five daughters. She is the author of the bestselling psychological thriller Behind Closed Doors.

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