Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.Ten years later Finn is e...

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Title:Bring Me Back
Author:B.A. Paris
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Bring Me Back Reviews

  • Melisa - Traveling Sister

    It’s been awhile since I could refer to a book as “unputdownable” but here we are. Finally!

    Every single theory I had about where the plot was going was given to the main character as part of his ideas at a little past the halfway point, and I was stuck there with my jaw dropped thinking, well then. This author just flipped the script and threw out everything I was thinking so where are we going to go from here?!

    I did figure it out at about three quarter

    It’s been awhile since I could refer to a book as “unputdownable” but here we are. Finally!

    Every single theory I had about where the plot was going was given to the main character as part of his ideas at a little past the halfway point, and I was stuck there with my jaw dropped thinking, well then. This author just flipped the script and threw out everything I was thinking so where are we going to go from here?!

    I did figure it out at about three quarters of the way through but I didn’t even care because it was that good!!

    I have a feeling this is going to be a polarizing book (like another book I’m thinking of which will remain unnamed because it could be a potential spoiler) - readers are going to either love it or not. I’m for sure on the loved it side of things!

    Thanks a mil to B.A. Paris (I’m going to go buy your other books now!), St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Maureen

    Holy Moly! The 'Do Not Disturb’ sign was definitely displayed (mentally if not physically) while I read Bring Me Back! Seriously, if this book had been edible, I would have made myself ill devouring it!

    British couple Finn and his girlfriend Layla, are on their way home from a skiing trip in France when he pulls into a secluded, dimly lit area late at night to use the restroom. When he returns to the car Layla is nowhere to be found!

    Fast forward 12 years and Finn has moved on with his life, in

    Holy Moly! The 'Do Not Disturb’ sign was definitely displayed (mentally if not physically) while I read Bring Me Back! Seriously, if this book had been edible, I would have made myself ill devouring it!

    British couple Finn and his girlfriend Layla, are on their way home from a skiing trip in France when he pulls into a secluded, dimly lit area late at night to use the restroom. When he returns to the car Layla is nowhere to be found!

    Fast forward 12 years and Finn has moved on with his life, in fact he’s now in a relationship with Layla’s sister Ellen, and they’re living happily together in a picturesque Cotswold village. However, knowing how B A Paris's previous books played out, I knew that this idyllic situation wasn't going to last! Someone claiming to be Layla contacts Finn by email, and also begins leaving Russian dolls outside his house and sending them in the mail. These dolls have huge significance for Layla and Ellen, but is it really Layla, who’s behind it?

    My oh my, who’d have thought that Russian dolls could have such frightening significance! This was a fantastic storyline, and for me it was the plot rather than the characters that was the star of the show, and literally had me holding my breath at times. The tension began on page one and really never let up, with the author using misdirection - smoke and mirrors to maximum effect, and though I kind of guessed where it was heading, it didn't pan out exactly as I thought it would, which meant I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Utterly gripping!

    *Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for my ARC. I have given an honest review in exchange *

  • Mackenzie - Traveling Sister

    Unsettling in the best possible way!!!

    Does anyone put the “psychology” into psychological thriller quite as well as B. A. Paris??? Paris really has a way with messed up characters and disturbing situations. This book is a mind game from the first chapter right through the very last page. I finished this book two days ago and the story is haunting me! What a great read!

    As happens with Paris, early reviews are largely positive, with a mix of “did-not-finish”. Most of those seem to struggle connect

    Unsettling in the best possible way!!!

    Does anyone put the “psychology” into psychological thriller quite as well as B. A. Paris??? Paris really has a way with messed up characters and disturbing situations. This book is a mind game from the first chapter right through the very last page. I finished this book two days ago and the story is haunting me! What a great read!

    As happens with Paris, early reviews are largely positive, with a mix of “did-not-finish”. Most of those seem to struggle connecting with the characters. I urge readers to give this book time! You don’t always have to like all of the characters to enjoy the ride. And I think some characters will ultimately surprise you—all are not telling the full story right away, which made the development points for each character so compelling. This is a book that grows in suspense and makes you uneasy, right along with the characters.

    Finn is living the Bachelor life in London when he meets Layla. Instantly, Finn forgets his current girlfriend and develops strong feelings for the enigmatic Layla. A year into their relationship Finn and his Layla are on their way home from a vacation in France, when they pull over so Finn can use the restroom. He is gone only a few minutes, and when he returns Layla’s door is open and she is missing. Finn looks everywhere but Layla is gone…

    Finn has moved away from his cottage with Layla to a new home in Simonsbridge. After a long grieving period, Finn moved on to other relationships before falling for Ellen, whom he has just gotten engaged to. But Ellen isn’t just any woman, she’s Layla’s older sister. Ignoring the gossip from those who remember the story of Layla’s disappearance, Finn and Ellen have created a wonderful, happy life together.

    The token is innocuous to all but Ellen and Finn. You see, there is only one person outside of themselves who could possibly know the meaning of this token…Layla. But how can that be?

    The premise of the story was enough to make me read this book, but I also have to say that Finn’s struggle to comprehend the meaning of the events is what kept me hooked. I wouldn’t say I particularly connected with Finn, but I did feel so much empathy for him. Finn in a way is his own worst enemy. He is such a passionate person, and so was Layla. This is what drew them together. Ellen is Layla’s opposite in so many ways, and yet she is good for Finn, if only he will let her be. But you can see his struggle to truly forget the past.

    The love of Finn and Layla was entirely different from the love Finn shares with Ellen. Sometimes I wanted to shake him and say “why can’t you let yourself be happy?!?!?” But of course, you can’t. One thing that was particularly engaging about the storyline was the lack of closure. As much as Finn wants to convince himself that Layla is likely dead, her disappearance and lack of finality leaves that small part in his brain that makes him wonder if it is possible she did survive somehow. That lack of closure would drive anyone mad, particularly when the token shows up.

    Finn’s heart is fighting with his mind. He knows the likelihood that Layla is still alive but hasn’t made contact with anyone for 12 years is nearly impossible, and yet he wants it to be true. The story is somewhat slow, but steady. It is never stagnant. This was one that I looked forward to diving back into each time I had to put it down. I’m so thrilled that B. A. Paris has continued to write such compelling novels, and I look forward to her next one!

    My sincerest gratitude to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley, and B. A. Paris for providing me an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    Well done B.A. Paris! If you are a serious thriller fan, this book has everything you crave in a perfectly crafted thriller!

    When Finn’s girlfriend Layla vanishes one night he’s left devastated. Like being frozen in time, he’s been unable to move on for years. Part of the problem… he can’t quite remember all the circumstances behind her disappearance.

    Years later, Layla’s sister Ellen enters his life and he feels blessed to have another chance at finding love. But as is so often the case, the pas

    Well done B.A. Paris! If you are a serious thriller fan, this book has everything you crave in a perfectly crafted thriller!

    When Finn’s girlfriend Layla vanishes one night he’s left devastated. Like being frozen in time, he’s been unable to move on for years. Part of the problem… he can’t quite remember all the circumstances behind her disappearance.

    Years later, Layla’s sister Ellen enters his life and he feels blessed to have another chance at finding love. But as is so often the case, the past has a nasty habit of finding its way to the surface.

    If you’ve been reading reviews for this book you know that Russian Dolls make repeated appearances throughout. For some readers it was just too much. For me...I loved it! I had my own set of dolls growing up and it actually brought back some fond memories.

    This book will keep you guessing to the final page. I had that rare

    of excitement the entire time reading this book. Couldn’t wait to see where it took me. And by the time I reached the end I was still left with a cliff-hangar moment. Delicious!

    This is my third book by B.A. Paris and by far my favorite so far! Cannot wait for her next!!

    A fantastic Traveling Sister read! 🤗💞

    Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and B.A. Paris for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  • Debra

    3.5 stars

    Have you ever read a book where you think "It was okay. I liked it." and then find yourself thinking about it and then realize that you enjoyed it much more than you initially thought? I had that experience with this book. Upon reading it, I kept thinking about it and the plot and realized that B.A. Paris pulled her plot twist off in a clever way. I also realized that there was a clue or two thrown in and although I read the words, I missed it but then had my "AHA!" moment a couple of h

    3.5 stars

    Have you ever read a book where you think "It was okay. I liked it." and then find yourself thinking about it and then realize that you enjoyed it much more than you initially thought? I had that experience with this book. Upon reading it, I kept thinking about it and the plot and realized that B.A. Paris pulled her plot twist off in a clever way. I also realized that there was a clue or two thrown in and although I read the words, I missed it but then had my "AHA!" moment a couple of hours after finishing the book. This is also a book, I thought I had figured it out, and was wrong. I love when this happens. I really enjoy when an Author surprises me.

    A young Couple, Finn and Layla are traveling through France when they pull over and Finn goes into the restroom. When he comes back to the car, his girlfriend/fiancé is missing. An investigation ensues but Layla is never found. She has completely vanished. Her belongings are still in the car but there is no sign of her. She is never seen or heard from again. What happened to her? Finn is devastated and isolates for a long time.

    Finn, is finally ready to move on with his life and has found love again - with Layla's sister, Ellen. Drawn together in their grief, they form a relationship which becomes romantic. Now, they are engaged to be married and everything seems to be going great. Then one day, Ellen finds a missing Russian doll which she lost when she was a child. Only three people know about the Russian Dolls: Ellen, Finn and Layla.

    Then Finn also begins to find more Russian dolls and receives messages from an unknown person who later reveals herself as Layla.

    Welcome to Finn's nightmare. Is Layla still alive? Is someone toying with him? Why get in touch now? What do the messages and dolls signify? Finn suspects anyone and everyone. Who wouldn't be freaked out.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

    Was this my favorite B.A. Paris book? No! But as I said, she did a great job crafting her story. She had me thinking about it hours after finishing the book. This book moves at a very nice pace and for me was a fast read. The mystery of what really happened the night Layla went missing and who is leaving behind the dolls and sending email messages really drive the story.

    So why not a higher rating? I still felt there were some unanswered questions and the need to suspend some disbelief. I also felt the ending was a little rushed. But overall an enjoyable suspense/thriller/mystery.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    See more of my reviews at

  • Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister

    After having LOVED this author’s past two novels, it pains me that I cannot say I loved this one as well. But I can say some other *stuff*, so here goes...

    I’ll start with the positive because life is good: When I open a B.A. Paris novel, I know I’m about to be put under her spell. I’m ready to be completely transported into the life of a slightly repulsive human who starts reading with the sun and doesn’t stop until she looks up and realizes an entire day has ended with her still in t

    After having LOVED this author’s past two novels, it pains me that I cannot say I loved this one as well. But I can say some other *stuff*, so here goes...

    I’ll start with the positive because life is good: When I open a B.A. Paris novel, I know I’m about to be put under her spell. I’m ready to be completely transported into the life of a slightly repulsive human who starts reading with the sun and doesn’t stop until she looks up and realizes an entire day has ended with her still in the same pajamas that may or may not have the telltale stains of vanilla-flavored coffee binging.

    Blame it on B.A.

    Because

    was no exception on that front. As expected, I couldn’t put this book down, despite it not being particularly fast-paced. There’s something about this author’s storytelling that is so compelling and easy to digest. Simple, yet forceful and imaginative.

    Not every story is going to work for every reader. What didn’t quite work for me was the actual content of this one...

    Although wonderfully conveyed, the plot itself didn’t hold much intrigue. The characters never seemed to come to life. I felt as though we were only shown outlines and whispers of what was intended to be a solid, complex cast. I wanted to know them better, each of them, but never got the chance.

    Much of the story felt like a wild mental goose chase, circling around the same issue without much progression or variety.

    The “twist” didn’t pack too much of a punch, which isn’t always a bad thing, but certainly would have brought more power to the read in this case.

    There also seemed to be a lot of “telling” and not enough showing. I wanted to see more events unfold

    for myself, rather than being told what took place.

    All of that said, I read this in less than 24 hours, which is rare, and a solid testament to this author’s capabilities. True talent, and I look forward to more!

  • Meredith

    Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with

    I feel like all the soap opera watching I have done helped me to figure things out rather early on. I was hoping I was wrong, but sadly I was not. When all was revealed, I was laughing and I don’t think I was meant to be. I am capable of suspending disbelief but this goes beyond. I really cou

    Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with

    I feel like all the soap opera watching I have done helped me to figure things out rather early on. I was hoping I was wrong, but sadly I was not. When all was revealed, I was laughing and I don’t think I was meant to be. I am capable of suspending disbelief but this goes beyond. I really could have cared less about Finn, Ellen, and Layla. They lacked depth and intelligence.

    Despite all the issues I had, I did have fun reading this and I enjoyed how the Russian nesting dolls were woven in.

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emily May

    1 1/2 stars. I swear I gave it my best shot. I really wanted to love this book. Paris'

    kept me on the edge of my seat, but her sophomore novel

    bored me, so I figured

    , right? Sorry, it's a Meat Loaf kinda morning.

    I'll give it an extra half star for keeping me reading despite rolling my eyes every few pages, but that's the most enthusiasm I can muster for it. The twist/reveal o

    1 1/2 stars. I swear I gave it my best shot. I really wanted to love this book. Paris'

    kept me on the edge of my seat, but her sophomore novel

    bored me, so I figured

    , right? Sorry, it's a Meat Loaf kinda morning.

    I'll give it an extra half star for keeping me reading despite rolling my eyes every few pages, but that's the most enthusiasm I can muster for it. The twist/reveal of the book may be shocking to new mystery readers, but it's actually been used by too many authors for me not to see it coming at this point. And many of those authors have made it more convincing than Paris managed here.

    alternates between the past, in which Finn (the narrator) and his girlfriend Layla take a holiday in France and she disappears; the present, in which we find ourselves ten years later with Finn about to marry Layla's sister Ellen; and first person accounts from Layla, where she mostly

    , figuratively twirling her mustache. Muahaha.

    Most of the book takes place in the present. Despite believing Layla is gone for good, signs start popping up that she may be alive. Her beloved Russian dolls start appearing everywhere, and when Finn receives emails from a mysterious source who seems to know too much, it becomes obvious something nefarious is going on.

    Problem is, it's all a bit like a slightly comical (though unintentionally so) B-movie. Every chapter ends with some really cheesy line that is supposed to be ominous. Like:

    It was just so ridiculous I wanted to laugh. The narrative reminds me of the criminologist from

    , raising his eyebrow at the camera and saying "Or had they?"

    And it was difficult to become invested in any of the characters' stories. Finn seems like a dick from the get-go (and a dumbass - why would he go meet someone he suspects is a kidnapper?), Ellen and the secondary characters are bland and one-dimensional, and don't even get me started on Layla.

    . The middle dragged as I was forced to ponder what exactly I was supposed to be caring about - are we supposed to be afraid of Layla? Are we supposed to care about the romantic relationships and who Finn will choose?

    In general, I prefer more carefully-crafted plots with more complex characters than Paris offers up here, but I can definitely enjoy pulpy, nasty thrillers like her

    . Unfortunately, though, I don't think this book was particularly clever OR fast-paced and enjoyable. I guess her first book might have been a one-off for me.

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  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I have mad respect for B.A. Paris; I felt her debut novel

    was a forerunner in the domestic abuse thriller genre and I think the quality of her writing is incredible. Unfortunately, this one was just too over the top for me.

    Like a few other people have mentioned previously, I was gripped and fully invested during "Part One". I did find I had already guessed initially where "Part Two" was going, but wanted to keep an open mind. I didn't find the characters

    I have mad respect for B.A. Paris; I felt her debut novel

    was a forerunner in the domestic abuse thriller genre and I think the quality of her writing is incredible. Unfortunately, this one was just too over the top for me.

    Like a few other people have mentioned previously, I was gripped and fully invested during "Part One". I did find I had already guessed initially where "Part Two" was going, but wanted to keep an open mind. I didn't find the characters particularly likable or well developed; this is a short novel focused on moving the plot along and not particularly on character development, but Paris kept me turning the pages and unable to put the book down.

    It had started going downhill in "Part Two" for me, but where the story really lost me was "Part Three". The twist is simultaneously one that has been done before many times in many ways, yet also one that is so far fetched and wackadoodle that there is no way it could be remotely plausible. This may be due to the fact that I've read so many thrillers; someone who is newer to the genre and a little less jaded will likely take to the twist much more graciously than I was able to.

    In short, the pages were easy to turn, but in the end I can't say that I enjoyed this one. I'm still on board the author's fan train and will eagerly await her next novel. <3

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