Bring Me Back
By B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
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?
I love a good mystery and thriller. The quick pace and twisty events are often the perfect recipe to break up oncoming reading slumps and liven up my TBR. For that reason, I try to always incorporate them into my current reading piles periodically. This was my first encounter with BA Paris, so I admittedly had no specific expectations when I began Bring Me Back, but being the honest reviewer I am, I am sure they were higher than what I ultimately received.
Mysteries are meant to be just that. They are best left to be explored by the reader. For that reason and the amount of predictability I encountered with this particular story, I am opting to skip my usual recap and leaving you simply with the blurb.
“That was the statement I gave to the police, sitting in the police station somewhere off the A1 in France. It was the truth. But not quite the whole truth.”
What I appreciated..
- This was a case of an unreliable narrator. Or is it? We simply do not know and it works well to initially heighten the mystery of Bring Me Back.
- An alternating timeline delivers a story that unfolds at a rather quick pace in easy to digest chunks that I appreciated.
- BA Paris clearly has a knack with the pen, creating a fluid and inviting read if only just for how effortless it is.
Challenges some may encounter..
- I would be lying to state that there was not a large amount of predictability within the plot. I had the majority of it pegged by page 75, which was too soon for myself.
- It was difficult to establish a connection with the narrator and characters, as emotion is not conveyed very well on the page.
- The abrupt change of story at the half-way point felt clunky and really failed to add any value to my experience.
- The final conclusion was highly improbable and demanded a lot from the reader in terms of surrendering all belief. While I will not expand on this for the obvious reasons, I was not able to overlook the multitude of holes and issues here.
In the end, Bring Me Back was an initially appealing and fast-paced read that while maybe not entirely plausible still entertaining. However, I struggled with the predictability and lack of complexity. I still believe that fans of the author and those seeking a lighter read will find easy enjoyment within this one.
*I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press for this advanced copy. The quote included above are from the advanced copy and subject to change. This review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.
Pairs well with a nice large blanket a cup of Earl Grey.
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