There are certain authors I go to that fit my varying reading needs. B.A. Paris has confirmed with this, her third book that she is someone to ensure is on my bookshelf for when I want a psychological thriller that is fast-moving and totally gripping.
Bring Me Back starts twelve years back in time when Finn on the way back from holiday in France with his girlfriend Layla. He stops at a pretty much deserted layby to use the conveniences and by the time he returns to the car she’s disappeared. Finn was questioned over her disappearance but since he had no motive to harm the woman he intended to marry, and no clues left as to where she could have gone, he is allowed to return to the UK to live his life.
And live his life he does. When we catch up with him Finn is about to get married to Ellen, he’s moved away from the home he shared with Layla and although you never forget something that enormous, he has a good job, a nice home and a future to look forward to. And then, the detective that has been looking for Layla says that a woman matching her description has been spotted near their old home. This is put down to the faulty memory of the elderly neighbour who reported it until a sign is left that the past isn’t staying put. Finn begins to worry that everything is going to come tumbling around his ears.
The skill in this type of psychological novel is to instantly immerse you in the story, to wrap you up in the character’s beliefs so that the reader doesn’t have time to wonder why doesn’t X character do Y etc. And B.A. Paris performs this act swiftly and without fuss. Not for this author endless explanations of this disorder or that objection, we are with Finn and his need to keep things under wraps whilst he sets out on his own personal mission.
Now I’ll confess that I did crack one line of the mystery, perhaps because I’d come across something similar, although not the same, in another recent read, but this didn’t hamper my enjoyment or halt my swift turning of the pages in any way whatsoever. This type of psychological thriller isn’t mystery story, it isn’t just how or who but the whole package that is needed to be unwrapped and the aftermath examined in context of the characters. So, even though I solved one piece, I couldn’t know how the ending would play out, and I’m glad to say the final pages were absolutely perfect for the book that had preceded them.
This is perfect holiday reading, cosy weekend reading or in fact something to gee you up when life seems a bit flat. Read it anywhere or at any time and get swept up in a story that will keep you up all night.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers HQ who allowed me to read an advance copy of Bring Me Back ahead of publication on 8 March 2018. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and the talented author B.A. Paris for keeping me thoroughly entertained.