When Finn and Ellen announced their engagement in the local paper, they weren't expecting any big celebrations in their honor. The truth is, Finn hadn't been expecting to fall in love with Ellen. He'd been expecting to spend the rest of his life with her sister, Layla. But then Layla disappeared.
Finn and Layla had been driving back from a ski vacation in France, back to the English village where they lived, when Finn had to stop at a rest stop. When he returned to the car, Layla was gone. He looked all over for her, but she was nowhere to be found. The police had no luck either, but they did take a very close look at Finn, wondering if he had done something to cause her disappearance. They never found anything. Nothing to incriminate Finn, no body, no trace of Layla anywhere.
Eventually Finn was able to move on. He decided to set up a bench at one of Layla's favorite places, inviting all their friends for the memorial. Layla's older sister showed up as well. Where Layla was colorful and lived out loud, Ellen is subdued and keeps things to herself. Where Layla was adventurous, leaving their childhood home to find a new life in London, Ellen stayed home to care for their aging father. Where Finn fell into a desperate, crazy love with Layla, he fell into a quiet, comforting love with Ellen.
And now Finn and Ellen are planning on getting married. But someone out there isn't happy about that. A Russian nesting doll shows up on the wall outside their home. That seems innocuous enough, except that Ellen had a set of Russian nesting dolls when they were kids. She still had the set, all except the smallest doll. Layla had kept that with her when she went to London, and she had it in her pocket when she went missing. Finn starts getting alarming emails. And there are sightings of Layla, after all this time.
Finn starts to gets nervous. Who could be behind all this? Finn's ex-girlfriend? Or is his former roommate secretly in love with Ellen? Could they be having an affair? Or is it possible that somehow Layla isn't dead after all? As the emails escalate, as the dolls keep showing up in surprising places, as Finn's imagination spins out of control, he can't help but wonder what it all means for him and for Ellen.
B.A. Paris, author of The Breakdown and Behind Closed Doors, is back with another twisty tale of love and relationships. Bring Me Back is a twisted story, with layers of secrets and half-truths. Just as you start to think you've figured it out, you learn something new that takes you in a new direction. I liked The Breakdown more than I liked Behind Closed Doors, and I liked Bring Me Back more than I liked The Breakdown. What does that mean? It means that B.A. Paris just keeps getting better and better. So now I can't wait to read next year's thriller!
Galleys for Bring Me Back were provided by St. Martin's Press through NetGalley, with many thanks.