Review: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris 
Release Date: June 19, 2018 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Genre: Adult, Thriller/Suspense 
Source: ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
Amazon | BN | Indiebound 
She went missing. He moved on. A whole world of secrets remained―until now.

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 engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla―hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive―and on Finn’s trail―what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.


As soon as I read the synopsis for Bring Me Back, I added it to my TBR pile. "Secret messages, clues, warnings" is what reeled me, and I couldn't wait to see how everything would unfold - was Layla truly alive? 

The result? Bring Me Back was unfortunately a mixed bag. On the bright side, it was an easy to read, and the storyline was interesting enough to keep me hooked. On the negative side, however, there were several aspects of Bring Me Back that brought my enjoyment down considerably. 

Bring Me Back starts off strong. It opens several years prior with Finn being interviewed by the police in regards to his girlfriend's disappearance. Finn claims innocence, but there's a doubt hanging in the air, a feeling of suspicion that can't be fully eradicated. At this point, I was hooked. I liked the mysterious feel to his story. Layla seemingly disappeared into thin air at a dark, desolate rest area, and I could tell there was more to the story. Was Finn completely involved? I didn't know for sure, but I knew for certain that there was more to the disappearance that he was unwilling to share. After that, the book quickly jumps to current times. Finn has moved on from that day. He's ended up in a relationship with Layla's sister of all people, and he's just proposed to her. That's when the the creepy things start happening, and to say I was hooked would be an understatement. I was on the edge of my seat, dying to know what would happen next. I loved the eeriness, and how B.A. captured the scene in such an attention-grabbing way

Unfortunately, as Bring Me Back continued, it slowly began to loose its mojo for a variety of reasons. For one, the pacing slowed down considerably. For such an exciting start, I couldn't believe how tiresome the story soon became. I didn't like how such a big piece of the mystery was revealed in the beginning, because (1) it cut down on the suspense and (2) it made the book proceed to go in circles, in my opinion. Finn's constant struggling with telling or not telling grew old fast. I couldn't understand why he would keep everything to himself, and I also couldn't believe who he choose to finally tell, especially considering what he previously thought about that person. The back-and-forth between Finn and the person assumed to be Layla also grew to be repetitive. I felt that they kept having the same conversation over and over again with the same arguments, the same threats, but no action. I wanted more excitement. To be more specific, I wanted the excitement from the start to come back. 

It also didn't help that I couldn't bring myself to care about Finn. Honestly, I thought he was a horrible man. He was incredibly selfish, and this selfishness often brought danger to the ones he supposedly loved. I also didn't find his relationship with Ellen to be all that interesting. For the most part, I felt bad for the women. He obviously was only with her because of who her sister was, and in some ways, she realized that but then proceeded to make excuses for him. It just wasn't likable...I also felt that the secondary characters were undeveloped. Very little was known about the cop and Finn's best friend, for example, and they only appeared when Finn needed help... 

The part, however, that disappointed me the most was the big twist at the end. I had this feeling that it was going to turn like that from the beginning, and I was really hoping it wouldn't be the case. I felt as if it was the cheap way out in some respects. It also didn't help that I found it so completely unbelievable...Yes, I know it's supposed to be fiction, but for everyone not realize this *BIG* thing? It didn't make any sense! And I'm still annoyed to think about it now. I wish I could go more into this, but I don't want to spoil the book for anyone. 

Overall, I'm torn on Bring Me Back. If it would've kept up the pace and intrigue it possessed in the beginning, I would've loved it. It probably would've been a 4-star book. However, given the lack of development and the unbelievable twist, I can't truly say I liked it. Was it an easy read? Yes. Was it hard to finish? Not really. But did it completely infuriate me by the end? Sadly yes. 

As always, this is just my opinion. Others have loved this book, and honestly, I can see people enjoying this, especially as a summer read. 
2 stars!! 


  1. I recently reviewed this book and just HATED it! I mean, the premise was good, but the writing and characters weren't. And that ending annoyed me, too!
    Great review. Totally agree with all your points.

  2. Too bad! I keep seeing this one around, and the premise is intriguing! It's too bad the execution falters.

  3. I 100% completely TOTALLY agree about the ending! Thank you for saying that -- how the author+publisher thought this was a remotely plausible ending still boggles my mind.


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