Ten years on from the disappearance of his young girlfriend Layla, Finn has well and truly taken charge of his own destiny. Engaged to be married to a wonderful woman, Finn has worked hard and built up enough cash reserves to be able to work from home, support his dog and live the quiet life in an English village. Life for Finn is extremely good. How quickly things can change.
As we’ve discovered with the two previous monster hits from this author (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and THE BREAKDOWN ), Paris knows how to keep us in the seat and our eyes glued to the page. BRING ME BACK sets its own pace of creeping suspicion, denial, a good re-think, then circling back to rampant suspicion. Having a less than snowy white protagonist is all to the good and it works here that Finn is more everyday narky than a noble wounded survivor of tragedy. There’s more invested in BRING ME BACK than just the possibility of happy ever after for Finn. He has to work to get to that point, unravel and then re-form.
You may however be thinking as you read this book that “whoa, this man is extraordinarily dumb” and it is this colossal realization that takes away from what is otherwise a very readable work of crime fiction. It is so mind bogglingly obvious what is going on, so early on, that you start to question the sanity of the protagonist. Given, our Finn comes across as a bit vain and self-absorbed, but seriously. This is one person not coming across as that bright for someone who is supposed to be a gun financial analyst. His friends aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed either. A small cast, a small setting, few choices in suspects as to the who and why narrows your focus and this will rachet up the tension for the reader who will pile it onto every character encountered.
BRING ME BACK is a fast and enjoyable beach read that will carry you through to a change of shift with the lifeguards. Definitely a one trick pony though. Once that pony ponied up, that was all you could see and the rest of the book was reading on in hope that your insight to the obvious was not all there was going to be.
Bring on B.A. Paris, book number four!
BOOK REVIEW - THE BREAKDOWN, B.A.PARIS
As a woman driving alone on a country road at night, Cass isn’t that inclined to get out of her car when she passes what appears to be a motorist with engine trouble. It’s pouring buckets, and Cass’s cottage is not far away. Finding out the next day that a woman was murdered is a huge shock, more so when the driver is identified and Cass realizes that she knew the victim.
There is only a small cast in THE BREAKDOWN so our suspicious eyes are trained on characters that don’t have anywhere to hide; they are all close to Cass’s life and are becoming increasingly aware that her life is in disarray. Cass becomes more hemmed in by her memory glitches and is desperate to regain control of a life that is being puppet mastered by someone who must be close to her. THE BREAKDOWN is a very suspenseful read, tempered with periods of time where you alternately feel desperately sorry for Cass in her struggles, or frustrated with her as she seems to be going around in circles.
Like this author’s first sleeper hit, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, THE BREAKDOWN very much narrows the focus to one female character who is struggling without support and is the only one who can save herself. The everywoman leads are frighteningly relatable; we all know someone like them, or have experienced something similar. Compulsive, entertaining and tense reading from an author to watch.