Bring Me Back: B.A. Paris
Within his mind Finn relates his thoughts and version of what happened to Layla before and after she vanished. Going to a gas block and then to the toilet block to relieve him, Layla decided to remain in the car. So, where was she when he came out? Was she kidnapped, did she wanted aimlessly away or did the person in the other vehicle take her? Who is Layla and what is her real role in this novel as yet to be revealed in both the present and the past as the author takes us back in time to allow readers to catch a glimpse of Layla and her tenuous on and off relationship with Finn. Realty vs. falseness/delusion/ or the world or state of things as they actually exist as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. As you read this novel and hear Finn’s voice as he gives you the account of events from the past and the present you begin to wonder just where Layla wound up, what really happened that night at the toilet block and what caused her to disappear or did she? Their relationship had many layers and from the moment he met her when she was a bit disoriented and lost he took her under his power or wing wanting to control her every thought and movement. Having her move in with him and Harry, his partner at work and roommate was just the start but when she decided to move out and he had no contact with her for two months he becomes over anxious, distraught and you can feel the tension and anger well up within in. Betrayals and deceptions and Layla whose voice you won’t hear until the author allows you to learn the hidden truths that might never be uncovered.
Within the present someone is leaving clues for Finn causing him to think Layla is alive and that someone has seen her including his new love, Ellen her sister. Is she going to marry her because he loves her or because she reminds him of Layla in some way? Who is leaving the Russian Dolls that are so a part of Layla’s life? Who is sending him emails and why does he go after so many thinking they are from people that live in the town where he now resides? What about the cottage that he never sold? Who leads him directly there letting him think they have Layla or is it Layla herself?
When Finn shares with us the harsh reality of what happened that night when she disappeared you will wonder just what part he played in her disappearance and why we get to realize that he has a highly explosive personality and all those that he claims he loves he wants to possess.
Going to St. Mary’s hoping to find her, then to the cottage in Devon both Layla and Finn express their reasons as we learn about the Russian Dolls and why so many would be placed where he can find them.
Going to the cottage Layla realizes or thinks that Finn did not keep it up but yet the garden is pristine thanks to a man named Thomas. But, what psychological haunts will she spring on him and how far will he go to realize whether she is trying to come back to his life or is there something else? Hints are all around and yet you wonder just how she really feels about her sister taking her place with the man who claimed he only wanted her. Things do spiral out of control as Finn finds his way to the Jackdaw and talking with Ruby who seems to have her own take on what might have happened as he is trying to rationalize what is real from what might be fiction. The dolls were one clue, the emails another and the many places that he goes to in order to search for her. Tony the detective in town and friend could have centered him but Finn wanted to do it all alone and even shut Ellen out at times. Finn was even questioned in her disappearance and cleared when at the rest stop in France on holiday. Exeter police detective Tony Heddon is the reason why he sets off on a quest to find Layla claiming that someone called him and said that sighted her outside their old cottage on Devon, which is one reason that takes him there. Then the next one arrives at Ellen’s home, which is the Russian doll on the sidewalk in front, their home. The dolls are the major draw and they are similar to the one found at the place where she disappeared. These flashbacks and other sightings set him off on this quest to find her.
Credibility is at the heart of this novel as we have to decide what is real, what is the author, Finn or Layla hoping that we will believe as part 2 allows us inside the mind of Layla and explains the rationale for what she is doing to Finn but why? Does she want him to find her? Does she only want to taunt him? What is the real reason? What about what really happened that night between them?
Layla vs. Finn each voice heard expressing different takes on the events that happen. One demanding that the other rid themselves of Ellen and giving a countdown of days in order to satisfy her whim or will to overtake Finn and have him choose which one he wanted. Then, something happens when he goes to the location Layla sends him to and he realizes it’s just another piece in a broken jigsaw puzzle and wonders if he should call Harry or Tony and ask for help. Engaged to Ellen and never to Layla things take on a different turn as the author sets the stage for Part 3 of this novel where the unexpected will happen and the light might shine on the truth but you won’t believe how and on who!
The Russian Dolls, the emails, the threats against Ellen, the demands, the sightings, the misdirection and then a finale you just won’t believe. A message on Ellen’s computer will enlighten Finn but what he does will change the dynamics of it all.
Going back to his job as an investment manager and hoping to strike it with some more clients little does he realize the gas lighting being done to him right in front of his eyes. Lying and creating his own sense of truth while dealing with so called clients and hoping that Ellen will see it his way, what happens when she disappears? What happens when he thinks Layla might have taken her?
Steering him to St. Mary’s and then to Simonbridge where he created his own financial empire you might say and was successful and his finances set for life, the world will shatter and the ceiling will fall down as author B.A. Paris creates an ending so unexpected, so diabolical and so tragic you won’t see it coming. An outer force is controlling someone and causing that person to commit acts that might not have happened but was caused by the person’s past. How can you escape the horrors of you past after watching something that will remain imbedded in your mind forever?
When the final scene is shown and the players are all there just what you will learn will be the end result of hoping that Finn will someday do what Layla wanted that is as she hoped he would: BRING ME BACK!
Characters that are unique and two sisters that are so different yet in some ways the same. One man who wanted them both and fought within himself before a harsh reality set in. Ellen vs Layla: Who wins? Did anyone? You don’t want to pass this one up! A psychological thriller with a mind-altering twist. BRING ME BACK will take you to places within your mind and that of the characters that you have never explored before.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine/MJ network