A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.
Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.
As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind? (Goodreads)
You may or may not have seen on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, the publisher of this book promoted it with the hashtag #ForgetSleep. In the case of this book, this tag is more than appropriate for I read and finished this book in less than a day. (I sacrificed my Sunday Morning Long Lie so I could find out what happens).
Bring Me Back is the latest book that has an unreliable protagonist. However, Paris puts her own spin on the genre by clearly stating from the outset that the main character has not told the whole truth about what happened that fateful night.
For about the first third of the book, the book is all about you trying to figure out what actually did happen. There are small nuggets of information given and I began to build a picture of what actually happened. This appeared to be backed up with the way in which Finn, the main character in the book, reacts to some situations. The fact that he appears to be torn when it appears that Layla is still alive and someone is sending threatening letters.
Throughout this book I was never 100% sure if Layla had simply vanished to escape Finn and was now tormenting him since he was going to marry her sister. I then began to think that Layla had died twelve years ago and someone who knew the truth was tormenting him for some other reason. The fact that a Russian doll kept popping up at different times to send some sort of message, reiterated this point.
There were so many twists, turns and red herrings throughout the book. The suspicion fell on all most everyone. With each chapter I finished, I was spurred on to read more. There was nothing else but to find out the truth.
As the book hurtled towards its conclusion, truths began to revealed and there were so many shocking revelations, only to be another red herring, I was left as puzzled as poor Finn. The last couple of chapters really knocked me for six and I will admit I was sort of half right with one of predictions.
Since this book is told through Finn, he is a character who you cannot help but empathise with his position, even if there are a few times where he is less than likeable. Many a time he has struck out at those close to him, especially with his best friend Harry. Finn is not blameless in the book and at times I couldn’t truly say that I hoped that he would be vindicated over some of the things that happened to him. The way in which he acts towards Ellen made me suspect that he was looking for a replacement to Layla. He is so cold and at times cruel towards her. It meant that I felt conflicted.
The ending of the book suited the style of the book. On retrospect, there was no other way in which the book could have ended. When I finished I took a deep breath and felt completely exhausted by it all.
Should my review spur you to pick up this book, I recommend you make sure that you clear your schedule because once you pick this book up, you will find it difficult to put down. This is my first book by this author, but it won’t be the last. It is going to be difficult to find a book that matches this brilliantly complex book.