Bring Me Back: Atmospheric thriller, but that ending….

What is this about?: 12 years before the book begins Layla disappears, leaving Finn wondering what happened to her. He’s moved on, falling in love with her sister, Ellen and building a life. But then Layla returns — or does she?

What else is this about?: That’s all there is.


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?

Bring Me Back begins by successfully creating an uncertain atmosphere around Finn — we learn about his life with Ellen, and what actually happened that fateful night 12 years ago.

Finn’s chapters are revealing in what he shares, which constantly kept me on my toes as to what to think about him. That was a compelling part of the story because I found myself thinking about every word, every nuance of his and what it could mean. But that’s the beauty of BA Paris’ writing — she is able to build an atmosphere of uncertainty around Finn as he begins to find Russian dolls, something he knows Layla loved. The dolls and other things start happening which leave him wondering if she’s returned.

Upping the ante, is that Ellen, his new fiance, is beginning to receive Russian dolls as well, and beginning to wonder if Layla is back. That brings up uncertainties between the couple, by all appearances in love before the Russian dolls arrive, and Paris begins to unveil a side to Finn that Ellen doesn’t know. That looms over all their interactions and you almost wonder what if…

… However, the ending happened and undid all the wonderful, tension-filled writing from before. BA Paris is clearly an accomplished author, and she knows how to play with readers’ perceptions — but yeah, not the best introduction to her writing.


  • Jen Mullen says:

    I was disappointed in this one. I really liked The Breakdown, but this one–not so much.

  • Angela says:

    Endings can absolutely make or break a book for me – too bad about the ending for this one!

  • AngelErin says:

    Oo sorry about the ending. I loved Behind Closed Doors by her but I didn’t care for the breakdown. I got an ebook arc for this one so I’m hoping I’ll like it as much as I did Behind Closed Doors. Lol, after reading you’re review I’m very unsure how it will go. It still sounds like this one is mostly good? So we’ll see! ? Fantastic review!

    • Verushka says:

      It had some strong points for sure, but I felt really bummed out with the ending — and confused! I hope you enjoy it though, Erin, I want to see if I missed something about this.

  • With books in this genre endings always leave me disappointed or blow my mind. I feel like there’s no in between.

    • Verushka says:

      For me, it’s the hype that gets me with novels like this — I go into it ready for my mind to be blown, and … nah. Not so much.

  • That sucks that the ending kind of ruined what had sounded like a great read up until then. I have a couple of her books on my TBR that have a lot of great reviews, so I might stick with those instead of trying this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    • Verushka says:

      I hope those others are better than this one — and from the strong reviews they’ve been getting they seem to be — this one just feels like there’s a huge chunk missing that would make the ending make sense.

  • Kelly says:

    Damn, that sounded completely riveting, until that ending. It’s hard to invest so much in a book only to walk away left feeling a bit disappointing. I’m curious to whether his wife has returned or it’s someone close to his wife who knew about her love for the Russian dolls. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this one a little more Verushka but wonderful review nonetheless <3 <3

    • Verushka says:

      Oh honey, I wish it was as simple as that. Those might be well-used tropes, but they make sense, unlike this one. I wish I had enjoyed this more Kelly — everything leading up to it had me on edge for how it all comes together.

  • Daniela Ark says:

    creating an atmospheric tone thought a story is one of the abilities I admire most in authors! Too bad the ending messed it all up! 🙁

  • Greg says:

    Sounds creepy, and I mostly enjoyed the BA Paris book I read, but bummer about that ending…

  • Greg says:

    I do want to read this, I liked the other BA Paris book I tried, but not sure about that ending… 🙂

  • Angela Newey says:

    Put me out of my misery. I gave up on the Audiobook because I hated the narrator and if I heard the words “Russian Dolls” once more I may have head butted the floor in frustration. What was the twist? I assumed that Ellen had decided to take on Layla’s persona just has Layla had taken on her mum’s persona but I have no idea really where it was going.

    • Verushka says:

      You’re not wrong — except Ellen *is* Layla. Don’t get me started on the implausibility of that given Finn has “loved” them both.

  • Angela Newey says:

    So Ellen doesn’t exist other than in Layla’s imagination? Finn sounds a little bit thick. God I hated it. Awful awful. Such a shame as Behind Closed Doors is such an amazing book. The Breakdown, not so much but still not bad. This though… what the hell?

  • Nicole says:

    Thanks for this review! I’m currently halfway through the book and I’m just not feeling it. I keep hoping it gets better, but from what I’ve seen online, I think the ending is just going to frustrate me more. Ugh.

  • Lynn Reebe says:

    How could Finn not know Ellen was really Layla? He slept with her and kissed her. Each person has a unique scent and definite mannerisms characteristic of them. The ending completely confused me! The girls’ father had anger issues like Finn. I wondered if Finn was in prison for life.i thought for a while that Layla was alive and had a very disturbed persona.

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