I spied ‘Bring Me Back’ on a family member’s worktop one day and decided it looked like something I should give a go – and I wasn’t wrong to try!
‘Bring Me Back’ is the story of Finn, whose girlfriend Layla went missing twelve years ago, only to be haunted by her memory just as he’s about to move on. It’s a psychological thriller filled with tension, urging you to read on (frustrating when your lunch hour’s over!).
‘Bring Me Back’ isn’t sophisticated in style or overly-complicated, and that’s a compliment – it’s refreshing not to be led down twenty different alleyways before being told they were all wrong anyway. Instead, Paris masterfully builds suspense, brings it crashing down around you quickly, and then subtly builds more suspense in doing so because you realize everything you were thinking was wrong.
The narrative style is what kept the pace for me; mixing between perspectives and media types made the pulse of this novel beat quicker and quicker until the climactic ending, and was a brilliant choice for such a complex subject, particularly considering the shock revelation at the end.
Finn isn’t a likeable character – we sort of get why Layla might have disappeared from him and sympathise with people like Ruby for their lucky escapes. He’s self-centered, brutish and brilliantly written to confuse us as to whether we think he’s victim or villain. I won’t say much of the other characters to avoid spoilers, but suffice to say that the leading ladies are equally as well-crafted in their respective roles; the characters are central to motivating you to finish this novel and uncover the truth in their desperation and terror.
Overall, I’d thoroughly recommend ‘Bring Me Back’ on any psychological-thriller-lover’s shelf; it delivers pace, tension and a gripping plotline to throw you from chapter to chapter until the bitter end. I’ll definitely be seeking out more of Paris’ work in the New Year!