Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Hello Kittens! Today I present for your reading pleasure, a novel of psychological suspense that is going to have you hooked until the last page. It came out a few days ago on the 19th (which was a big pub date for a lot of titles that I’ve read recently). This one kept me engaged for two days of very enjoyable suspense. I am a big fan of this genre, and I especially love to find a new author. I am going to be adding B.A. Paris to my automatic TBR list from now on. Without further ado!

Title: Bring Me BackBring Me Back

Author: B.A. Paris

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 9781250151339

Pub Date: 06/19/18

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Buy the Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble

What an amazing psychological suspense novel! I think readers of this genre are going to love this one, but it is going to have a broader appeal because it lacks some of the gore and graphic detail that many titles have been trending towards in the last few years.

Bring Me Back is the story of Layla and Finn…and also of Ellen and Finn. A short time into their intense relationship, Finn and Layla go on vacation together and on their way back Layla disappears without a trace. Finn has trouble getting the police not to suspect him or murdering Layla, but once he convinces them, he spends years wondering about what happened to Layla, often envisioning the worst and blaming himself.

But then, almost a decade later, he meets Ellen, Layla’s older sister, at a memorial service to mark the anniversary of Layla’s disappearance. Ellen is extremely different from Layla, and their relationship progresses at a slower pace, but they are soon engaged. As they overcome the gossip of people who think their engagement is improper, Finn and Ellen began finding items that remind them of Layla. It seems Layla may be back, and neither of them knows how to feel about it. Neither of them can figure out why Layla won’t come out in the open so they can all deal with this, and the story takes a sinister turn when Layla’s symbols and messages start to turn against Ellen. It’s possible the town gossips aren’t the only ones who don’t approve of this wedding. But what does Layla really want from Finn and Ellen? Where has she been all this time? And what will answering those questions cost them all?

This was a fast-paced story, rich in details that had me hooked from the first few chapters. At 304 pages, this is a quick read that I got through in less than two days. While I thought I had the major plot twist figured out about halfway through the story (and I did), I was still dying to get through the rest of the story to find out how all of the threads came together. This is some of the best psychological suspense that I have read in a while. I had never heard of B.A. Paris before this, but I will definitely be going back to read her earlier novels, Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. There’s just enough violence, with a little gaslighting mixed in to make you question Finn’s sanity and Layla’s, with multiple perspectives extremely well-represented.

Disclaimer: I received access to an e-galley of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: This genre isn’t for everyone, but there’s not really any gore and no swearing (at least none that I remember) so I give it:

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon4 glasses of lemonade= a book you could recommend to a book group or anybody who reads.  You might find controversial subject matter, but it is handled delicately.

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Title: After Anna

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 9781250099655

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

 

Scottoline’s latest novel opens with the trial of Dr. Noah Alderman, who is being charged with first degree murder.  The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Dr. Alderman and his wife, Maggie.  Noah’s version starts from the end of the trial, working backwards while Maggie’s version starts several months before and moves forward.  Their stories feel like they are literally hurtling towards each other as the reader starts to tease out what has happened to their lives and their marriage.  The story starts out as a courtroom thriller, but once the trial is over the plot increases dramatically in pace, reaching that “must-finish” level that will have many readers staying up past bedtime.

The heart of this story is made up of Maggie’s reunion with the daughter who was taken from her as an infant.  Maggie, struggling from a severe case of postpartum psychosis, loses custody of her child to her ex-husband.  While she has built a happy life with Noah and her stepson, Caleb, she has never stopped wondering about her daughter, sending letters and gifts, even doing a little cyber-stalking to get a glimpse of what her life has become.  So when Anna, the daughter she lost, is suddenly back in her life, Maggie looks forward to finally having it all, but disaster is waiting to strike.

The story moves at a quick pace and readers who think they see every twist and turn coming will be surprised.  Scottoline throws several curve balls into the last few chapters.  This book is for any reader who is tired of figuring out their whodunnits half-way through the book.  The most significant criticism I can offer for this book is that it wraps up too quickly.  As a frequent reader of mysteries and thrillers, I enjoy the tying up of loose ends at the end of the story, and I felt a little cheated of that experience here.  I appreciated the complexity of the story, but I would have loved to have delved deeper into the issues that were presented in the final chapters.

As a Scottoline fan, I felt After Anna lacked the complexity of One Perfect Lie, but is still not to be missed.

My rating:

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon4 glasses of lemonade= a book you could recommend to a book group or anybody who reads.  You might find controversial subject matter, but it is handled delicately.

There are a few scenes of a sexual nature, but they tie in well with the nature of the villain in this story and don’t cross any significant lines.  Foul language is minimal to non-existent.

I got access to this title for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Available for pre-order/purchase from Amazon.