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?
If you asked me to recommend a solid thriller author I am positive that I would recommend B.A. Paris. While I love reading thrillers I am also incredibly critical of them when it comes to reviewing them and giving them a “rating”. I really cannot say why I am so critical of them. I had a past co-worker who devoured thriller, was always so enthusiastic talking about them and recommending them. I loved discussing them with her. I also really enjoyed when I would read what I deemed a decent thriller and having her tell me she stayed up all night reading it because it was incredible. I found our polar opposite thriller expectations engaging and I still chat with her despite no longer working with her. In fact when she saw my post for Bring Me Back on my Instagram she immediately commented. I am telling you….talking with people who love books just as much as you is food for the bookish soul. I will never tire of it.
It is worth noting that this was surprise book mail. When I opened the package from St. Martin’s Press I was beyond excited. In fact…you may have heard my squeals of excitement. I immediately did the happy dance. I went outside to show my husband the book. He was not as excited as me as he thinks I get a lot of book mail so what’s the big deal about getting another. I do not think I get a lot of book mail and hello….I just got a highly anticipated Summer thriller release and got it before most people. Do you not see how awesome and exciting that is? If I ever cease to feel that excitement lock me up and throw away the key.
Last year I binged listened to B.A. Paris’s debut thriller Behind Closed Doors. It was an ideal audio book and I could not pull myself away. If I remember correctly it got me through an insanely tedious work task so many thanks B.A. Paris. Once I finished Behind Closed Doors I picked up her follow up The Breakdown. While it did not resonate with me as much as Behind Closed Doors I still read it quickly and could not wait to discover where Paris was going. Bring Me Back brought me back to the sanctification I experienced in reading Behind Closed Doors. When I was seventy-five pages into it I commented on Goodreads “where the heck are you going with this B.A. Paris?”.
The “what the heck” element of Paris’s writing is what has kept me coming back to her work. The primary issue that I have with a majority of thrillers out in the bookish world is the predictability of the plot. Sometimes, just from opening chapters, I will have mostly worked out what is going to happen. A key characteristic of thrillers (in my opinion) is the formula they always follow. Paris follows that but what sets her apart and makes me favor her work over others is there is always something extra. The key point of the plot is easily determined however there is an added psychological element that adds to intensity and excitement of the story. It is something that makes you doubt whether you have really worked out the ending. It makes you question if you are right to not trust a character. It makes you wonder where on earth the story is going. It makes reading her novels worth my time. The something extra added to the story makes all the difference.
One thriller writer that B.A. Paris seems to contend with (in my opinion) is Ruth Ware. Both are British. Both have similar accomplishments. However Ruth Ware seems to have more popularity. I have read both and will forever choose to champion Paris over Ware. To be frank. I will no longer read anymore novels from Ruth Ware. They are always the biggest disappointment. They start off with so much promise and just fall completely flat. The endings are sure to disappointment me. I read her first three books and decided that the three strikes and you are out rule is going to apply. She has just released her newest. It is different from her other thrillers in that it is described as taking on a Gothic vibe. Am I curious? Yes but I am sticking to my guns. There are too many other options out there!
If you haven’t already read B.A. Paris I hope that you decide to after reading this. As a bookish person who is incredibly selective about the thrillers she reads I hope that I can help you navigate all that is flooding the market right now.
A big thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an early copy in exchange for an honest review!
Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris comes out June 19th.