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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.8 out of 5
5 Stars
35 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
30 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
35 reviews have 3 stars
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8 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
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All Book Reviews

  • Unsettling in the best possible way!!!

    Does anyone put the “psychology” into psychological thriller quite as well as B. A. Paris??? Paris really has a way with messed up characters and disturbing situations. This book is a mind game from the first chapter right through the very last page. I finished this book two days ago and the story is haunting me! What a great read! As happens with Paris, early reviews are largely positive, with a mix of “did-not-finish”. Most of those seem to struggle connecting with the characters. I urge readers to give this book time! You don’t always have to like all of the characters to enjoy the ride. And I think some characters will ultimately surprise you—all are not telling the full story right away, which made the development points for each character so compelling. This is a book that grows in suspense and makes you uneasy, right along with the characters. 12 years ago Finn is living the Bachelor life in London when he meets Layla. Instantly, Finn forgets his current girlfriend and develops strong feelings for the enigmatic Layla. A year into their relationship Finn and his Layla are on their way home from a vacation in France, when they pull over so Finn can use the restroom. He is gone only a few minutes, and when he returns Layla’s door is open and she is missing. Finn looks everywhere but Layla is gone… Now Finn has moved away from his cottage with Layla to a new home in Simonsbridge. After a long grieving period, Finn moved on to other relationships before falling for Ellen, whom he has just gotten engaged to. But Ellen isn’t just any woman, she’s Layla’s older sister. Ignoring the gossip from those who remember the story of Layla’s disappearance, Finn and Ellen have created a wonderful, happy life together. Until one day Ellen find a small token on the wall outside their house… The token is innocuous to all but Ellen and Finn. You see, there is only one person outside of themselves who could possibly know the meaning of this token…Layla. But how can that be? Is it possible Layla is still alive? The premise of the story was enough to make me read this book, but I also have to say that Finn’s struggle to comprehend the meaning of the events is what kept me hooked. I wouldn’t say I particularly connected with Finn, but I did feel so much empathy for him. Finn in a way is his own worst enemy. He is such a passionate person, and so was Layla. This is what drew them together. Ellen is Layla’s opposite in so many ways, and yet she is good for Finn, if only he will let her be. But you can see his struggle to truly forget the past. The love of Finn and Layla was entirely different from the love Finn shares with Ellen. Sometimes I wanted to shake him and say “why can’t you let yourself be happy?!?!?” But of course, you can’t. One thing that was particularly engaging about the storyline was the lack of closure. As much as Finn wants to convince himself that Layla is likely dead, her disappearance and lack of finality leaves that small part in his brain that makes him wonder if it is possible she did survive somehow. That lack of closure would drive anyone mad, particularly when the token shows up. Finn’s heart is fighting with his mind. He knows the likelihood that Layla is still alive but hasn’t made contact with anyone for 12 years is nearly impossible, and yet he wants it to be true. The story is somewhat slow, but steady. It is never stagnant. This was one that I looked forward to diving back into each time I had to put it down. I’m so thrilled that B. A. Paris has continued to write such compelling novels, and I look forward to her next one! My sincerest gratitude to St. Martin’s Press and B. A. Paris for providing me an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Female

    Not bad to start with. Wuite well written but it is let down by the ridiculous ending

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Just okay for me

    Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and B.A. Paris for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was very lucky to snag an advanced copy of this book. It was in high demand and not everyone who wanted one got one. So I was super excited to read this. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I really am never that lucky. This might have amped up my expectation for an outstanding read. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the book. But I don’t think it lived up to all of the hype. Meet Finn. Ten years ago, the love of his life, Layla, disappeared. They were returning from a romantic getaway in France, when Finn stops at a highway rest stop to use the facilities. When he returns from the bathroom, Layla is gone. All her belonging, purse, money and phone are in the car. It’s as if she vanished into thin air. Was she taken? There was another car there that night and Finn saw a man walking back to his car. The police searched but never found any clues. The paper covered the story but no one ever called with information. There were never any ransom demands. It was obvious to Finn that everyone around him suspected that he killed her, even the police, but no one could prove it because he didn’t do it. He would never hurt Layla. Except that maybe he did. Finn knew he was capable of violence. And, I mean, he did lie to the police. In the present day Finn has finally moved on, is happy and engaged to Ellen. Ellen helped him get over the loss of Layla. Oh, and Ellen happens to be Layla’s sister. But that’s what made it so easy. They shared a love of Layla. Ellen understood how much the loss meant to Finn because she felt it too. But now, someone is playing games with him, pretending to be Layla. After all this time, could it be her? What happened? Is she even alive? Is this the person who hurt her? And if it is her, why did she stay away all this time? Why is she reaching out now? This book was just okay for me. To be honest, I expected more. I wanted to feel the suspense and I just didn’t. I figured out the ending pretty quickly so it didn’t come as a big shock. It sort of spoiled it. But I have read other novels where I have figured out the ending, but I still really enjoyed the process of getting there. I didn’t enjoy it as much with this novel. I was happy to read on, but I didn’t have the emotional connection to the characters to care what happened to them. I am not fond of the style where the characters have all the information at the beginning of the story and you just have to wait until they (or the author) decide to share it with you. I hope I am explaining this properly. There is no mystery, per se. When I read this genre I want to feel like I am driving down a beautiful coastal highway that is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and gorgeous scenery that distracts you, you don’t know where to look and you don’t know what is coming up ahead. I don’t mind being led down the garden path but there has to be a pay off at the end. I almost resent it when it is just information that is being withheld until it isn’t. That is the big twist. I’m just not a fan unless the story is so compelling it makes up for the lack of being clever. But I digress, not fair to go on a rant on this one particular book. So not a bad read, just not as amazing as I had hoped. I still give it 3 stars. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about the ending. Did you see it coming? Was it believable? Let me know in the comment section!

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • OK - Not great

    Good start but the story line kept repeating itself - went nowhere. Her other books were way better.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Not her best

    Not as intriguing as her other books- I felt this was not as cleverly written as the breakdown

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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