Bring Me Back – B. A. Paris

Many thanks to NetGalley for forwarding an ARC in exchange of an honest review

Genre : Thriller

Book Cover : *****

Rating : ***1/2

‘Bring me back’ caught my attention first because of that vibrant cover. It was surprisingly eye-catching for a non-fantasy book and very appealing with the splashes of yellow and black and purple. It is only when one looks more closely that it becomes evident that the yellow is part of a broken down wall covering up what appears to be a deep, dark hole behind it. Yes, suitably chilling for a thriller and subtly done one must admit.

The story is about a man who lost his fiancee many years ago. By lost, I mean literally lost. One minute she is there and the next poof. And then, he moves in with her sister! Talk about suspicious. (On a side note – In the Indian context, marrying a widow/widower to her/his dead spouse’s sibling is not a big deal, especially when there are children from the marriage in the hopes that the aunt/uncle would be kinder than a stranger. After all they are not related by blood, are they? However, this seems to be somewhat of a taboo for the firangs.)

The story is enticing and engrossing enough with the premise that the author has set, but when topped off with the fact that she manages to keep the reader guessing for most of the book it begins rising sharply in the thriller enthusiast’s estimation. For avid thriller readers, the killer/mystery outcome should become apparent when there is still about 1/4th of the book to go, which is pretty good according to me. Towards the latter half of the middle, it does begin to drag a little and one wishes that the author would have skipped a few laborious descriptions painted in to create a general feeling of suspense. There are also a couple of red herrings thrown in, that thoroughly muddied the detecting waters for this reader at least, and were a frustratingly nice touch. The characters are etched out to almost perfection that is to say, the main protagonist is such a bechara person that one is left wondering whether to slap him silly or to commiserate with him.

However, it behooves me to say that this book reminds me a bit about the ‘ Woman in the window’ with the kind of atmospherics that both authors have managed to achieve, and which I did not like at all. This book seemed eons better than the other one in terms of execution of the storyline. Being a bit of a drag here and there is allowed but getting bombarded by page after page of psycho-babble becomes too much to take. This book takes time to settle into your conscious and make you wonder about the propensity of humans to take wrong decisions at the most crucial points of their lives.

A lot of people are complaining for the ‘soap opera’ plot of the book, but as Indians we manage to digest that kind of literature pretty well. After all, we had the longest running soap opera in the country where the main male protagonist underwent plastic surgery no less than 3 times to accommodate new actors for the same role!!

Also, for some reason this book had a Clark Kent vibe to it. Why? Well, that cannot be divulged without giving out spoilers so you will just have to read it to find out.

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