A young British couple are driving through France on vacation when they stop at a service station. He runs in to use the restroom, 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 of his life now. Until he comes home from work one day and finds his new fiancée sitting on their sofa 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-to-be is the sister of his missing first love.
As more and more questions are raised, their relationship 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?
Finn! I don’t get what it is about Finn. I love him and hate him in equal measure which makes for the perfect protagonist. His quest to discover the truth brings in characters from his past; his ex-Ruby and his friend Harry. Both of whom are well rounded, if not a little stupid for giving Finn the time of day.
Ellen is the strangest character of all, and I spent the whole book trying to figure her out. She’s bordering on a Stepford-wife. I find myself itching to get inside her head to find out why she is with her sister’s boyfriend.
The plot grips you from the very first page and the reader it sent through a rollercoaster of past and present mystery that does not hold back. You can feel Finn’s conflict of emotions as he receives an item that makes him believe his girlfriend who went missing years earlier was back.
I want to tell you just quite amazing how the second half of the book is, but I can’t without giving away some aspects that came as a shock to me. The second half leads to such an amazing reveal that I want my memory wiped so I can read it again.
The narration is atmospheric and all consuming. I was at London Bridge reading one evening. Before I knew it, I was over halfway through the book, missed a ton of notifications on my phone and missed my friend arrive. Not many books have that power over me, and it’s all to do with B A Paris’ writing. It feels like you’re being let in on a confession and that if you break away, even for a second, the person talking to you will falter. A dare anyone picking up this book not to read it in one sitting; I predict it is impossible.