A young British couple are in France on a vacation. When they stop for gas, Finn goes in to pay and Layla stays in the car. When he returns, her car door is ajar and she is not inside. Layla vanishes without a trace.
Ten years later, Finn has put the past behind him and is engaged to Ellen. When he comes home from work to find his fiancée sitting on the sofa with an object in her hand, he quickly realizes something is amiss. This object would mean nothing to most people, but Finn and Ellen know what it is—it is a Russian doll that belonged to Ellen when she was a child. Only three people know about the Russian dolls: Ellen, Layla, and Finn.
As more questions surface, fractures form in their relationship. Has Layla returned? And why after all this time?
Paris' debut Behind Closed Doors was great and I loved The Breakdown. Unfortunately, after reading this, I was left both wanting and expecting more. Make no mistake, it was definitely a page-turner, and did ultimately hold my interest but there was nothing new and just simply felt old hat.
The alternating perspectives between past and present worked well. I was hooked from the beginning which I found was the best part of the book. The middle slowed and I was left struggling to connect with Finn and wasn't vested in his relationships. At first the Russian dolls were interesting, and then I just found the whole thing incredibly repetitive. And then the ending... Well, if you can suspend your disbelief, than you will love this book.
I'm hopeful that this is a one-off since her other books were so good. This one was simply not as clever or developed.