Have you ever read a book where you think "It was okay. I liked it." and then find yourself thinking about it and then realize that you enjoyed it much more than you initially thought? I had that experience with this book. Upon reading it, I kept thinking about it and the plot and realized that B.A. Paris pulled her plot twist off in a clever way. I also realized that there was a clue or two thrown in and although I read the words, I missed it but then had my "AHA!" moment a couple of hours after finishing the book. This is also a book, I thought I had figured it out, and was wrong. I love when this happens. I really enjoy when an Author surprises me.
A young Couple, Finn and Layla are traveling through France when they pull over and Finn goes into the restroom. When he comes back to the car, his girlfriend/fiancé is missing. An investigation ensues but Layla is never found. She has completely vanished. Her belongings are still in the car but there is no sign of her. She is never seen or heard from again. What happened to her? Finn is devastated and isolates for a long time.
Finn, is finally ready to move on with his life and has found love again - with Layla's sister, Ellen. Drawn together in their grief, they form a relationship which becomes romantic. Now, they are engaged to be married and everything seems to be going great. Then one day, Ellen finds a missing Russian doll which she lost when she was a child. Only three people know about the Russian Dolls: Ellen, Finn and Layla.
Then Finn also begins to find more Russian dolls and receives messages from an unknown person who later reveals herself as Layla.
Welcome to Finn's nightmare. Is Layla still alive? Is someone toying with him? Why get in touch now? What do the messages and dolls signify? Finn suspects anyone and everyone. Who wouldn't be freaked out.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave!
This book moves at a very nice pace and for me was a fast read. The mystery of what really happened the night Layla went missing and who is leaving behind the dolls and sending email messages really drive the story.
So why not a higher rating? I still felt there were some unanswered questions and the need to suspend some disbelief. I also felt the ending was a little rushed. But overall an enjoyable suspense/thriller/mystery.