When you're having a bit of a binge on mystery/ thriller books, it doesn't really matter, right? The plot can be iffy, the characters not so great, there can be lots of suspension of belief, and as long as there is figuring out to do, you'll keep reading until the end.
And in this case, more so because B.A. Paris's previous novels - Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown were actually quite good.
In this one, Finn and Layla, madly in love, holiday in France and stop at a restroom/gas station. Layla disappears and is not seen for years. It's 12 years on, when Finn is planning to remarry, and the little Russian dolls start arriving. Which is a Layla trademark, and definitely a message, and some sort of ominous warning.
I can't work out whether it was the characters - I'm usually quite forgiving, and like most characters - even the villains, or the plot, but this was just too much for me to swallow. Finn was so stupid at times, Ellen, just pathetic, and the hurried reveal-all ending felt too contrived and rushed and unreal.
It's like an all-day hike. That first niggle - hmm, not sure about that, coincides with the first time you need to stop and take a breath; the second - you pause for longer, and wonder - is this up to standard? by the time you've been climbing a while, you feel like you could take a break the rest of the day and it wouldn't be enough. I so nearly gave up. But the pace of the book was good, and I'm just sorry that there wasn't a view at the end that made up for persevering through all the questions.