I was looking for a book that was a little different than what I usually read but that would still scratch my suspense genre itch when I came across Layla by Colleen Hoover. While she generally writes more within the romance genre she stepped into the suspense game in 2020 with Verity and now she is back with Layla which fits firmly into the paranormal suspense genre for me.
Leeds Gabriel is completely transfixed by his girlfriend Layla and they have not been apart since meeting at her sister’s wedding where he played in the band. An unexpected tragedy up-ends their lives, leaving Layla physically damaged and creating a rift in their relationship that Leeds isn’t sure that they can come back from. Desperate to help her and save their relationship he takes them back to the place where it all started, the place where he fell deeply and madly in love with her. But once they arrive, Layla’s behaviour becomes even more erratic and a series of inexplicable events causes Leeds to question his own sanity.
I’m going to leave the description of the story here as I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but if you like stories with spooky, unexplainable events and movies like The Sixth Sense or The Others this may be a good book for you.
Excerpt from Layla by Colleen Hoover
I placed two layers of duct tape over Layla’s mouth before I came downstairs, but I can still hear her muffled screams as the detective takes a seat at the table. He has the kind of old recorder you’d see in a movie from the eighties. It’s about ten inches long and six inches wide with a big red circle on the left button. He presses it down with the play button and slides the recorder to the center of the table. The wheels on the cassette begin to rotate.
“Please state your name,” he says.
I clear my throat. “Leeds Gabriel.”
The battery compartment is held together with old duct tape running up the sides of the machine. I find it kind of humorous. This severely outdated machine is going to record every word I’m about to say, and that’s somehow going to help? At this point, I’ve all but given up. There’s no light at the end of this tunnel. I’m not even sure there’s an end to this tunnel. How can I have hope for a way out of this when things have gotten so out of control? I’m speaking to a detective I met online while my girlfriend is upstairs, losing her damn mind.