Hot Best Seller

Before He Finds Her

Availability: Ready to download

Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last f Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stirring novel about love and faith and fear—and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.

*advertisement

Compare

Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last f Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stirring novel about love and faith and fear—and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.

30 review for Before He Finds Her

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    3.5 stars I was very excited to read this book after reading the description. Small town father and husband Ramsey Miller throws a neighborhood block party and then murders his wife and young daughter. However, the daughter got away and has been living in secrecy for the last 15 years. Under the name Melanie Denison she has lived a very secluded life with her aunt and uncle. Melanie though is tired of hiding. She decides to try and find her father before he finds her. The story is well written a 3.5 stars I was very excited to read this book after reading the description. Small town father and husband Ramsey Miller throws a neighborhood block party and then murders his wife and young daughter. However, the daughter got away and has been living in secrecy for the last 15 years. Under the name Melanie Denison she has lived a very secluded life with her aunt and uncle. Melanie though is tired of hiding. She decides to try and find her father before he finds her. The story is well written and I found that it held my interest rather well. I did find myself having a hard time connecting to some of the characters. At times I found them a bit flat. Lots of detail was given to some characters and not enough given to other characters that in my opinion were important to the story. I was a bit annoyed by Melanie at times. One moment very naive and immature in her decision making and then extremely courageous. It just seemed to go from one extreme to the other. However, all that being said I still thought it was a good book. It is a well-written novel with an interesting and unique storyline. I was able to easily follow along with the past and present storyline and there some good twists and surprises with an unexpected ending. All in all a satisfying read that many readers will enjoy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    I received this book from 'Netgalley': THANK YOU very much. I always consider it a privilege. I'll write my honest thoughts. I LIKED IT!! I'll always have a 'personal' association with "Before He Finds Her". While my 'house' is healing and my 'husband' is healing, this book was a very satisfying escape. Just two weeks ago, my husband had a serious Mt. Biking accident --both his arms are in casts --two surgeries were required. Then, it that wasn't enough, our water heater exploded in our newly rem I received this book from 'Netgalley': THANK YOU very much. I always consider it a privilege. I'll write my honest thoughts. I LIKED IT!! I'll always have a 'personal' association with "Before He Finds Her". While my 'house' is healing and my 'husband' is healing, this book was a very satisfying escape. Just two weeks ago, my husband had a serious Mt. Biking accident --both his arms are in casts --two surgeries were required. Then, it that wasn't enough, our water heater exploded in our newly remodeled finished room in our basement during sleeping hours. We woke to find a 'flood' of water. Between hospital visits and our hotel room where I sit now -- "Before He Finds Her", was THE BOOK which kept me company. I'm not a heavy-duty-mystery reader, but including a little in my diet seems to allow me to enjoy conversations with my friends who read many more than me. I'll 'chat' about this book with 'all' my friends. I recommend it! I liked the psychological exploration of the characters. I was 'curious' as hell with many questions about MEG. How does an almost 3 year old girl escape from her father when he killed her mother? How did she not go crazy living the first 17 years of her life with the many rules placed upon her? How does any child develop normally under secret protection? Can she ever have a normal socical life? There was not only uncertainty about 'how' she escaped but uncertainty of how she would live as an adult. When I am in the mood for a good mystery with complex intelligent interactions and excellent writing, I will definitely read more books by Michael Kardos.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Ramsey Miller is a very interesting and flawed character. He had a less than ideal childhood and was often in trouble with the law. All that changed when he met a new friend, Eric, a man trying to stay off alcohol and a man who has a seep faith in the lord. It changed too when he met his wife and they had a child. Or did he change? As I wasreading this it seemed very possible that he had murdered his wife and daughter. He had a terrible temper that he tried hard to control and after meeting a fe Ramsey Miller is a very interesting and flawed character. He had a less than ideal childhood and was often in trouble with the law. All that changed when he met a new friend, Eric, a man trying to stay off alcohol and a man who has a seep faith in the lord. It changed too when he met his wife and they had a child. Or did he change? As I wasreading this it seemed very possible that he had murdered his wife and daughter. He had a terrible temper that he tried hard to control and after meeting a fellow trucker, he really believed from the book the trucker gave him, that the planets were going to align for the first time. This would cause the end of the world. He had also been told something of a personal revelation, one that caused him both deep pain and anger. A very solid story, with constant revelations that keep the story moving. Good characters that often surprise with their actions, and a wonderful newsman, now retired but still haunted by this story, one that never really had a resolution since the police has never managed to lay their hands on Ramsay. Where did he go? What actually happened that night? Read it and find out. ARC from NetGalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Sumi

    Despite its cheesy thriller-style cover and advance praise by Jeffery Deaver, Before He Finds Her is more psychological mystery than thriller. Think Everything I Never Told You, not Dark Places. One night back in September 1991, trucker Ramsey Miller murdered his wife, Allie, and their three-year-old daughter, Meg, then disappeared. But in fact, the girl was taken to another state and, under the Witness Protection Program, given a new name (Melanie) and raised by her aunt and uncle to fear for Despite its cheesy thriller-style cover and advance praise by Jeffery Deaver, Before He Finds Her is more psychological mystery than thriller. Think Everything I Never Told You, not Dark Places. One night back in September 1991, trucker Ramsey Miller murdered his wife, Allie, and their three-year-old daughter, Meg, then disappeared. But in fact, the girl was taken to another state and, under the Witness Protection Program, given a new name (Melanie) and raised by her aunt and uncle to fear for her life lest her father reappear to finish her off for good. Now, 15 years later, she’s tired of hiding and constantly looking over her shoulder. She returns to the town where the murder happened to get some answers and possibly confront her father. Michael Kardos is a fine writer. He gets deep into the characters of Ramsey and Allie, as well as a charming octogenarian journalist who covered the case and is still obsessed with it. The structure mimics the one that Gillian Flynn used in Dark Places: present-day story juxtaposed with flashbacks to the days leading up to the murder to build suspense. It's not nearly as effective here. The mystery contains lots of reverses and reveals. But some of the plot points are positively eye-rolling. And while Melanie is charming, especially when she’s pretending to be a student journalist to get information, she doesn’t have much of a personality. This is an okay read for the cottage, maybe with a beer or two. Come to think of it, the alcohol might help you suspend your disbelief.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    What an awful book! I read fast through half the book rapidly turning pages hoping something intriguing would appear. The prose is dull and devoid of any style. The characters are flat and one dimensional. The plot appeared mildly interesting but the writing is so dull and the characters so uninteresting that it became a huge effort to continue reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    Start reading the first page and kiss the next 24 hours goodbye. Arthur Goodale has not made an entry on his blog for three weeks. From his Monmouth Regional Hosptail bed he writes a blog to his loyal 75 followers. He writes about living just one neighbourhood away from where the Millers once did. Arthur gives a brief summary, on Sunday afternoon and evening of September 22nd 1991, the Miller family hosted an outdoor block party. Later that night after the guest were gone, an inebriated Ramsey br Start reading the first page and kiss the next 24 hours goodbye. Arthur Goodale has not made an entry on his blog for three weeks. From his Monmouth Regional Hosptail bed he writes a blog to his loyal 75 followers. He writes about living just one neighbourhood away from where the Millers once did. Arthur gives a brief summary, on Sunday afternoon and evening of September 22nd 1991, the Miller family hosted an outdoor block party. Later that night after the guest were gone, an inebriated Ramsey brutally murdered his wife Alison and a search began for Ramsey and their young daughter.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Yowza!! I could not put down this book. It was THAT good! A woman is murdered and the father and daughter are missing. The story begins 15 years later when the daughter would be 18. It goes from the present to the past describing the father and his relationship with the mother. The story is opened by the journalist who covered the gruesome events and between him and the missing daughter, the mystery is solved. There were innumerable suspects and the author made you blame them all. I was totally Yowza!! I could not put down this book. It was THAT good! A woman is murdered and the father and daughter are missing. The story begins 15 years later when the daughter would be 18. It goes from the present to the past describing the father and his relationship with the mother. The story is opened by the journalist who covered the gruesome events and between him and the missing daughter, the mystery is solved. There were innumerable suspects and the author made you blame them all. I was totally in shock when I found out who it was. The characters were portrayed well and the story was riveting. As I said, I could not put it down and read into the early hours, past my bedtime. I'm actually rating this 4 1/2 stars, but this site does not have that ability. Thank you Grove Atlantic and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this e-galley!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    I'm always on a lookout for good (literary if possible) stand alone domestic mystery thrillers. Kardos has exceeded every possible expectation I might have had when I picked up Before He Finds Her. A mystery that's actually mysterious, thriller that actually thrills and as well written as any quality work of literature, this book was genuinely awesome and pretty much impossible to put down. Good thing it was a quick read. Basic plot is a young woman raised almost her entire life in rural isolati I'm always on a lookout for good (literary if possible) stand alone domestic mystery thrillers. Kardos has exceeded every possible expectation I might have had when I picked up Before He Finds Her. A mystery that's actually mysterious, thriller that actually thrills and as well written as any quality work of literature, this book was genuinely awesome and pretty much impossible to put down. Good thing it was a quick read. Basic plot is a young woman raised almost her entire life in rural isolation imposed by a witness protection program, due to her father murdering her mother 15 years ago and disappearing. A life led in fear is no life and she decides to finds her father herself...yes, before he finds her. What really sets this book apart from so many other similar works is the incredible quality of writing and character development. Alternating timelines and narratives, Kardos does a phenomenal job of showing just how complex, multifaceted and mutable human nature and, by extent, human relationships really are and how blind one can be to what's really going on inside another person's heart and mind. That's what good books should aspire to do, really, to help us understand others and the world we live in. Kardos succeeds with flying colors. So very impressive. I'm very glad to have discovered this author. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gatorman

    Generally enjoyable thriller from Kardos about a teenager living in hiding with her aunt and uncle from her father, who is widely believed to have killed her and her mother some fourteen years before. The story's strong point is in the flashbacks to the few days leading up to the mom's murder, which slowly gives the reader insight into the events as they really unfolded and what was going on in the minds of the adult protagonists. The problem with the book is that it doesn't offer any real surpr Generally enjoyable thriller from Kardos about a teenager living in hiding with her aunt and uncle from her father, who is widely believed to have killed her and her mother some fourteen years before. The story's strong point is in the flashbacks to the few days leading up to the mom's murder, which slowly gives the reader insight into the events as they really unfolded and what was going on in the minds of the adult protagonists. The problem with the book is that it doesn't offer any real surprises and ends up being somewhat clichéd, with an ending that is rather anti-climactic after everything that comes before. It passed the time pleasantly but I was hoping for, and expecting, more of a payoff based on the premise and buildup. Recommended if you don't set expectations too high.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    'Before I read' this book I had high hopes that this book was going to be amazing. Before I read this book, it had a few holds, but I was willing to wait cause I thought that it had potential. Before I read this book, I begged in my previous status that this book be good, otherwise I was going to be evil with my review..Now after reading this book, I am frustrated that I wasted my time to get my hands on this travesty. Let's start with the poor writing style from the first page. The letter was no 'Before I read' this book I had high hopes that this book was going to be amazing. Before I read this book, it had a few holds, but I was willing to wait cause I thought that it had potential. Before I read this book, I begged in my previous status that this book be good, otherwise I was going to be evil with my review..Now after reading this book, I am frustrated that I wasted my time to get my hands on this travesty. Let's start with the poor writing style from the first page. The letter was not even original in the first page, in fact it was ridiculous foreshadowing that did not even make sense. If that suppose to lure me in, it did the complete opposite. Rather there was no reason to continue reading through the poor story, lack of characterization or anything worthy of recognition. Maybe it would have been better as it progressed but sadly I did not give it the time to impress me. I read way too many books to waste my time on books that do not grab me. Some books might take time, but this book writing style was too hard to endure. "Read the first page and kiss the next twenty-four hours goodbye?" Oh please the first page was enough to get me to toss it aside. Oh well another book that bites the dust. NEXT!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nancy McFarlane

    This fast paced thriller takes you on a wild ride, filled with ups and downs, as the young protagonists searches for the father who murdered her mother 15 years ago. Just when I thought this story was becoming predictable, it would change course. Totally unexpected twists throughout kept me guessing, and its stunning ending really was a surprise!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peter Monn

    Read this in less than 3 days. Incredible mystery. Check out my full review on my Booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Before He Finds Her – Compelling Crime Thriller Award winning author Michael Kardos new crime thriller Before He Finds Her is one of the most compelling and moving crime thrillers of the year. There are plenty of twists and turns with plenty of innovation where the prose is clear and crisp a tale of redemption and a life time of fear. Once you start reading you will be addicted to the story and will put everything else on hold until you have finished. September 1991 on a Sunday night Ramsey Miller Before He Finds Her – Compelling Crime Thriller Award winning author Michael Kardos new crime thriller Before He Finds Her is one of the most compelling and moving crime thrillers of the year. There are plenty of twists and turns with plenty of innovation where the prose is clear and crisp a tale of redemption and a life time of fear. Once you start reading you will be addicted to the story and will put everything else on hold until you have finished. September 1991 on a Sunday night Ramsey Miller and his wife throw a block party for all his neighbours in Silver Bay, New Jersey. Events that night would reverberate for many years after and to some would become the dark history that an old school journalist will never forget even on his death bed. That Sunday night Ramsey Miller killed his wife Allie and his daughter Meg and disappeared from Silver Bay to become a fugitive whereabouts unknown. What nobody knows is that Meg did not die that night but was whisked away in to protective custody and cared for by her Uncle Wayne in the depths of West Virginia always looking over their shoulders. Meg is now known as Melanie, for most of her life she has been homeschooled and as she is seventeen almost eighteen and starting to want to know more about her life before being in protection. She is following the blog of a journalist who is now retired who every year writes about the Silver Bay murders and the prime suspect Ramsey Miller. Melanie also now finds herself pregnant and afraid she wants to find out about her father so that he is not a threat to her or her unborn child. Melanie is sick of hiding and wants to live without being prepared to run and know the truth, sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. She takes herself to Silver Bay to discover the truth about her mother and father what she learns will shake her to the core. With many surprising twists and turns she discovers the life she once had and the people that once loved her before that fateful September evening. As she confronts the past can she really deliver a better future for her child? This is a clever thriller with plenty of surprise spread across three parts and the views of Melanie, her mother and her father. We can see the parental relationship falling to pieces and we can see if from both points of view and it is this that Melanie will slowly become aware of. Michael Kardos leaves enough surprises in the book that you learn something new in every chapter and as the conclusion gets closer you able to say I did not see that coming with the various events. This is an excellent and compelling thriller that you will enjoy from beginning to end, a pleasure to read and always hoping for the best for Melanie whatever happens. Will she ever find her father, will he ever come out of hiding, and you will have to read to find out.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Reanna

    Oh how I love a freaky twist at the end!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    The story is about a young girl, raised by her Uncle and Aunt, who is looking for the person who she believes murdered her mother: her father. It was just o.k: a formulaic detective story. You know, the typical detective story where on or about chapter three, one character re-tells the entire story from the beginning to another character because the reader might not have been bright enough to keep track of the same. This is yet another story that is using what is becoming the tiresome literary dev The story is about a young girl, raised by her Uncle and Aunt, who is looking for the person who she believes murdered her mother: her father. It was just o.k: a formulaic detective story. You know, the typical detective story where on or about chapter three, one character re-tells the entire story from the beginning to another character because the reader might not have been bright enough to keep track of the same. This is yet another story that is using what is becoming the tiresome literary device of telling parallel stories, alternating between the story of the "past" and the story of the "present" through out the entire book. Does anyone know how to write a story differently now a-days?? And, it was totally unbelievable that the police would tell the young girl the entire theory of their case, and all the evidence they had that "might" make them think that another person murdered her parent. Come on, now Mr. Kardos, you can do better than that! Your readers aren't that gullible and deserve a better presentation. In general, the book was not that great; not that engaging. You won't miss anything by skipping this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    An interesting idea for a mystery/thriller. Not badly executed, but I didn't engage with the characters or much care which way it turned out. Overall I wasn't surprised by how it turned out--what I expected from the blurb is what I got at the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    debra

    Didn't it strike a discordant note for an 18 or 19 year old college student to reference Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as her role model detectives?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1.5 stars; this book is labeled as a thriller, yet there isn't a single thrilling element here. The worst thing that happens to her (in the present not the past) is she gets hit in the head...oh no... And when it happened, it didn't seem like it was anything aside from a small shove--not something that caused a concussion and that's more of a failing of the descriptive action than anything else. But, I felt the same way when her mother got shoved down as well. Mom overreacted, but then she'd alr 1.5 stars; this book is labeled as a thriller, yet there isn't a single thrilling element here. The worst thing that happens to her (in the present not the past) is she gets hit in the head...oh no... And when it happened, it didn't seem like it was anything aside from a small shove--not something that caused a concussion and that's more of a failing of the descriptive action than anything else. But, I felt the same way when her mother got shoved down as well. Mom overreacted, but then she'd already been having a bad day so...though, but the same token we don't really get a feel for mom's character. It's like she's basically a useless copy of Ramsay's mother rather than his wife. The red herrings here are obvious and I'd be surprised if anyone wasn't able to see through the plot to the truth far early on, but unfortunately Kardos doesn't make use of this fact--or at least not well. The bad fellow appears and talks and leaves...great. I get that he's trying to atone for what he's done, but by no means did you feel sympathy because Melanie is a bland and untrusting character--untrusting I can understand, but bland, not what you want your main characters to be. Her child self had more character than her adult, er teenage self--it should be the opposite (honestly, she's the wrong age here--she sounds in her mid-twenties not 18). And by that same logic, she doesn't make sense--she has been rebelling most of her life and then decides the only reason she'll get out of her situation is because a child is growing inside of her. Okay. She should have done it for herself first, that would have been much more thrilling--then she wouldn't be, sadly, weak from trying to feed herself and it. If anything, this baby felt like a convenient distraction and detraction from what was going on. The author tried to hide behind Ramsay's narratives of the past to detract from the fact that no, Ramsay is definitely not coming after Melanie and never was and never will be. Two things I was sure about through this by page 27 and somewhere in the middle: 1. Ramsay was not a murderer and 2. He's definitely dead (though the narrative paints it as ambiguous). And this hiding was pretty unsuccessful, despite the very deliberate placing of the flashbacks. Kardos didn't leave himself much room to create a twist ending and if it's obvious, it's not a twist. The how is important when creating a twist that people can see coming, but the how was pretty haphazard and therefore the story was pretty unsuccessful. The past tried to hide Wayne's existence, but by doing that it just put more suspicion on him. This novel is a common thriller/mystery trope. It does nothing new and it really doesn't introduce itself very well. The blog entry at the beginning was really off-putting. Unique, but there's a reason blog form isn't novel form--they don't come across as journalistic or thrilling, especially with Arthur's particular voice in it. I'm getting quickly tired of these so-called Thrillers being described on their book jackets as something more than they are. The book jacket was more interesting than the story. Such a let down.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Perry

    I am so glad I took a chance on this after reading the raves by other authors. I only half pay attention to these, but I've learned, I think, to trust certain authors not to BS and to read between the lines. The cover blurb by Jeffery Deaver is so dead-on: Read a few pages of this novel and kiss the next 24 hours goodbye. I could not give it up, as BEFORE HE FINDS HER flawlessly and grippingly transitioned backwards and forwards between 2 storylines: 1) a 17-year-old recently pregnant girl, who's I am so glad I took a chance on this after reading the raves by other authors. I only half pay attention to these, but I've learned, I think, to trust certain authors not to BS and to read between the lines. The cover blurb by Jeffery Deaver is so dead-on: Read a few pages of this novel and kiss the next 24 hours goodbye. I could not give it up, as BEFORE HE FINDS HER flawlessly and grippingly transitioned backwards and forwards between 2 storylines: 1) a 17-year-old recently pregnant girl, who's been hidden away in WVa in witness protection since 1991 she was nearly 3, searches for the father she knows killed her mother and who she's always assumed wants to kill her; and, 2) back to 1991 in the days and minutes leading up to her mother's murder (mostly omniscent from her father's POV but some from her mother). Plenty of twists and turns I cannot describe here without spoiling the book. I highly recommend this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Clifford

    I'm not typically a reader of mysteries, but if the writing is this good . . . sign me up. Seriously, good writing plus a compelling plot=what's not to love?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was such a well-done mystery. There were plenty of twists that I didn't see coming, and I loved discovering them at the same time as the narrator/heroine of the story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    B

    3.5 - 3.75 wasn’t bad, need to let it marinate a bit

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jackson

    I loved this book. It had such a strange beginning that I couldn't tell the direction it was headed, Then, at the perfect time, the mystery took on a life of its own. I enjoyed the mixture of love, suspense, betrayal, and forgiveness. The characters were messy, and the ending was unexpected, leading to 4.5 stars. Audiobook review at http://JacksonBaer.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jolien

    Review on my blog The Fictional Reader I will be the first to admit that I don’t read a lot of mysteries/thrillers anymore. I used to read a lot of crime fiction when I was younger -I think about 5 years ago? As I’m writing this, I realize I am usually focused on one genre. I first started reading fantasy, went on to romance, then crime fiction, archaeological crime fiction and back to fantasy -YA and adult alike. I need to be more open in my genre-reading. Anyway, the point was that I haven’t re Review on my blog The Fictional Reader I will be the first to admit that I don’t read a lot of mysteries/thrillers anymore. I used to read a lot of crime fiction when I was younger -I think about 5 years ago? As I’m writing this, I realize I am usually focused on one genre. I first started reading fantasy, went on to romance, then crime fiction, archaeological crime fiction and back to fantasy -YA and adult alike. I need to be more open in my genre-reading. Anyway, the point was that I haven’t read a lot of mystery/thriller books lately. But when I saw the description of this one on Edelweiss, I requested it anyway because it sounded interesting. I really don’t regret that decision. PLOT So, the story revolves around Melanie and her past. Now 18 years old, she has decided to return to her birthplace to find her father so she will no longer have to be in the Witness Protection Program. It was such an interesting story! The novel is told through dual timelines: one in present time, mostly from Melanie’s point of view, and one in the past leading up to the time of the murder. This provides an interesting perspective because you not only see her investigations but also what truly happened. As some of you may know, I’ve been in a huge reading slump for about 2 months now. I sped through this book in one or two days I think. Which at this moment is quite the accomplishment. So I do think the mystery is captivating. I wanted to continue reading and find out what really happened that fateful night. The last thing I’ll say about the plot is that I really didn’t see the ending coming. And because of that, it wasn’t the story I was expecting it to be -but not in a bad way? So I did like the mystery. I wouldn’t call this a thriller though… At no point was I creeped out or scared -but maybe that’s because I watch a lot of Criminal Minds and like those kind of stories? Anyway, it was a solid mystery novel to me. This was definitely fast-paced, maybe at some points a bit too? I don’t know how to explain it, but I would’ve gladly seen it a bit longer. CHARACTERS Melanie. Now, I have a lot of sympathy for Melanie. Her life certainly hasn’t been the easiest. I both liked her character and didn’t. I liked certain aspects of her: how she sticks to her decisions, that she wanted to find out the truth, that he wanted to create a better life. Those are all great qualities. And for once, it was nice to see the struggle with the detective part. Often, in mystery stories someone sets out on a path to find the truth. And magically, everyone believes the stories they tell, allows interviews and suddenly they uncover the wild scandal. That would never actually happen! Most of us would be terrible detectives, and most of all no one would believe you if you just started going to people asking for an interview claiming to be a journalist or detective. Everyone would at least ask for proof or look the person up. I like that Melanie wasn’t a perfect detective or journalist, but that she needed help from people who were. For some reason, I didn’t totally love her character though. For some reason, I thought she was a bit bland? And as a child, in the past timeline, she was a brat. Let’s be real. Ramsey, Melanie’s father. Well, he’s crazy. That’s really all there is to say I believe, without spoiling anything. Completely nuts. But very interesting! I have to admit that at some points in the past timeline, I was a bit confused as to the sequence of events. But overall, his perspective was intriguing. Really all there needs to be said is that his orbital axis theory is cuckoo. There were many other characters involved such as Philip, Melanie’s boyfriend, who I didn’t really care for that much. I just didn’t feel any connection to him because he barely came into view. Arthur, the journalist -love him. David, despicable person really. OVERALL I did quite like this mystery novel, even though I wouldn’t call it a thriller myself. The plot was captivating, and I didn’t guess the ending either. It was definitely a surprising story, and I enjoyed reading it. If you like mysteries and murder stories, I’d definitely consider picking this up!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karyn Niedert

    Procured via: Netgalley Book Title and Author: “Before He Finds Her” by Michael Kardos RELEASE DATE: February 03, 2015 RATING: 3.5 Stars Worth requesting at library or buying in paperback GENRE: Mystery/Suspense-Adult Lit AUDIENCE: Fans of Dennis Lehane, Stephen White, and Jonathan Kellerman will enjoy the twists and turns in ““Before He Finds Her” SERIES: Standalone (as known at this time) SUMMARY: Blurb from Netgalley: “Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunda Procured via: Netgalley Book Title and Author: “Before He Finds Her” by Michael Kardos RELEASE DATE: February 03, 2015 RATING: 3.5 Stars Worth requesting at library or buying in paperback GENRE: Mystery/Suspense-Adult Lit AUDIENCE: Fans of Dennis Lehane, Stephen White, and Jonathan Kellerman will enjoy the twists and turns in ““Before He Finds Her” SERIES: Standalone (as known at this time) SUMMARY: Blurb from Netgalley: “Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stirring novel about love and faith and fear—and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.” REVIEW: My first thought upon finishing “Before He Finds Her” is, “Why the heck have I not heard of this author before!?!?!” It was almost a fluke that I caught sight of this book on Netgalley, and I am glad I was given the chance to read it. Up and coming authors note: your book covers DO make a difference! Don’t let your publishers phone it in! Enough with the cover love… Kardos introduces us to a young woman who has been kept under wraps for most of her life. Eager to shake off the covers and start living her life, we meet her as she is secretly enjoying her first real romance with a local teacher. Thank you, Mr. Kardos, by making sure she was never his student. That would have gotten a smidge icky. Alas, their relationship has been complicated by the fact that she’s pregnant. Knowing that if she wants to raise her child right, she’ll need to face her family history head on by traveling back to the one place she’d promised to never return. Silver Bay is where Melanie lived the first three years of her life with her family. Silver Bay is also where they say he father killed her mother, and has been evading capture ever since. “Before He Finds Her” has a terrific amount of twists and turns, and I enjoyed that I really didn’t know who did it until the end. Or rather, I thought I knew, but was completely wrong. I’m okay with that, and didn’t feel bamboozled by a last-minute character or an outrageous deus ex machina. I wanted a real mystery, and Michael Kardos delivered beyond a doubt. For all fans of Mystery/Suspense, this HAS to be added to your Must-Read list of 2015. *Tremendous thanks to Netgalley, Grove Atlantic, and Michael Kardos for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. FYI : Additional works by Michael Kardos include: The Three-Day Affair One Last Good Time The Art and Craft of Fiction

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Ryan

    4.5* The story opens with a blog post from Arthur Goodale, an eighty-one year old blogger, writing from his hospital bed in the critical care unit after having bypass surgery. A retired newspaperman, one story which has never been solved is always present in Arthur’s thoughts. That is the case of murdered Alison Miller and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, Ramsey Miller and their daughter, Meg. No motive was ever uncovered and no sightings of Ramsey or Meg have ever been reported but t 4.5* The story opens with a blog post from Arthur Goodale, an eighty-one year old blogger, writing from his hospital bed in the critical care unit after having bypass surgery. A retired newspaperman, one story which has never been solved is always present in Arthur’s thoughts. That is the case of murdered Alison Miller and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, Ramsey Miller and their daughter, Meg. No motive was ever uncovered and no sightings of Ramsey or Meg have ever been reported but their disappearance led the people of Silver Bay and the authorities to believe Ramsey was responsible. Why Ramsey did it and how he and Meg vanished, and where to, have plagued Arthur for the fifteen years since the murder. Melanie Denison lives in the remote hamlet of Fredonia, West Virginia with her uncle Wayne and aunt Kendra, where they have been relocated for their own safety by the US Marshals. But Melanie is nearly eighteen and weary of living in secrecy and isolation, unable to live a normal life. She wants to have friends and attend college. Melanie has been secretly been seeing a teacher from the local high school and finds herself pregnant. This situation makes her determined to find her father before he finds her, so she and her child can live without fear. What she uncovers turns her life upside down. I like the structure of the narrative, told from alternate points of view and between the past and present, slowly edging towards the denouement as the plot unfolds gradually. The days leading up to the events of fifteen years ago are woven in to the story well giving insights and motivations, fleshing out the characters as they develop and showing the diverse aspects of human nature. Ramsey’s formative years were quite wretched and made him a sympathetic character. It’s an intriguing mystery, full of unexpected twists, never going the way I expected, nothing seeming straightforward. Following the characters’ journeys added to the storyline and moved it forward. I enjoyed the writing style, the psychological aspect giving the narrative a slightly different and interesting slant. I found it quite compelling and Julia Whelan’s narration only added to the enjoyment.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Imagine growing up from the age of three, living in the witness protection program with your aunt and uncle because your father killed your mother and then disappeared. Obedient and pliant, 18 year old Melanie decides to investigate what really happened on that fateful night that changed her life forever. Searching for answers generates more questions. The reader is privy to details that Melanie is not, but like her, we discover these details along the way, and each new piece of information alte Imagine growing up from the age of three, living in the witness protection program with your aunt and uncle because your father killed your mother and then disappeared. Obedient and pliant, 18 year old Melanie decides to investigate what really happened on that fateful night that changed her life forever. Searching for answers generates more questions. The reader is privy to details that Melanie is not, but like her, we discover these details along the way, and each new piece of information alters our perceptions of Melanie, her parents, and her aunt and uncle. When I read the last page, I felt sorry for Melanie because we know something she never will; thus, her question will never be completely answered. This story doesn’t ask much of the reader except to enjoy the ride, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked because the more I learned about Melanie’s mom, the more I found her pathetic and not sympathetic. I wonder if the author could have written the story without making Allison such a caricature; I wonder what the author’s point was in creating her this way. Are we supposed to excuse her killer because she wasn’t a stellar wife or mother?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    An engrossing read, Kardos's second novel captivates both as a thriller and as a character study that asks deep questions about love, family, truth, and the will to change. As anyone who has read The Three-Day Affair might expect, Kardos weaves a complex and excellently crafted narrative that alternates between the the days leading up to the murder of Allie Miller, of which her husband Ramsay is accused and the present where Ramsay is believed to be in hiding and still a threat to his 17-year-ol An engrossing read, Kardos's second novel captivates both as a thriller and as a character study that asks deep questions about love, family, truth, and the will to change. As anyone who has read The Three-Day Affair might expect, Kardos weaves a complex and excellently crafted narrative that alternates between the the days leading up to the murder of Allie Miller, of which her husband Ramsay is accused and the present where Ramsay is believed to be in hiding and still a threat to his 17-year-old daughter, Meg, even as she goes looking for the truth. Both narratives are full of suspense and revelations that alter our understanding of the crime and the characters involved. Kardos keeps us guessing throughout, and the payoff is satisfying both in terms of what we learn of the crime and what we may learn about ourselves, reflected in the story's mirror. It is a book you won't want to put down, even after you've read the final page.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    This novel is about a 17 year old girl who find out she is pregnant, and goes searching for the truth to her past. Fifteen years before, her mother was murdered (and the girl was thought to be a victim also) allegedly by her father after a block party. The toddler survived because a friend of the father and his girlfriend took the girl to West Virginia and raised her as their own child under what "Uncle Wayne" calls the Victim Witness Assistance program. He has always warned her that she must ne This novel is about a 17 year old girl who find out she is pregnant, and goes searching for the truth to her past. Fifteen years before, her mother was murdered (and the girl was thought to be a victim also) allegedly by her father after a block party. The toddler survived because a friend of the father and his girlfriend took the girl to West Virginia and raised her as their own child under what "Uncle Wayne" calls the Victim Witness Assistance program. He has always warned her that she must never let anyone know her real name or anything about her past, or her father may come after her and kill her also. Tired of having to hide and not have a real life, Meg, or Melanie as she is currently called, goes back to the scene of the crime, Silver Bay, New Jersey to find people who knew her parents. What she learns is much more than she bargained for, but suffice it to say that there is more than one shocking fact as to the reality of what happened on the night of September 26, 1991.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dan Downing

    First, the back of my hand to Jeffery Deaver for his blurb saying "Read the first page and kiss the next 24 hours good-bye". Granted authors are paid to write blurbs, but this book simply is not good enough for that amount of praise. Yes, I stuck with it and it had some enjoyable parts, but mostly it was an ego driven journey: I had 'it' figured out in the first 25 pages or so---I did not note exactly when--and continued reading because I wanted to see how twisty Kardos made things and to erase t First, the back of my hand to Jeffery Deaver for his blurb saying "Read the first page and kiss the next 24 hours good-bye". Granted authors are paid to write blurbs, but this book simply is not good enough for that amount of praise. Yes, I stuck with it and it had some enjoyable parts, but mostly it was an ego driven journey: I had 'it' figured out in the first 25 pages or so---I did not note exactly when--and continued reading because I wanted to see how twisty Kardos made things and to erase the little bit of doubt that always exists when you think you have it figured way way early. Especially if the name Jeffery Deaver is in the vicinity. This is a sophomore effort. Kardos may become a much better writer if he keeps practicing. In the mean time one may hope that he and his editors learn the meaning of 'nauseous'. Frequent misuse is no excuse for their ignorance.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.