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Before He Finds Her: A Novel by Michael…
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Before He Finds Her: A Novel (edition 2016)

by Michael Kardos (Author)

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1399159,348 (3.43)1
"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" --… (more)
Member:pholbrook17
Title:Before He Finds Her: A Novel
Authors:Michael Kardos (Author)
Info:Mysterious Press (2016), Edition: First Trade Paper, 384 pages
Collections:Audible
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Before He Finds Her: A Novel by Michael Kardos

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos is a somewhat poignant but very intriguing mystery. This engrossing whodunit is full of interesting and unexpected plot twists that are sure to delight fans of crime fiction.

For most of her life, Melanie Dennison has been living off the grid with her aunt and uncle in West Virginia. Mostly homeschooled, with very few friends and little social life, Melanie has been slowly spreading her wings since she started taking classes at the local community college. She also has a part time job and a secret boyfriend as well. Now pregnant and tired of living in fear of being found by her father, Ramsey Miller, Melanie returns to her home town of Silver Bay. Hoping to discover the whereabouts of her father, who disappeared after killing her mother, Allison, fifteen years earlier, Melanie's amateur sleuthing leads to a surprising break in the case. But learning the truth about the events of that long ago night might not provide Melanie with all of the answers she is searching for.

Melanie is a gutsy young woman who finds herself completely out of her depth when she travels to Silver Bay. She is fairly fearless during her investigation and while she sometimes acts before she thinks, she does use a little common sense during risky situations. Melanie is incapable of subterfuge so it is fairly easy for her interviewees to see through her ploys to find answers for her questions. Most of the time, she is fairly clueless about what she doing but she perseveres despite her setbacks. But Melanie also knows when she needs help and she is willing to ask for it.

The days leading up to Allison's death are revealed through flashbacks. These glimpses of the past are mostly from Ramsey's perspective, and this provides readers with important background information about his dysfunctional childhood. His past is not sugarcoated and this helps readers see how much he changed after his marriage. Ramsey is a surprisingly sympathetic character and it is quite touching learning how much he loved Allison and his daughter and what shaped his decisions in the intervening days before the murder.

Before He Finds Her is an well-written novel with an interesting and unique storyline. Michael Kardos does an excellent job weaving past and present into a compelling and fast paced mystery. The final plot twist is quite shocking and completely unexpected. Although the characters are left with a few lingering questions, all of those loose ends are completely wrapped up for readers. All in all, Before He Finds Her is a satisfying read that mystery lovers will enjoy. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Meg Miller has been living her life in hiding. Fifteen years before, Ramsey Miller, her father, threw a block party for his neighborhood, and then murdered his wife. Meg, his daughter, was believed killed as well, but her aunt and uncle have had her hidden away in a small town.

But Meg is pregnant now, and doesn't want her child living her life in hiding as well.. So she sets out to do what no one else has been able to do--find her father, so she can come out of the shadows.

This book was not as creepy as I had expected when I chose it for the Halloween Read-A-Thon, but it was definitely suspenseful. The way Kardos weaves in flashbacks really builds up the tension, and the ending has a really surprising twist as well. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Oct 16, 2016 |
In 1991, Ramsey Miller holds a huge block party for his neighborhood. Then, the story goes, he drunkenly and angrily murdered his wife and young daughter.

However, that's not exactly the case: his daughter got away, via the Witness Protection Program, and is living in a small town in West Virginia. Renamed Melanie, she lives with her father's close friend and his wife; it's a cautious life, as her father was never found. However, as she nears 18, Melanie is tired of this life of secrets and hiding. Finding herself pregnant, she decides she doesn't want this life for her own child, so she heads back to her hometown to find her father herself.

The book weaves in Melanie's current life and discoveries with narrative of Ramsey's life leading up to the days of the block party, allowing us to figure out what happened along with Melanie.

This novel started out really well, and for a while, I was thinking it was going to be one of my favorites read so far this year. However, it soon petered out a bit, and the more I thought about it, I liked it less. There are just some odd plot holes that doesn't really make sense and leave you wondering. Further, even accounting for her upbringing, Melanie as a main character is so "blah" and doesn't stand up for herself, thereby making it very hard to root for her. I really found myself pulling for Ramsey at many points. Lots of potential, but doesn't really follow through. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 9, 2016 |
My 1st Michael Kardos book. Listened on Audible Audio. Story starts with a teenager whose in the witness protection program as 15 years prior her father murdered her mother and tried to kill her too. Everyone thinks she is dead, however she is in hiding - except she is pregnant and sick of hiding and doesn't want her child to grow up afraid and hiding too, so she takes off to New Jersey, her home town where it all occurred, trying to find answers and hoping to find her father, before he finds her. Great mystery, easy listen, I didn't see the ending at all and was surprised which is always a good thing with mystery books! A definite recommendation for mystery lovers. ( )
  booklovers2 | Dec 22, 2015 |
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. ( )
  kdunkelberg | Aug 2, 2015 |
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Three weeks since my last entry, I don't know if I'll be writing again any time soon.
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"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" --

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