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Before He Finds Her: Book summary and reviews of Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

Before He Finds Her

by Michael Kardos

Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos X
Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2015
    384 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Sophisticated characterizations enhance the intricately constructed story line." - Publishers Weekly

"This story, at its best in the gray areas, should make fantastic fodder for book-group discussions." - Booklist

"First-class fiction about fear, love and lies. Highly recommended." - Kirkus

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Betty Taylor

Everything about her life is questioned
Melanie Denison has grown up in Fredonia WV. Her loving aunt and uncle have raised her since her mother was killed when Melanie was only three years old. No one knows the whereabouts of Melanie’s father after he threw a block party and then killed his wife and supposedly Melanie. Melanie and her aunt and uncle are part of the Witness Protection Program. Melanie’s real name is Meg Miller. It is believed that her father killed her mother and Meg. The mother’s body was found in a fire pile but Meg’s body was never found. Everyone believes her father Ramsey also killed Meg and threw her body into the lake.
Melanie can’t have a normal life. She can’t go to proms, can’t be on the Internet, can’t do anything that might bring attention to her or result in her photo going public.
But now Melanie is pregnant and determined that her child will not grow up like she did. So she returns to the town of Silver Bay where she grew up. Now everything that Melanie has believed about her life is questioned.
I enjoyed the twists that came in the story and was surprised a couple of times. This was an easy to read thriller that kept me guessing.

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Author Information

Michael Kardos

Michael Kardos is the author of the collection One Last Good Time. His stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, and many other magazines and anthologies, and were notable stories in the 2009 and 2010 editions of Best American Short Stories. He lives in Starkville, MS, and co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University and edits the journal Jabberwock Review.

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