Published 2/3/15 by Mysterious Press
Review Copy obtained through NetGalley
Synopsis: 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.
My Thoughts: Thankfully, when I decided to read this I was on a road trip and I wasn’t driving…so I got to read uninterrupted which was great because I found this book incredibly hard to put down.
The story starts out as a blog post from an elderly, retired journalist explaining how the Ramsay Miller Murders were his “white whale” and he gives the readers the nutshell version of the story. Chapter 1 drops us in the lap of the supposedly dead daughter of Ramsay Miller who has been living in rural West Virginia for the 15 years since the murder.
The story perspective is told from the daughter’s POV as well as going back in time to Ramsay, the father, to relive the events leading up to the murders. Ramsay is fascinating! I lived for the chapters where we saw life through his eyes…and his life has not been pleasant. Ramsay is constantly fighting demons and seems to teeter on the brink of an abyss. As Ramsay’s story unfolds we also start to see that period through the eyes of other people who were there. It’s a very complex bit of storytelling and it’s done beautifully.
We do, eventually, learn the whole story and though I could see parts of it coming…I couldn’t see them until we were almost upon them. It’s a story I am still thinking about days later. So much so I am off to see what other books Kardos has written.
My Rating: BAD-ASS BOOTS!