Cover image for Before he finds her
Title:
Before he finds her
Author:
Kardos, Michael, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition
Publication Information:
New York : The Mysterious Press, [2015]

©2015
Physical Description:
369 pages ; 24 cm
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" --
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802123190
Format :
Book

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Summary

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.


Author Notes

Michael Kardos is the Pushcart Prize-winning author of the novel The Three-Day Affair and the story collection One Last Good Time . Originally from the Jersey Shore, he currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Melanie Denison has spent the last 15 years obediently staying under the radar, raised in the Witness Protection Program with her Uncle Wayne and Aunt Kendra. Her father, Ramsey Miller, is a fugitive who's wanted for murdering her mother, and Melanie hides in fear that he'll come back for her. But now she has real dreams of becoming a journalist and creating her own family, one that doesn't have to hide. Desperate to start living, Melanie moves to eliminate the threat by hunting Ramsey herself. But when her search leads to the events surrounding her mother's murder, Melanie's single-minded pursuit of Ramsey becomes complicated as she realizes that the story she's accepted as her own has dangerous holes. Kardos smoothly alternates Melanie's story with Ramsey's version of the months leading up to the murder, and short bursts of her mother's voice, layering a compelling story about sad truths, loss, and resilience into the suspenseful framework of Melanie's hunt. This story, at its best in the gray areas, should make fantastic fodder for book-group discussions.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Kardos (The Three-Day Affair) delivers another outstanding crime thriller with this complex and moving account of a young woman trying to make sense of her past and craft a viable future. In 1991, Ramsey Miller murdered his wife, Allison, after hosting a block party at their home in Silver Bay, N.J. The people in this Jersey Shore town also believed he murdered his three-year-old daughter, Meg. In fact, the authorities spirited Meg away and put her in a witness protection program to protect her from her father. Fifteen years later, she lives under the alias Melanie Denison, with her uncle and aunt in Fredonia, W.Va. Since Ramsey is still at large, Melanie is allowed only limited contact with the outside world. Chafing at these restrictions, Melanie begins to challenge them, a rebellion that includes having an affair. The discovery that she's pregnant leads her to search for her father so that her child can have a normal life, free of fear and restrictions. Sophisticated characterizations enhance the intricately constructed story line. Agent: Jody Klein, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Melanie Denison grew up in West Virginia, hiding in the Witness Protection Program from her father, Ramsey Miller, who murdered her mother in 1991. Now almost 18, unmarried, and ten weeks pregnant, Melanie decides to ignore her guardians' warnings and attempts to find and confront her mother's killer. Most of the action takes place in Silver Bay, NJ, the site of the crime, with many flashbacks of the events leading up to her mother's murder. Some listeners may be put off by the cast of generally unlikable characters and some contrived plot twists. Others may find it hard to stop listening to Julia Whelan's excellent narration. There is an intriguing exploration into connections between belief in Jesus Christ and belief in astrology, particularly the unusual planetary alignment of 1991. Verdict This novel is not quite compelling, not very suspenseful, but still enough fun to be recommended for adult mystery collections.-Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

In the New Jersey beach community of Silver Bay in 1991, the Miller family hosted a block party; later that night, Ramsey Miller murdered his wife and disappeared, along with their three-year-old daughter Meg. Fifteen years later, the case is still open. Most people believe that Ramsey also murdered his daughter and then fled the country. But no one knows except for Melanie Denison, the now 18-year-old who was once Meg Miller, and her adoptive parents, Uncle Wayne and Aunt Kendra. For 15 years, they have lived in Fredonia, WV, mostly staying off the grid, hoping that Ramsey doesn't find them. But Melanie/Meg now has her own reasons for wanting to stop hiding and move out into the real world, and so she sets off for New Jersey to find some answers. Told in alternating sections between Melanie's search in 2006 and Ramsey's actions leading up to the murder in 1991, this is a compelling and layered story about truth and lies, and love and loss. Melanie is a typical teen, although more naïve than many, and her mistakes and blunders are as natural a part of her personality as her determination and resolve. VERDICT Teens who enjoy thrillers and mysteries that keep them guessing will gobble this one up.-Sarah Flowers, formerly of Santa Clara County (CA) Library © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.