Please See Us
In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Chloe Benjamin, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, the casino lights have dimmed, and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, just west of town. Only one person even knows they’re there. Meanwhile, Clara, a young boardwalk psychic, struggles to attract clients for the tarot readings that pay her rent. When she begins to experience very real and disturbing visions, she suspects they could be related to the recent cases of women gone missing in town. When Clara meets Lily, an ex-Soho art gallery girl who is working at a desolate casino spa and reeling from a personal tragedy, she thinks Lily may be able to help her. But Lily has her own demons to face. If they can put the pieces together in time, they may save another lost girl—so long as their efforts don’t attract perilous attention first. Can they break the ill-fated cycle, or will they join the other victims? Evocative, eerie, and compelling, Please See Us is a fast-paced psychological thriller that explores the intersection of womanhood, power, and violence.

Please See Us Details

TitlePlease See Us
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781982127480
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Audiobook, Crime, Psychological Thriller

Please See Us Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    The world was always conspiring to make young women vulnerable while labeling it as fun. Made it seem like we were in control, like we were making all the choices, and then it was our fault when things went wrong. Us and our short skirts, our makeup, our taste for rum, for liking the things we were told to like, wanting what we were told to want.WHAT 👏 A 👏 DEBUT 👏 NOVEL!Friends, I have been so skeptical, and possibly jaded, toward psychological suspense in the year of our Lord 2019, but my “The world was always conspiring to make young women vulnerable while labeling it as “fun.” Made it seem like we were in control, like we were making all the choices, and then it was our fault when things went wrong. Us and our short skirts, our makeup, our taste for rum, for liking the things we were told to like, wanting what we were told to want.”WHAT 👏🏻 A 👏🏻 DEBUT 👏🏻 NOVEL!Friends, I have been so skeptical, and possibly jaded, toward psychological suspense in the year of our Lord 2019, but my goodness I believe 2020 will be the year of the comeback for this genre. With more and more female authors tackling weighty subjects, such as sexual assault and gender inequality, we are discovering more and more ways to put a unique spin on these stories. One creative way that’s becoming frequent is the use of the supernatural in thriller stories, something that used to be a big no-no if you wanted to publish your novel in mainstream fashion, but I am here to tell you that the tides have changed. These stories are vacillating on a spectrum from magical realism to straight up occult magic, and this one falls somewhere in the middle.In the beginning there were the Jane Does, and these murdered women just wanted to be found. Enter Clara Voyant (a little psychic humor for you), a 16 year old girl who is living with her addict “aunt” and running a hustle in Atlantic City. The town has slowly been boarding up, as more and more casinos and local businesses are shut down, and Clara just wants to save enough money to travel to California and be with her mother who abandoned her years prior. Clara does have powers, but they aren’t easily controlled, and foggy at best. In addition to Clara’s POV, we also meet Lily, a former local who was climbing the art gallery ladder in NYC, but has found herself returning home after a bad break-up. She’s hiding a few secrets of her own, which are revealed over the course of the novel. Luis is our final main player, a deaf and mute man who is employed at the casino that Lily begins working at upon returning to Atlantic City. He sees more than people give him credit for, and this made for an interesting addition to the narration.Obviously one of my favorite aspects of this story was it’s slow-burning, perceptive insight into the lives of modern young women. As attributed by my opening quote, there is a large focus on the unfair expectations placed on women in society. We have a group of females being murdered, and it’s the age old case of “they were all promiscuous, or drug addicts,” the type of ladies whom the 6 o’clock news isn’t interested in covering due to their lack of social status, and therefore lack of value in the community. While it was a steadily paced tale, I was entirely engrossed from start to finish, and found myself constantly highlighting quotes and absolutely floored that Please See Us is the author’s debut novel.The ending will be polarizing for many readers. Personally, I found myself rightfully enraged, but not at the author. The ending really felt like the most realistic, and unfortunately believable conclusion to such a heartbreaking tale, and it is one I’ll be wrestling with for weeks to come. If you’re looking for a thriller that is fluffy and solely meant to pass the time, this isn’t the book for you, but if you’re looking for a chewy tale full of suspense and intimate discussion materials, please do yourself a favor and put Please See Us on your TBR for 2020.*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Four realistic, heart wrenching, in the love of crime thriller Gods stars!I can hear Drifters song playing in my head: Under the Boardwalk down by the sea, sea breeze on your face, sea gulls take their random tours on the air, people passing around, walking aimless, some of them dealing with their own daily troubles and cannot even see whats happening in front of their eyes. But now those boardwalks are empty! There is something eerie, terrifying about this abandoned, empty please. You want to Four realistic, heart wrenching, in the love of crime thriller Gods stars!I can hear “Drifters” song playing in my head: “Under the Boardwalk down by the sea”, sea breeze on your face, sea gulls take their random tours on the air, people passing around, walking aimless, some of them dealing with their own daily troubles and cannot even see what’s happening in front of their eyes. But now those boardwalks are empty! There is something eerie, terrifying about this abandoned, empty please. You want to know what’s happening! So just look down and see the water washes down the missing persons! They were taken away without their consent. Now those boardwalks turned into crime scenes of those innocent forgotten women. Two of them are already found in the marshland behind Sunset Motel. As the crime rates are getting out of control at the land, our main character is surprisingly a good psychic, reading Tarot cards starts getting visions from those women. Those images she’s seen are so realistic, vicious. Does her mind play tricks with her or could she truly know what has happened to those women? But she needs to find a way to help them because there is a killer out there hunting those innocent women who seemed like expendable enough not to be searched for. The other heroine is Lily, working in a Casino spa, trying to make her ends meet. Those two women’s paths cross to find out what happened to those missing women. This is slow burning story not mostly whodunnit or surprising, twisty, riveting page-turner but writing is flawless, neat, capturing your attention so you should consider this book as a crime fiction, drama before starting it but let me tell you this, the writer’s approach to the struggling women’s world to find their places at the cruel, competitive, challenging world is so good. This is a place where the prostitution, corruption, illegal actions, drugs, violence take control of the city. This is about the women who are ignored to be investigated, nobody cares to know their stories and whereabouts which make you the entire story so heart wrenching, depressing but also honest.The ending is also stunning, a quiet hard to digest and not for some readers but it is obviously credulous and logical. This kind of story should be ended at that way. It’s harsh, sad, agitating but this is the best conclusion we could get from this kind of story.Special thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sharing this fantastic ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    ***NOW AVAILABLE**Im stunned that this is a debut novel! In the mass of mediocre and just plain bad mystery/thrillers that I have read this year this book stands out like a light of hope for this genre. This author gets everything right, the atmosphere of crumbling Atlantic City, the great character development and the voices of those that are no longer alive. I knew little about Atlantic City except about its hey days". I knew about the diving girls who, along with their horse, climbed steep ***NOW AVAILABLE**I’m stunned that this is a debut novel! In the mass of mediocre and just plain bad mystery/thrillers that I have read this year this book stands out like a light of hope for this genre. This author gets everything right, the atmosphere of crumbling Atlantic City, the great character development and the voices of those that are no longer alive. I knew little about Atlantic City except about it’s “hey days". I knew about the diving girls who, along with their horse, climbed steep platforms to dive headlong into a small deep pool. I knew nothing about the many years afterward when the attractions were crumbling, the casinos closing one by one like dominos and the outlying seedy motels. This atmosphere along with the misty salt marsh nearby is an intricate part of this story and reveals this author’s ability to set the stage for the story she tells.Atlantic City at this time was home to lots of people down on their luck who, at an earlier time, would have found jobs when this area was thriving. There are still some casinos and spas that are doing well. One spa is the work place of one of our main protagonists, Lily. Lily is from this area but had lived in New York City for quite a while. She was an up and coming art critic and she thought she was on her way to having it all, a gallery, clients to represent and a boyfriend that she loved; until Matthew turned on her. He not only fouled their love affair but publicly humiliated Lily with a combination of paintings that he did during their time together. She fled back home only to find that a job as a receptionist in a spa was the best she could find to make money. She’s not really happy but has found a friend in Emily, another receptionist in the spa who takes her under her wing. Lily is living with her mother and she meets a neighbor who is widowed, very kind and shows Lily some paintings that her husband used to collect. Lily is amazed at the intricacy and talent that these paintings illustrate. They depict Atlantic City at its beginnings and through the good times. She begins to try to find the painter but it’s tough going with only a signature of an S to go by.Enter our next protagonist, Clara. Clara is only 16, abandoned by her mother and left to live with her aunt, Des, who uses her more than caring for her. Clara has some legitimate psychic powers, but she doesn’t usually know how to “read” what she sees and she can’t control them. She works as a psychic in the little shop on the boardwalk where her aunt lives. It isn’t long into our story when she begins to have very strong visions of women in dangerous situations, at first she tries to ignore them but as she finds out about multiple women that have been found to be missing from the city, she begins to understand that her visions seem to be leading her to these women. She befriends Lily and tells her about her visions, together they start trying to put the puzzling pieces of her visions together.Luis is a deaf mute who works as a janitor at the mall where Lily’s spa is located, another important character. Because he can’t communicate he often comes across as someone that people ignore as he goes about his work. In his time off he lives at a run down boardinghouse and whenever he ventures near the boardwalk, shops, etc he finds himself the butt of vicious jokes and often gets knocked around by the drug dealers and others that seem to come out of everywhere in the evenings.I hope that I’ve given you enough insight into this novel to have you run to preorder this gem of a debut novel! All of these characters have secrets to be discovered. This is a multi-layered mystery and drama that calls attention to those women who are ignored, even in death; the prostitutes, drug addicts and others just trying to find a way to pay their rent and make their way in the world. Their deaths are not the ones written about in the newspapers, they are often the forgotten of our society.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.This novel is set to publish March 3, 2020
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    Two women become unlikely friends during a long hot humid summer full of dread, violence and murder in Atlantic City. Clara a young psychic is struggling to attract clients so she can pay the rent. She begins having images. Images of violence against women. Lily is an ex-Soho art gallery girl who has returned to her hometown of Atlantic City after a humiliating and painful breakup. She now works in a spa in a desolate Casino. Both women have their own issues and demons but find common ground Two women become unlikely friends during a long hot humid summer full of dread, violence and murder in Atlantic City. Clara a young psychic is struggling to attract clients so she can pay the rent. She begins having images. Images of violence against women. Lily is an ex-Soho art gallery girl who has returned to her hometown of Atlantic City after a humiliating and painful breakup. She now works in a spa in a desolate Casino. Both women have their own issues and demons but find common ground together and help each other when no one else seems to see, care or notice that something is very wrong. Two women already lay dead in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, but soon they will be joined by others. Will Clara's visions enough to save them or is it already too late?This was a good debut novel. I found it to be very slow in the beginning, but the story did build as I got to know the characters more. One part that I really enjoyed was the "voice" given to the dead women lying in the Marsh. I thought that was a unique and original touch. I also appreciated that this book focused more on the victims and their stories. Others are enjoying this book more than I did. I enjoyed it but it didn't blow me away. But I look forward to more books by this Author in the future.Thank you to Gallery Pocket Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsMissing posters are hung around Atlantic city for a missing girl. Clara, a psychic, sees the missing girls face and feels as if she can help find her. Clara meets Lily while she working and begs her to help. But Lily has her own dark past. Will they find the missing girl or become victims themselves?Chapters alternate between two main characters, Clara and Lily. Occasionally, a chapter will be from one of the bodies of the murdered victims (Jane Doe's).The writing style is opulent and 3.5 starsMissing posters are hung around Atlantic city for a missing girl. Clara, a psychic, sees the missing girls face and feels as if she can help find her. Clara meets Lily while she working and begs her to help. But Lily has her own dark past. Will they find the missing girl or become victims themselves?Chapters alternate between two main characters, Clara and Lily. Occasionally, a chapter will be from one of the bodies of the murdered victims (Jane Doe's).The writing style is opulent and the setting is well-developed because of the overgrown writing.The story is heartbreaking. The victims voices are strong and reflect an image of their whole person as they lay dead in swamp blanketed in their afflictions. "It seems both cheap and dear, the price of freedom- twenty minutes with a man." The progression was slow. I would read a bit and then put it down. It took a while to get from point A to point B; the goal being to find the missing women. For example, the evolution of Lily and Clara's relationship took center stage at one point for an extended period of time. If you like your mysteries fast paced, this probably isn't for you. If you like thought-provoking dialogue and contemplative situations, then you will probably enjoy this. Something you might or might not be into: One of the main characters, Clara, sees visions throughout the novel. Her visions are a common occurrence and help piece together what happened to the women who were murdered. There are several triggers in this novel including sexual torture, rape, and drug use. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions are my own.
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
    January 1, 1970
    Unsettling, stunning, & evocative!PLEASE SEE US by CAITLIN MULLEN is a raw, edgy, dark, eerie, distressing, and compelling psychological thriller that absolutely enthralled me. I was immediately taken and entranced with how mesmerizingly poetic the enigmatic narrative was that I couldnt put this book down. Its a storyline that appears to be something that we have all read before but let me tell you this is nothing but as there is something a little different here that makes this quite the Unsettling, stunning, & evocative!PLEASE SEE US by CAITLIN MULLEN is a raw, edgy, dark, eerie, distressing, and compelling psychological thriller that absolutely enthralled me. I was immediately taken and entranced with how mesmerizingly poetic the enigmatic narrative was that I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a storyline that appears to be something that we have all read before but let me tell you this is nothing but as there is something a little different here that makes this quite the impressive and immersive read. There is nothing cheery here it's a pretty bleak and hopeless story. CAITLIN MULLEN delivers a fantastic, suspenseful, vivid, richly detailed, well-crafted and well-written story here with interesting and compelling characters. The story is told in alternating perspectives between a few key players here. The first is Clara, a young psychic, Lily who returns to her hometown of Atlantic City, and Luis who watches and knows things. Also, we hear from a set of absolutely fascinating characters the six “Janes” who are lying in the Marsh. I absolutely loved how the author gave these dead women a voice to tell us their own stories. That was so clever and such a unique spin to the storyline. Another aspect that I thoroughly enjoyed was Clara’s visions and her tarot card readings. I find that sort of thing totally fascinating and it just adds in this extra layer of intrigue and mystery to the storyline for me.Expected Pub Date: March 3, 2020 Norma’s Stats:Cover: Eye-catching, enticing, mysterious, ominous, creepy, intriguing, emotive, and an effective representation to storyline.Title: Intriguing, effective, relevant, emotive, and an extremely meaningful and fitting representation to storyline. The meaning behind this title is absolutely brilliant! Love it!Writing/Prose: Well-written, mesmerizing, engaging, readable, and beautiful. I absolutely loved the writing style!Plot: Intriguing, eerie, evocative, emotional, suspenseful, heartbreaking, unsettling, moving, disturbing, entertaining, captivating, and fast-paced.Ending: I thought the ending was imperfectly perfect and that’s all I’m going to say.Overall: 4.5 Stars rounded up! Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in this richly detailed storyline that I was flipping those pages as fast as I possibly could. I highly recommend it!Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for my ARC!This review can also be found on Traveling Sisters Book Reviews blog:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2...
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  • David Putnam
    January 1, 1970
    Tried to get into this one twice and just couldn't drop into the fictive dream. I love the prose, the language, the syntax, the voice of the character. It should've worked for me. But the structure. There were too many points of view and the conflict wasn't clearly delineated from the onset. The opening is in the point of view of a couple of corpses out in a field hoping to be discovered. Three of the points of view are listed as Jane one, two and three. Had the story been written straight Tried to get into this one twice and just couldn't drop into the fictive dream. I love the prose, the language, the syntax, the voice of the character. It should've worked for me. But the structure. There were too many points of view and the conflict wasn't clearly delineated from the onset. The opening is in the point of view of a couple of corpses out in a field hoping to be discovered. Three of the points of view are listed as Jane one, two and three. Had the story been written straight forward with fewer points of view the author's craft, which is wonderful, would've carried the day. I am going to keep the book and try again (the third). And I will buy this author's next book.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Please See Us is such a gut wrenching, hopeless story. We even get to see much of the story through the eyes of six "Janes", women who have been murdered by a serial killer who thinks he is punishing Atlantic City and it's prostitutes for their sins and the sins of the dying city. All these women can hope for is that their bodies will be found, that their stories will be told. Among the living is Clara, a sixteen year old psychic, abandoned by her mom, left to live with her prostitute, drug Please See Us is such a gut wrenching, hopeless story. We even get to see much of the story through the eyes of six "Janes", women who have been murdered by a serial killer who thinks he is punishing Atlantic City and it's prostitutes for their sins and the sins of the dying city. All these women can hope for is that their bodies will be found, that their stories will be told. Among the living is Clara, a sixteen year old psychic, abandoned by her mom, left to live with her prostitute, drug using, unscrupulous aunt. Her aunt even starts selling Clara's body and being so poor, having been raised to steal and cheat and lie, Clara has no recourse but to do as her aunt tells her to do. And now, Clara is seeing visions that terrify her, visions of dead women, of brutality, visions that drain all her strength and make her feel sick. Then there is Lily, college educated and successful at her career in New York, until she is betrayed by her famous, artist, boyfriend. She has run home to Atlantic City, to make money to start over, to hide from the embarrassment of what happened in New York. Her path crosses with Clara's and together they try find a way to save a girl that they think is going to be victimized by the person in Clara's visions. There is one more person central to this story and that is deaf, mute, Luis. Luis knows things but has no way to share what he knows. He's regularly beaten up by cruel men, as the cops stand and watch, pointing and laughing at him. There is no where to turn for Luis and his anger and frustration comes out in his own violent ways. Thank you to Gallery, Pocket Books and NetGalley, for this ARC. 
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsIt took me until the end before I could fully appreciate what the author did here. It was a bit of an uneven reading experience and at times I was frustrated at with the transitions between characters, particularly the Jane Does. However, now having some time to sit and back and think, I believe the writing style actually enhanced the story even if it took me awhile to realize it.Atlantic City just isn't what it used to be as the dwindling number of tourists have forced many of the 3.5 starsIt took me until the end before I could fully appreciate what the author did here. It was a bit of an uneven reading experience and at times I was frustrated at with the transitions between characters, particularly the Jane Does. However, now having some time to sit and back and think, I believe the writing style actually enhanced the story even if it took me awhile to realize it.Atlantic City just isn't what it used to be as the dwindling number of tourists have forced many of the casinos and businesses to shut down. Clara works as a psychic and given it's hard making ends meet she is not above lying, cheating, or even stealing to put a few extra dollars in her pocket. She starts having disturbing visions which she think are related to some of the women who have gone missing recently in the area. Lily had been working in an art gallery in NYC but decides to come back to her hometown of Atlantic City for awhile. After meeting Lily, Clara is convinced she can help her figure out what happened to the missing women. But considering both Lily and Clara have their own problems to worry about, are they even in a position to help crack the case? The story has a bit of a paranormal element to it as Clara does have some visions. That's not something I normally enjoy all that much but it didn't feel like an overwhelming part of the story so in my opinion it worked well in the book. The story switches back and forth between Clara, Lily, the Jane Does, and Luis, a man working in the same building as Lily. Given it is part of the publisher synopsis, it is not a spoiler to say the dead bodies of the Jane Does are located in the marshland not too far from a motel. The stories of the Jane Does seemed to blend together and I had a hard time keeping track of each woman. But I almost feel like that was intentionally done by the author as unfortunately there are so many crimes against women on a regular basis, their individual stories are often forgotten. We can remember a serial killer's name but so often the victims aren't remembered other than by their family and friends. Clara was a more well-developed character than Lily. Clara's story is pretty heartbreaking and maybe that's part of the reason I connected with her more than Lily. I wasn't really into Lily's art gallery drama and I felt like her father's death was just hastily interjected into the story here and there. A death of a parent is going to affect a child for sure, but it seemed like I was only told it had a tremendous impact on Lily rather than shown.This is a dark and dreary story and the setting of Atlantic City was a good choice by the author as it added to the overall bleakness. I've read quite a few fiction books recently that deal with crimes against women and even though this wasn't a perfect read, I recommend giving it a shot as long as you know going in it is not going to be the most cheery and uplifting story. I did find it thought-provoking which is always a good thing.I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4 dark and gritty starsThis debut novel is set in seedy Atlantic City and author Caitlin Mullen paints the picture well of the once prosperous city that has been hit hard by the recession, hurricanes, abandoned casinos, and crime. This is a place not kind to women and this book may be tough for some people to read. Its summer and two unlikely women have started a friendship. Clara, a young psychic on the boardwalk, is having disturbing visions of women and violence. Lily has retreated from New 4 dark and gritty starsThis debut novel is set in seedy Atlantic City and author Caitlin Mullen paints the picture well of the once prosperous city that has been hit hard by the recession, hurricanes, abandoned casinos, and crime. This is a place not kind to women and this book may be tough for some people to read. It’s summer and two unlikely women have started a friendship. Clara, a young psychic on the boardwalk, is having disturbing visions of women and violence. Lily has retreated from New York to her hometown of Atlantic City after a disastrous experience. She’s working at a spa with few customers. The two women try to stay out of danger and find a path to happiness.Another set of fascinating characters are the Jane Does in the marsh and they want everyone to know their stories and to be seen – hence the title of the book. This thriller took a while to get going and then I was sucked into the dark and eerie world of this gambling town where men seem to do what they want with few consequences.Thank you to NetGalley, Caitlin Mullen, and Pocket Books/Gallery for an early copy to read. This one is out next week!
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    In its heyday, Atlantic City was a popular destination for holiday makers and beach lovers, and - when casinos were legalized - also attracted visitors who liked a game of chance. In its golden days, the Atlantic City boardwalk was lively, restaurants were full, shops were bustling, and jobs were abundant. Atlantic City in its heydayWith the rising popularity of other vacation sites, Atlantic City lost its cachet - and the once rocking boardwalk is now almost empty, half the casinos are closed, In its heyday, Atlantic City was a popular destination for holiday makers and beach lovers, and - when casinos were legalized - also attracted visitors who liked a game of chance. In its golden days, the Atlantic City boardwalk was lively, restaurants were full, shops were bustling, and jobs were abundant. Atlantic City in its heydayWith the rising popularity of other vacation sites, Atlantic City lost its cachet - and the once rocking boardwalk is now almost empty, half the casinos are closed, work is hard to come by, and there's a scent of decay in the air. Atlantic City in declineWorse yet, there's a LITERAL smell in the marsh behind the deteriorating Sunset Motel. There, two murdered women are posed so their fingers are almost touching and their heads are facing the city lights. By the end of eight weeks there will be five more bodies, victims of a serial killer who preys on women who trade sex for money. The deceased call out in their spectral voices, but almost no one hears them.Atlantic City is a promising hunting ground for a vicious predator, since damaged females flock to the area - which is rife with drug abuse, prostitution, and lawlessness. Over the course of the story we meet several murder victims, who are running from bad husbands, abusive homes, troubling circumstances, or their own inner demons. Moreover, the unlucky women - who vanish suddenly - hardly make a blip on the radar. At best a relative may ask around and put up missing person posters, which generally render few results. The story focuses on three troubled residents of Atlantic City: Clara, Lily, and Luis.Clara is a 16-year-old high school dropout who works as a Tarot card reader in a shabby boardwalk shop. Clara's mother ran off years ago, leaving the girl in the care of her Aunt Des, who taught Clara to hustle, steal, con, and more.Nevertheless, Clara has a real psychic gift, and she 'hears' the cries of the murdered women - though she doesn't realize what they are. Clara is desperate to leave town, and is saving money to join her mother in California, whom she hasn't heard from in four years.Lily is an Atlantic City native who graduated from Vassar and moved to New York City to work in an art gallery. After a devastating betrayal by her sculptor boyfriend Matthew, Lily returned to Atlantic City and got a job in a hotel spa.Lily plans to stay in Atlantic City for only a couple of months, until she has enough money to return to New York and restart her career. Lily still mourns the tragic death of her beloved father, who perished after a terrible accident.Luis is a deaf and dumb, mentally challenged janitor who works at the same hotel spa as Lily. Luis is constantly bullied by local toughs, right under the noses of the cops, who just laugh. Luis often thinks about his deceased grandfather, who raised and cared for him.Lily and Clara come together when the Tarot card reader and her Aunt Des mosey into the spa to solicit clients for readings. Lily is instructed to throw the intruders out, but Clara impresses Lily with a 'psychic insight' before she goes. This leads to a friendship between Lily and Clara, and to an eventual alliance to 'help' the missing women. In the meantime, Lily becomes acquainted with her mother's neighbor Mildred, who has a stash of Atlantic City paintings acquired by her late husband. Lily is immediately taken with the pictures and determines to find the artist - whose signature is indecipherable. As Lily and Clara go about their business, they're observed by deaf and dumb Luis, who's taken an innocent interest in both ladies. Luis sees things that aren't obvious to everyone, like a strange man lurking around. When Luis tries to communicate this, though, he can't make himself understood, which is unfortunate all around.The story exposes the sleazy demimonde of Atlantic City, where women - especially prostitutes - are used and abused. There's one harrowing scene after another as females repeatedly put themselves into frightening situations, and scumbag men take advantage of their neediness. This is a well-written story that grabbed my attention and held it from beginning to end. The book also provides a realistic portrait of a once vibrant city that's succumbing to unemployment, drug addiction, and felons - and it's a sad thing to see. This is more of a crime novel than a mystery, and I'd recommend it to people who enjoy that genre.Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Caitlin Mullen), and the publisher (Gallery Books) for a copy of the book.You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This was a tough book. The writing is good, and when I picked up a book about a serial killer, I wasnt expecting a cheery read, but I also wasnt thinking that every single character would be abused in some way, almost exclusively by men. Clara is a teenage girl whos getting by as someone who does have visions but is more con artist/thief than psychic. Lila is a woman whos gone back to her hometown of Atlantic City to lick her wounds after her man wronged her, and what he did didnt just impact This was a tough book. The writing is good, and when I picked up a book about a serial killer, I wasn’t expecting a cheery read, but I also wasn’t thinking that every single character would be abused in some way, almost exclusively by men. Clara is a teenage girl who’s getting by as someone who does have visions but is more con artist/thief than psychic. Lila is a woman who’s gone back to her hometown of Atlantic City to lick her wounds after her man wronged her, and what he did didn’t just impact her love life, it had a devastating impact on her career. Clara and Lila work together after several woman have gone missing. They see a lot of ugly things about the underbelly of humanity along the way. That’s all I can say without giving anything away. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MARCH 3, 2020.
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  • Sheyla ✎
    January 1, 1970
    Oh gosh, this book was too DEPRESSING for me. All the women seem to be doom and gloom in Atlantic City. Nowhere to run or survive. All women had to become some type of prostitute to make a living. Very sad characters indeed. Please See Us narrates the story of a serial killer who is disposing of the bodies of his victims in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel during a summer in Atlantic City. The "Janes" want to be found. They are all together, all alone without a voice and no one is trying Oh gosh, this book was too DEPRESSING for me. All the women seem to be doom and gloom in Atlantic City. Nowhere to run or survive. All women had to become some type of prostitute to make a living. Very sad characters indeed. Please See Us narrates the story of a serial killer who is disposing of the bodies of his victims in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel during a summer in Atlantic City. The "Janes" want to be found. They are all together, all alone without a voice and no one is trying to find their bodies until Clara, a psychic teenager starts having visions about the women. She begins a friendship with Lily, a Casino spa receptionist. With her help, Clara believes she can put together the visions the women are sending her.Clara's life has not been easy. Her mother left her with her aunt, Des. Des has no scruples. She has made Clara a thief and a con artist. Soon she begins manipulating Clara into agreeing to prostitute herself.Lily is from Atlantic City but she was living in New York City. She has an eye for art and was dating Matthew, a sculptor until he betrays her in the worse kind of way affecting her work. Lily runs back home to lick her wounds and to create a new her after losing everything.One more important character is Luis, a janitor who's deaf and blind. Luis has his own demons. He's constantly made fun of and attacked on a regular basis. The police can see it happening but they don't do anything to help him.Like I said earlier, Please See Us was too depressing to enjoy. It also left me with too many unanswered questions. I know I'm in the minority since so many of my book friends love it. It was just not for me.A word of advice for readers, this book has many scenes and forms of abuse towards women.Cliffhanger: No2/5 FangsA complimentary copy was provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    Please See Us is so much more than just a mystery/thriller read. I found the writing exceptional but what really made this book to stand out from all other books in this genre is the character development. I found myself simply hypnotized by each characters story. All characters are flawed people with gloomy pasts and many secrets to hide, but I could not help myself to like them all, even if they were far from being perfect. This is not an easy read due to all the dark and disturbing Please See Us is so much more than just a mystery/thriller read. I found the writing exceptional but what really made this book to stand out from all other books in this genre is the character development. I found myself simply hypnotized by each character’s story. All characters are flawed people with gloomy pasts and many secrets to hide, but I could not help myself to like them all, even if they were far from being perfect. This is not an easy read due to all the dark and disturbing descriptions of physical and mental abuse of women by, almost exclusively, men, however I think it is a good representation of how women of less means, and not only, are seen and treated by male dominated society. Gender inequality, sexual abuse, corruption, and drug addiction are just few topics explored in this captivating read.The author does a superb job at describing Atlantic City’s landscape, and the dark, eerie, and violent atmosphere of this town makes a perfect backdrop for the plot of the story and the not so easy subjects of violence, abuse, and addiction. The ending was just perfect in its imperfect way. For some this may be an unsatisfying conclusion to this disturbing tale, however in my opinion it was very compelling and, unfortunately, very accurate to how this kind of stories end in today’s world.Please See Us is not just another quick, action packed thriller with a shocking and less than believable ending, so if you are looking for a fast, easy read you may want to skip this one. However, if you are looking for a mystery/thriller read with some “meat” on it, then this is definitely a perfect story to read.Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Chelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Clara is a 16 year-old psychic whose mother abandoned her and now lives with her irresponsible aunt, Des. Des works in the casinos and hustles and steals to maintain her pill addiction. Lily moves back to a dying Atlantic City after a mortifying art show opening where she learned that her boyfriend and potential client were having an affair. Down on her luck and desperate for a fresh start, Lily begins working in an upscale Spa in one of the casinos. Atlantic City is a place with many lost souls Clara is a 16 year-old psychic whose mother abandoned her and now lives with her irresponsible aunt, Des. Des works in the casinos and hustles and steals to maintain her pill addiction. Lily moves back to a dying Atlantic City after a mortifying art show opening where she learned that her boyfriend and potential client were having an affair. Down on her luck and desperate for a fresh start, Lily begins working in an upscale Spa in one of the casinos. Atlantic City is a place with many lost souls itching for something more - more wealth, more drugs, more anonymity, more sex. It’s a place where a woman is an object and with that state of being comes power and extreme danger. Clara’s visions begin coming more frequently and out of nowhere. She quickly senses that something is seriously wrong and the visions are providing her with breadcrumbs. When her and Lily cross paths, will they keep each other safe or be led into more danger?I loved the writing style with the various narratives and mysterious characters. I also really enjoyed the underlying stories that were woven throughout like Lily’s experience in New York, the tragic death of Lily’s father, the mysterious paintings, and Clara’s drive to move to LA to find her mother. The writing was descriptive and really humanized the dangerous and demeaning lives of prostitutes. I did feel the end wrapped up a little quickly and some things were left hanging, though it could be argued that was also for effect. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Frank Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 Stars rounded up for this incredibly dark, atmospheric thriller debut! I listened to this on audio-book, but recommend anyone interested actually read the hardback, as I felt like at times it was hard to follow the numerous characters' perspectives, feeling like I missed a few details here and there. This book was all about the details too, so it took away from my overall enjoyment, most likely. Regardless, it was still a stellar, well above-average read. This one gave me the CREEPS! I'm a 3.75 Stars rounded up for this incredibly dark, atmospheric thriller debut! I listened to this on audio-book, but recommend anyone interested actually read the hardback, as I felt like at times it was hard to follow the numerous characters' perspectives, feeling like I missed a few details here and there. This book was all about the details too, so it took away from my overall enjoyment, most likely. Regardless, it was still a stellar, well above-average read. This one gave me the CREEPS! I'm a true crime follower and this somewhat reminded me of the real-life case of the Long Island serial killer, so much that I'm truly convinced Mullen took inspiration from the case when developing this macabre tale. Overall this had supernatural/paranormal elements, as well as true edge of your seat suspense. The mystery element was well above-average and I was completely surprised by how this one ended! The great thing with this book was that it didn't necessarily end how most thrillers would (can't say more), which I LOVED and thought was very original. I'm a fan of Ms. Mullen now and will be reading her follow up immediately upon release!
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsCaitlin Mullen's debut novel, Please See Us is a great suspense novel that shows the decline of Atlantic City and the destruction and crime that now taken over the once popular tourist location. While the book is a marvel of a storyline, it is also very slow-pacing. If you are looking for a book to sit and relax with, Please See Us is definitely a great contender. I got lost in Clara and Lily's world of struggle; their lives were not only intriguing, but also eye-opening. While the 3.5 starsCaitlin Mullen's debut novel, Please See Us is a great suspense novel that shows the decline of Atlantic City and the destruction and crime that now taken over the once popular tourist location. While the book is a marvel of a storyline, it is also very slow-pacing. If you are looking for a book to sit and relax with, Please See Us is definitely a great contender. I got lost in Clara and Lily's world of struggle; their lives were not only intriguing, but also eye-opening. While the book is very, very suspense-driven, the main action comes from Caitlin Mullen's depiction of Atlantic City. As someone who has seen the decline in recent years, it really took me back to those moments and it gave me time to reflect on what I've seen. Please See Us is beautifully written and I can't wait to see what's next from Caitlin Mullen.
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  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    Please See Us, a mystery/thriller, was a solid 4.5 star read. The book is set in Atlantic City-a deteriorating place riddled with crime and poverty and where a serial killer is dumping bodies in the swampy marshlands. In Please See Us, we meet a full cast of characters, including Lily-trying to restart her life while working in a casino spa; Clara-a young teen with true physic abilities, who makes a living reading tarot cards; Luis-a disabled janitor living in a boardinghouse; and the numerous Please See Us, a mystery/thriller, was a solid 4.5 star read. The book is set in Atlantic City-a deteriorating place riddled with crime and poverty and where a serial killer is dumping bodies in the swampy marshlands. In Please See Us, we meet a full cast of characters, including Lily-trying to restart her life while working in a casino spa; Clara-a young teen with true physic abilities, who makes a living reading tarot cards; Luis-a disabled janitor living in a boardinghouse; and the numerous “Jane Does” that were also given a voice in this book. Please See Us was an interesting and engaging book and one that was definitely atmospheric. I felt for all the characters and the struggles they had to endure to merely survive and eke out an existence. Highly recommended to fans of crime, fiction and mystery/thriller books. Thank you Gallery Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Anna Luce
    January 1, 1970
    ★★★✰✰ 3 starsThere is something bad in the air and in the water now, something rotten and wrong. A moral disease.While Please See Us gives its readers a slightly more innovative "missing women" type-of-story. Providing us with a panoramic of Atlantic City Caitlin Mullen's novel follows Clara, a young psychic, and Lily who has only recently returned to the city. Between their first-person chapters we have those of Luis, a mute and deaf janitor who works at the same spa as Lily, and those of 'the ★★★✰✰ 3 stars“There is something bad in the air and in the water now, something rotten and wrong. A moral disease.”While Please See Us gives its readers a slightly more innovative "missing women" type-of-story. Providing us with a panoramic of Atlantic City Caitlin Mullen's novel follows Clara, a young psychic, and Lily who has only recently returned to the city. Between their first-person chapters we have those of Luis, a mute and deaf janitor who works at the same spa as Lily, and those of 'the Janes', victims of an unknown serial killer. The quasi-supernatural element gives this rather tired type of story a bit of an edge. As more women are killed Clara and Lily find themselves embarking on an investigating of sorts. What Mullen does best in this novel is render Atlantic City's underbelly. The characters in the story feel stuck in what they rightly perceive to be a city in decline: addiction, prostitution, crime. Life in Atlantic City is not easy and 'the Janes' know this better than anyone. Mullen succinctly describes their fears and desires, as well as their circumstances. Some embrace their lifestyle, others believe that they deserve to be degraded and used by men, while some are battling against depression or addiction.While Mullen manages to make 'the Janes' sympathetic without making them strictly likeable, her two main characters were pretty annoying. Clara, who was raised by her aunt, has led a rather unsupervised life. Alongside her aunt she steals and cons people. Yet, her visions are no farce and she believes that a girl who recently went missing is in danger. Lily, who used to move in New York's art sphere, finds herself working as a receptionist at a casino's spa. Her breakup has given her quite a shock and she no longer feels as certain of herself as she used to. Both Clara and Lily had very self-dramatising narratives. They seem constantly startled by the most ordinary things, and they both go around judging people in the same way...which struck me as weird. They see someone and they seem able to deduce that person's character and story...Clara, for all her 'street-smarts' makes a ton of idiotic choices. Part of me wanted to give Lily a good shake. Much is made of the reason behind her breakup and when we get the details...well, it seemed very over the top. Her ex was hard believable as he was a mere caricature of the modern 'artist'.Clara and Lily's chapters were aggravating and full of platitudes that made me roll my eyes. Mullen tries hard to make Lily have an artist's worldview but to me these attempts seemed exaggerated: she tries to interact with Luis by making an obscure art reference, and she things stuff like this:“That’s what I loved about portraiture—how it captured the way a person’s personality, their past, their secrets, their desires or disappointments, settled into their body, their face.”Give me a break.So many of Clara and Lily's observations and inner monologues were pure cheese. One of them things this of Luis: “[His] personality was buried deep within his layers of silence”.Speaking of Luis...what was the point in his character? For much of the novel Mullen makes these not so subtle hints that he is not quite 'right'. He is repeatedly harassed and beaten up while the police stands by and does nothing (I mean, really?) and most people think he is a creep. Why is there this tendency to portray janitors this way? Let alone mute and deaf individuals?The storyline takes its time to set off. What Clara and Lily do isn't necessarily an investigation but a series of not always logical/organised attempts to discover where these missing women are. There are quite a few female characters who said cringy stuff like 'as a woman' and things on those lines which...who speaks like that? With the exception of two men who have very small cameos, all the guys in this book are basically the same: sadistic, predatory, violent, rapists, 100% vile.The serial killer was the typical fanatic who stars in novels like these. The way the ending unfolded irritated me. Shit finally hist the fan and then within a few pages its sort of over.All in all there was a lot I did not like about this novel. Clara and Lily's voices were pure cringe. The story was too slow and perhaps it would have benefited from being a tad more complex.The Jane chapters and the portrayal of Atlantic City were the most absorbing aspects of Please See Us. Would I recommend this one? Not so sure...Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come
  • Laura Peden
    January 1, 1970
    If youre looking for a fast paced, action packed thriller 🤚come back to Please See Us when youre ready for something thats more atmospheric, with slow-burning character driven suspense. Gosh this was gorgeous 🤤 ok so heres the deal with this book: Its one of those stories that takes a longgg time to get going...However (sorry I just really wanted to use a pinch emoji)...the payoffs are: 1. That slow burning story build is really well done if youre in the proper mood to just kick back & soak If you’re looking for a fast paced, action packed thriller 🤚🏼come back to Please See Us when you’re ready for something that’s more atmospheric, with slow-burning character driven suspense. Gosh this was gorgeous 🤤 ok so here’s the deal with this book: It’s one of those stories that takes a longgg time to get going...However 🤏🏼(sorry I just really wanted to use a pinch emoji)...the payoffs are: 1. That slow burning story build is really well done if you’re in the proper mood to just kick back & soak it in (highly recommend 🎧 over 📚. I had both so you can trust me 😏) 2. The payoff is 💯💥💣 (at least it was for me anyway).The novel takes place in the run down Atlantic City. The casinos, hotels & boardwalk have seen better days. The vibe is bleak & depressive and while those descriptions are usually taken negatively, when you include Jane Does piling up in the marshes, a serial killer on the loose, a psychic with visions of women in trouble, and a deaf mute man who seems to be the only one in the community that’s really seeing anything, it just all works very well together. If you know your true crime, this is clearly inspired by the Long Island Serial Killer. This is another book that I cannot believe is a debut novel. Un-freaking-real 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 If you’re in a book club that you think this material would appeal to, I think it would make for great discussion. If you want plot points go read the blurb. I have to mention the audio real quick. Hillary Dillary Huber is back to haunt me again...jk. This is actually the first performance of hers that I’ve enjoyed, it was the right casting choice. And the other three narrators were perfect as well. Highly recommend. Sorry for the run on sentences & overall ridiculousness I’m bipolar and manic af right now 🤦🏼‍♀️
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  • Lori Lamothe
    January 1, 1970
    There is a sisterhood among them, these women in the marsh. Strong Debut Novel, 4.5 starsClara Voyant is a skinny high-school dropout who reads tarot for a living and isn't above snatching the occasional trinket, thanks to her aunt Des's instruction in shoplifting. She longs to leave Atlantic City and set out for California, where she hopes she can reunite with the mother who abandoned her as a child. Lily Louten isn't any more enamored with the city than Clara but she has no plans to leave the “There is a sisterhood among them, these women in the marsh.” Strong Debut Novel, 4.5 starsClara Voyant is a skinny high-school dropout who reads tarot for a living and isn't above snatching the occasional trinket, thanks to her aunt Des's instruction in shoplifting. She longs to leave Atlantic City and set out for California, where she hopes she can reunite with the mother who abandoned her as a child. Lily Louten isn't any more enamored with the city than Clara but she has no plans to leave the place she grew up in anytime soon. In fact, after quitting a prestigious gallery job in New York and ditching her famous sculptor boyfriend, she has no plans at all. Working at a dead-end job as a receptionist at a struggling spa suits her just fine. But when Clara's visions begin to seem like they might be more than just her imagination, the two women find themselves unlikely allies. As they work together to find the truth, Clara and Lily become targets themselves. Please See Us is Caitlin Mullen's first novel and I may have never come across a more fitting title. Unlike some thrillers, where the victims appear and disappear almost as quickly, the women who fall prey to the Atlantic City serial killer call out to us to witness their stories. They're not props to ratchet up the suspense, not victims to be pitied or fallen angels whose sole purpose is to serve as a warning. Though Clara's gift is the conduit that brings these women's lives into focus, it's actually Mullen whose talent is at work. Thus her Jane Does show us their struggles and hopes, their weaknesses and disappointments, even after death. They are addicts and whores, flawed mothers, flawed daughters, lost women who never gave up on the idea of escape until the very end. As they lie joined in a submerged circle in the marshes on the outskirts of the city, they almost take on the role of a Greek chorus. In their sections of the novel, they are watchers who observe tragedy but can do nothing to change it, nothing to avert the seemingly inevitable outcome. Mullen also sees Atlantic City remarkably well. It is impossible to read this novel and come away without a strong sense of the place's own history, its descent into cheap glamour and money-grubbing tawdriness, its unsuccessful battle against Hurricane Sandy. “The empty buildings hulk against the shoreline, mammoth and spectral as shipwrecked cruise liners.” There is something oddly momentous about the city's fall, something reminiscent of The Titantic's fateful voyage and the death of all gilded things. Though I'm still struggling with the novel's ending, which will not work for all readers, it is in keeping with the novel as a whole. Ironically, despite the shimmering paranormal trappings and gorgeous writing style, this is a violently realistic story. I started out thinking the book would proceed along the lines of a traditional thriller like The Death of Mrs. Westaway (which also features an abandoned psychic teenager as protagonist) but it is much darker. The slower pacing and lack of typical plot twists reflect that, but Please See Us is definitely worth reading. And Mullen doesn't abandon the shimmer—she gives readers a bit of hope at the end, a vision to counter the darker side of the city. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next. Much thanks to Gallery Press and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Chris C - A Midlife Wife
    January 1, 1970
    So rich in detail and amazing storytelling abilities! ~~~~~~~~~~~~This book is so different from the scores of other murder mystery and murder crime thrillers that are out there right now.Rich in vivid detail, Mullen showcases her amazing storytelling ability as she intricately weaves a story that is heartbreaking yet so very addicting.We see much of the story through the eyes of a teenage seer. We meet some of the victims and understand their lives and their desperation, sadness, and despair. So rich in detail and amazing storytelling abilities! ~~~~~~~~~~~~This book is so different from the scores of other murder mystery and murder crime thrillers that are out there right now.Rich in vivid detail, Mullen showcases her amazing storytelling ability as she intricately weaves a story that is heartbreaking yet so very addicting.We see much of the story through the eyes of a teenage seer. We meet some of the victims and understand their lives and their desperation, sadness, and despair.This is not your typical thriller so be prepared to spend a lot of time reading between the lines and getting to know all of the players in the story.I love the fact that the author did not give us an open and shut case at the end either. Maybe there’s more to come. Maybe the victims have more to say.If you’re looking for a compelling, disturbing, and highly intricate story, Please See Us is one to put on your list.* copy received for review considerationFull Review - https://amidlifewife.com/please-see-u...
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  • Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic book! I started it yesterday and have had a really hard time putting it down. It was so well-written, it's hard to believe it was a debut.I cannot wait to see what else Caitlin Mullen writes. Pick up this book, you won't regret it!
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is less about a serial killer, although one does exist, and more about women mistreated, violated, abused, and treated as trash to be disposed of without a thought. Victims are given voices and an impoverished, orphaned waif has visions. Another woman runs back to decaying Atlantic City to heal from male cruelty and to find the what solace she can at home. Fires burn, lives are revealed, and the powerless are preyed upon.
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  • Karen Rush
    January 1, 1970
    Against the gritty backdrop of an Atlantic City that has fallen on hard times, there are dead women lying in a salt marsh behind the Sunset Motel.Although it took me a little while to sort out characters, this slow-burner pulled me in. Mullens approach to exposing the vulnerabilities of her characters is well done. I especially loved the voices of Lily and Clara, sympathizing with these bright yet unlucky victims of circumstance. This is one of those books that I have continued to think about Against the gritty backdrop of an Atlantic City that has fallen on hard times, there are dead women lying in a salt marsh behind the Sunset Motel.Although it took me a little while to sort out characters, this slow-burner pulled me in. Mullen’s approach to exposing the vulnerabilities of her characters is well done. I especially loved the voices of Lily and Clara, sympathizing with these bright yet unlucky victims of circumstance. This is one of those books that I have continued to think about days after finishing. A captivating debut.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    This was kind of a twisted little story. There seemed to be too many characters talking in this book. At times I had a hard time following and keeping them straight. I did enjoy the story and it kept my interest. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
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  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 rounding up because for a debut it was addicting! I don't care for this genre, I didn't know a thing when I started it and almost quit with all the Jersey talk in the first 15', but something clicked and I hung in there and then slid right into the drivers seat and put the petel to the metal to the last word! It's gritty, eerie, nasty and too many janes, yet addicting. It reminded me of the goldfinch, a book I disliked, but it still was a five star read!
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  • ☕️Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    The story is told from different points of view; the bulk belongs to Clara, a teenage psychic who lives with her Aunt and reads tarot cards on boards. Thanks to her Aunts habits, she is also good at cons and theft as the landlord always knocking at the door. Clara however longs to find her mother and dreams of saving enough to head to west to find her.The other main POV is that of Lily Louten. Lily left Jersey behind for the art world and dreamed of holding shows and managing up-and-coming The story is told from different points of view; the bulk belongs to Clara, a teenage psychic who lives with her Aunt and reads tarot cards on boards. Thanks to her Aunts habits, she is also good at cons and theft as the landlord always knocking at the door. Clara however longs to find her mother and dreams of saving enough to head to west to find her.The other main POV is that of Lily Louten. Lily left Jersey behind for the art world and dreamed of holding shows and managing up-and-coming artist until her world crashed. She is home, working at a spa and drinking a little too much.Other perspectives belong to the killer, his victims and a mute and deaf man who works as a janitor where Lily works. Someone is murdering young women and laying them out in the marsh. Clara is having visions of them, and a chance encounter with Lily soon has the girls chatting, but both of their life styles put them in the killer’s path.Having grew up in South Jersey I am familiar with the setting, and in fact visited the casinos when they were in their prime. I recently visited, and the author did a fantastic job of capturing the city, the economics and the chronic issues that plague the area.Realistic, raw, and atmospheric with flawed character trying to eek out a living the tale shines a light on many of the hardships and struggles of economically depressed areas while pulling you into a suspenseful mystery.The murders, the mystery of them and Clara’s visions combined with the POVs of the victims and their stories pulls you in. This does not lessen the suspensefulness of the tale. In fact, it wasn’t until the last few chapters that I held my breath. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    A great new thriller involving several missing women near the northeastern new jersey region.Summer has come and gone. The tourists are barely seen. The boardwalks are nearly empty in Atlantic City. Yet one thing is active the crime rate and murder.Two women have just been found in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel and only one person knows they're there.A young woman trying to make ends meet as a Tarot Card Psychic is our main character and is lively and vibrant. In fact she gets A great new thriller involving several missing women near the northeastern new jersey region.Summer has come and gone. The tourists are barely seen. The boardwalks are nearly empty in Atlantic City. Yet one thing is active the crime rate and murder.Two women have just been found in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel and only one person knows they're there.A young woman trying to make ends meet as a Tarot Card Psychic is our main character and is lively and vibrant. In fact she gets premonitions about these women. Visions that are all too real. Visions that are simply too hard to forget.Meanwhile, Lily is a art gallery gal working at a desolate casino spa who struggles in her own daily battles.These two are an unlikely pairing but when lives are on the line it's urgent that these women be heard.Sadly this is all too common scenario and sadly the 'Atlantic Cities' of the world are becoming more frequent as the quest for the almighty dollar precedes the safety and concern for those around these blighted out properties.What's left after these casino giants leave is what we are experiencing here in NorthEastern Pennsylvania. Nothing more than high crimes, drugs, prostitution, and blighted properties with high unemployment and no living wage jobs. Plenty of minimum wage retail, factory, hospitality, and food establishments that pay below poverty wages. Those with families can't make it work and can't get out. It's a locked into poverty scenario that is on rewind.This was a great read for thriller fans.
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