Book Review: Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

Before He Finds Her
Author: Michael Kardos
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Thriller
Released: February 3, 2015
Review Source: Mysterious Press

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.

I'm kind of sad that this book just didn't do it for me. I loved the cover and the premise sounded really cool...but after the first few pages, I was already bored of the story. I've never met someone on the Witness Protection Program...but then again, how would I know if they are or not?

I was expecting something a lot more from the characters and just didn't get it. I was hoping that the story would only be from the viewpoint of Melanie because that's what the synopsis led me to believe, but I felt like her dad, Ramsey, had a bigger part than her. The saddest part was that Melanie's character was a little boring and Ramsey was the most exciting one of the bunch. I really wanted Melanie to do something, but she seemed kind of flat. Sometimes I caught myself just skimming the pages because there was a lot of stuff that I felt didn't need to be in there. There was also WAY too much backstory at the beginning. I was bored for the first few chapters.

I did think that the plot line was creative. I couldn't see things like this happening in real life, but books are supposed to take you to places you've never been or put you in situations that you wouldn't find yourself in. I could see someone like Tommy Lee Jones, Harrison Ford, and Kevin Bacon playing in a movie with a plot like this.

I really wanted this to be a good one, but it wasn't. I finished the book, but that's because I hate stopping midway through a book. I could see some of my friends liking this book because they love thrillers, but I probably won't be promoting it as much as the others. I did like the cover though!

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