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Before He Finds Her

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,518 ratings  ·  374 reviews
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 f
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Mysterious Press (first published January 20th 2015)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  4,518 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I was very excited to read this book after reading the description. Small town father and husband Ramsey Miller throws a neighborhood block party and then murders his wife and young daughter. However, the daughter got away and has been living in secrecy for the last 15 years. Under the name Melanie Denison she has lived a very secluded life with her aunt and uncle. Melanie though is tired of hiding. She decides to try and find her father before he finds her.

The story is well written a
Elyse  Walters
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book from 'Netgalley': THANK YOU very much. I always consider it a privilege. I'll write my honest thoughts. I LIKED IT!!

I'll always have a 'personal' association with "Before He Finds Her". While my 'house' is healing and my 'husband' is healing, this book was a very satisfying escape.

Just two weeks ago, my husband had a serious Mt. Biking accident --both his arms are in casts --two surgeries were required. Then, it that wasn't enough, our water heater exploded in our newly rem
Diane S ☔
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ramsey Miller is a very interesting and flawed character. He had a less than ideal childhood and was often in trouble with the law. All that changed when he met a new friend, Eric, a man trying to stay off alcohol and a man who has a seep faith in the lord. It changed too when he met his wife and they had a child. Or did he change? As I wasreading this it seemed very possible that he had murdered his wife and daughter. He had a terrible temper that he tried hard to control and after meeting a fe ...more
Glenn Sumi
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Despite its cheesy thriller-style cover and advance praise by Jeffery Deaver, Before He Finds Her is more psychological mystery than thriller. Think Everything I Never Told You, not Dark Places.

One night back in September 1991, trucker Ramsey Miller murdered his wife, Allie, and their three-year-old daughter, Meg, then disappeared. But in fact, the girl was taken to another state and, under the Witness Protection Program, given a new name (Melanie) and raised by her aunt and uncle to fear for
Feb 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
What an awful book! I read fast through half the book rapidly turning pages hoping something intriguing would appear. The prose is dull and devoid of any style. The characters are flat and one dimensional. The plot appeared mildly interesting but the writing is so dull and the characters so uninteresting that it became a huge effort to continue reading.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yowza!! I could not put down this book. It was THAT good!

A woman is murdered and the father and daughter are missing. The story begins 15 years later when the daughter would be 18. It goes from the present to the past describing the father and his relationship with the mother. The story is opened by the journalist who covered the gruesome events and between him and the missing daughter, the mystery is solved. There were innumerable suspects and the author made you blame them all. I was totally
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Start reading the first page and kiss the next 24 hours goodbye.

Arthur Goodale has not made an entry on his blog for three weeks. From his Monmouth Regional Hosptail bed he writes a blog to his loyal 75 followers. He writes about living just one neighbourhood away from where the Millers once did. Arthur gives a brief summary, on Sunday afternoon and evening of September 22nd 1991, the Miller family hosted an outdoor block party. Later that night after the guest were gone, an inebriated Ramsey br
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm always on a lookout for good (literary if possible) stand alone domestic mystery thrillers. Kardos has exceeded every possible expectation I might have had when I picked up Before He Finds Her. A mystery that's actually mysterious, thriller that actually thrills and as well written as any quality work of literature, this book was genuinely awesome and pretty much impossible to put down. Good thing it was a quick read. Basic plot is a young woman raised almost her entire life in rural isolati ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
'Before I read' this book I had high hopes that this book was going to be amazing. Before I read this book, it had a few holds, but I was willing to wait cause I thought that it had potential. Before I read this book, I begged in my previous status that this book be good, otherwise I was going to be evil with my review..Now after reading this book, I am frustrated that I wasted my time to get my hands on this travesty.

Let's start with the poor writing style from the first page. The letter was no
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Generally enjoyable thriller from Kardos about a teenager living in hiding with her aunt and uncle from her father, who is widely believed to have killed her and her mother some fourteen years before. The story's strong point is in the flashbacks to the few days leading up to the mom's murder, which slowly gives the reader insight into the events as they really unfolded and what was going on in the minds of the adult protagonists. The problem with the book is that it doesn't offer any real surpr ...more
Nancy McFarlane
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This fast paced thriller takes you on a wild ride, filled with ups and downs, as the young protagonists searches for the father who murdered her mother 15 years ago. Just when I thought this story was becoming predictable, it would change course. Totally unexpected twists throughout kept me guessing, and its stunning ending really was a surprise!!
Peter Monn
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this in less than 3 days. Incredible mystery. Check out my full review on my Booktube channel at ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Before He Finds Her – Compelling Crime Thriller

Award winning author Michael Kardos new crime thriller Before He Finds Her is one of the most compelling and moving crime thrillers of the year. There are plenty of twists and turns with plenty of innovation where the prose is clear and crisp a tale of redemption and a life time of fear. Once you start reading you will be addicted to the story and will put everything else on hold until you have finished.

September 1991 on a Sunday night Ramsey Miller
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Oh how I love a freaky twist at the end!!!
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
The story is about a young girl, raised by her Uncle and Aunt, who is looking for the person who she believes murdered her mother: her father.

It was just o.k: a formulaic detective story.

You know, the typical detective story where on or about chapter three, one character re-tells the entire story from the beginning to another character because the reader might not have been bright enough to keep track of the same.

This is yet another story that is using what is becoming the tiresome literary dev
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting idea for a mystery/thriller. Not badly executed, but I didn't engage with the characters or much care which way it turned out. Overall I wasn't surprised by how it turned out--what I expected from the blurb is what I got at the end. ...more
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Didn't it strike a discordant note for an 18 or 19 year old college student to reference Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as her role model detectives? ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a great story! I loved the way it kept me guessing.
Apr 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: circle
I am so glad I took a chance on this after reading the raves by other authors. I only half pay attention to these, but I've learned, I think, to trust certain authors not to BS and to read between the lines.

The cover blurb by Jeffery Deaver is so dead-on: Read a few pages of this novel and kiss the next 24 hours goodbye. I could not give it up, as BEFORE HE FINDS HER flawlessly and grippingly transitioned backwards and forwards between 2 storylines: 1) a 17-year-old recently pregnant girl, who's
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pregnant teenagers with assumed names, truck drivers with anger management issues, burned out wives
Michael Kardos's ability to keep the tension going in this book relied on a lot of "But wait, there's more!" plot gimmicks, but they actually worked, for the most part. Before He Finds Her started testing my credulity early, but I had a suspicion there would be a twist or two to explain that things were not what they seemed, and I was right. Except there was a twist in nearly every chapter. He kept me going, though I admit that at about the midway point, I thought he was going to veer into an ap ...more
Heather Hatfield (purrrfectbooktalks)
I discovered this book on Audible randomly. The blurb interested me, so I got it. I devoured this book.

15 years ago, Ramsey Miller murdered his wife and child after throwing a block party and was never seen again. That is what the public knows. The truth is, is that his daughter, Meg, got away and was taken into Witness Protection where her aunt and uncle have taken over the role as her mom and dad. Now known as Melanie Dennison, Meg Miller, is 17 now and finds herself happily pregnant. She is
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 - 3.75 wasn’t bad, need to let it marinate a bit
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, mystery
I'm not typically a reader of mysteries, but if the writing is this good . . . sign me up. Seriously, good writing plus a compelling plot=what's not to love? ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a well-done mystery. There were plenty of twists that I didn't see coming, and I loved discovering them at the same time as the narrator/heroine of the story. ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, suspense
I loved this book. It had such a strange beginning that I couldn't tell the direction it was headed, Then, at the perfect time, the mystery took on a life of its own. I enjoyed the mixture of love, suspense, betrayal, and forgiveness. The characters were messy, and the ending was unexpected, leading to 4.5 stars. Audiobook review at ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Review on my blog The Fictional Reader

I will be the first to admit that I don’t read a lot of mysteries/thrillers anymore. I used to read a lot of crime fiction when I was younger -I think about 5 years ago? As I’m writing this, I realize I am usually focused on one genre. I first started reading fantasy, went on to romance, then crime fiction, archaeological crime fiction and back to fantasy -YA and adult alike. I need to be more open in my genre-reading. Anyway, the point was that I haven’t re
Karyn Niedert
Procured via: Netgalley

Book Title and Author: “Before He Finds Her” by Michael Kardos

RELEASE DATE: February 03, 2015

RATING: 3.5 Stars Worth requesting at library or buying in paperback

GENRE: Mystery/Suspense-Adult Lit

AUDIENCE: Fans of Dennis Lehane, Stephen White, and Jonathan Kellerman will enjoy the twists and turns in ““Before He Finds Her

SERIES: Standalone (as known at this time)

SUMMARY: Blurb from Netgalley:

“Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunda
Cathy Ryan
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story opens with a blog post from Arthur Goodale, an eighty-one year old blogger, writing from his hospital bed in the critical care unit after having bypass surgery. A retired newspaperman, one story which has never been solved is always present in Arthur’s thoughts. That is the case of murdered Alison Miller and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, Ramsey Miller and their daughter, Meg. No motive was ever uncovered and no sightings of Ramsey or Meg have ever been reported but t
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Imagine growing up from the age of three, living in the witness protection program with your aunt and uncle because your father killed your mother and then disappeared. Obedient and pliant, 18 year old Melanie decides to investigate what really happened on that fateful night that changed her life forever. Searching for answers generates more questions. The reader is privy to details that Melanie is not, but like her, we discover these details along the way, and each new piece of information alte ...more
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Did you like the ending? 1 19 Aug 29, 2015 03:01PM  

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Michael Kardos ( is the Pushcart Prize-winning author of the novels Bluff, Before He Finds Her, and The Three-Day Affair, named by Esquire as a Best Book of the year, and the story collection One Last Good Time, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction. He has a degree in music from Princeton University and played the drums professionally for a nu ...more

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