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Please See Us

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,190 ratings  ·  683 reviews
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 th
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,190 ratings  ·  683 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Gallery Books
Shelves: from-publisher
“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.”


Friends, I have been so skeptical, and possibly jaded, toward psychological suspense in the year of our Lord 2019, but m
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

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
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 usin
David Putnam
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
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 forwa ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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 tog
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Missing 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 t
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
The Janes

They lay dead in the marsh, behind the Sunset Motel, positioned side by side, their heads all facing East, looking towards the lights of the failing casinos and resorts known as Atlantic City.

In eight weeks, there will be seven Jane Does, pleading to be found-

But they went to Atlantic City to disappear, so nobody realizes they are missing and no one is looking.

Until a 16 year old girl, named Ava, known as Clara, the girl who reads Tarot Cards, begins to see visions.

Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-requests
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 impr
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
4 dark and gritty stars

This 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
Katie B
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

It 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 casi
Sheyla ✎

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 tryin
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Women get humiliated every day, in small stupid ways and in huge, disastrous ones.”

4.5 lyrically haunting stars!

I'm genuinely stunned by this beautifully written debut novel. Caitlin Mullen is, without a doubt, an up and coming star in the literary world. Her prose, her syntax, her composition...all flawless.

Known only as Janes 1 through 6, we hear the very distinct voices of each of these women, strangled by a sadistic killer in a crumbling, faded Atlantic City. They're left to rot in the hum
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it

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 heyday

With 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,
Theresa Alan
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 impa
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Raw, gritty mystery that kept me on edge and guessing until the last page!

This story covers multiple women and their stories in the once glamorous Atlantic City. Their connections are expertly interwoven with the individual stories slowly coming to the surface. It's a grim tale that includes grisly details of the horrible abuse, physical and sexual, these women suffer. The writing style is unusual, with each chapter focusing on a different character, including the Jane Does.

"Enjoyable" does no
Frank Phillips
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aga Durka
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 descripti
A debut novel that was extremely fast-paced!

I picked this book up not only for it’s unique title, but also because it is based in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This couldn’t hit any closer to home, therefore increasing the creepiness factor tenfold. I could vividly picture these places in my mind, with rotting bodies laid beside one another- left out like yesterday’s trash. Boy-oh-boy am I so glad that I did because it is unlike any other thriller that I’ve ever read. This story felt like a true cr
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dennis by: Chelsea Humphrey
Shelves: slow-burn, suspense
3.5 stars

Caitlin 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
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
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
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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 “ ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
★★★✰✰ 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 'th
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Full review to come
Laura Peden
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 & ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
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.

Lori Lamothe
“There is a sisterhood among them, these women in the marsh.”

Strong Debut Novel, 4.5 stars

Clara 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 th
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
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!
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

**3.5 stars**

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen. (2020).

It is summer in Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, casino lights are dimmed and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind a motel. Meanwhile, young psychic Clara is struggling for clients and begins to experience real and disturbing visions she suspects are connected to missing women. After Clara meets Lily, who has just started working at a casino spa and
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Caitlin Mullen earned a BA in English and Creative Writing from Colgate University, an MA in English from NYU, and an MFA in fiction from Stony Brook University. While at Stony Brook she taught undergraduate creative writing, served as an editor and contributing writer for The Southampton Review, and worked as a bookseller at WORD in Greenpoint. She grew up in upstate New York and the Jersey Shore ...more

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