Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
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.
This is definitely a unique reading experience for me. For Caitlin Mullen’s debut novel, I thought that this book was pretty good. The story and writing was enticing and kept me wanting more. The characters were complex, flawed and also beautifully written, in a sad way. The pacing kept me engaged and I truly wanted to read faster (if only I could, I would have). The only main downfall for me were the number of characters that we are introduced to in this book, as a personal preference I really can’t enjoy more than four main characters. (I’m looking at you Game Of Thrones). It had me quite confused and having to go back and reread things to make sure I knew who I was reading about. At times, throughout the entire book, I got really annoyed with myself, for not being able to remember everyone and their individual stories. Overall, I love a really good, engaging thriller with lots of suspense and that’s what this was. A great story with broken and abused characters who show us the depths that they will go just to be able to get by and stay as sane as possible in a crazy messed up world.
I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
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 and currently lives in Brooklyn. Please See Us is her debut novel.