Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen

OIP (3)

Please See Us is the haunting story set on the boardwalk and in the casinos of Atlantic City’s seedier side, where drugs are important and the addicts will do just about anything for a quick fix. Where women will accept abuse from men just to try and escape the life they have been dealt. And some will be killed.

In the vein of The Long Island Killer, there is someone who is killing prostitutes and escorts and dumping their bodies in a marsh.  No one is aware this is happening.  The only solace the dead women have are each other as they lie in wait for someone, anyone, to find them.

Clara is an eighteen year old boardwalk psychic who lives with her aunt above their dilapidated shop.  Her aunt Des is as crooked as they come.  Both have been banned from some casinos for stealing and escorting.  But all Clara really wants to do is put enough money away to get out of Atlantic City and find her mother who she has not seen since she was a child. Des has decided it’s time to put Clara to use and begins looking for men she can date.

When a client comes in for a reading, begging Clara for help in finding his missing niece, she tries to pacify him, but after he leaves she begins to have horrible visions. The same happens when a few other women come in for readings.  She does not understand why they all seem to be connected.

Lily is a former New York gallery worker who through circumstance beyond her control loses her job and moves in with her mom in Atlantic City where she begins working at a spa in one of the casinos. She has a bit of a drinking problem.  When Clara steals her bracelet and Lily goes looking for her she discovers a lost girl who is in way over her head.  They become friends and Clara tells Lily about the visions she is having and asks her for help. Clara believes the two of them working together can perhaps figure out what is happening to them.

As Clara and Lily delve deeper into the mystery, the reader meets the dead women and learn the stories of how they ended up in Atlantic City.  But no one is safe from this killer.  Have Clara or Lily already met him? Could one of them possibly be his next victim? Will the dead girls ever be found?

Please See Us is an incredibly different psychological thriller which not only has suspense, but also heartbreaking and makes the reader truly feel sorrow for the characters in the story who seem to be trying to begin a new life only to have that precious hope silenced.

Thank you Anne Jaconette of Gallery Books for sending me an advanced copy of this riveting book.

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