Review: Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen
Have you ever picked up a book with low expectations and then been completely blown away by just how good it was, and then read it cover to cover in just a few hours? That was my experience with Please See Us, a psychological thriller about the victims of a serial killer, and the two very different women who try to solve the crime.
Set during summer in Atlantic City, the author paints a bleak picture of Clara, a young woman with psychic abilities who works on a stand with her aunt, a woman who should most definitely not be trusted to look after a teenage girl. Contrasting against Clara is Lily, an artist who has returned home from New York City after experiencing heartbreak and a cruel humiliation. Chance throws the pair together, but they soon find themselves trying to discover what may have happened to Julie, a young woman who is missing, and who may be in Atlantic city. From there, things take a chilling twist ...
This was a fast paced novel, set against a bleak landscape but packed full of characters who I felt a lot of sympathy for. As well as Clara and Lily, there is Luis, a man with a disability who has suffered bullying and discrimination from the local community his whole life and whose talents have gone largely unnoticed, causing him to turn to some desperate until he takes desperate measures to be seen. Then, of course, there are the Janes, the victims of the serial killer, each of whom have their own story. The storytelling itself is gritty, and the author does not shy away from describing the violence and abuse that many of the characters suffer at the hands of others, which is, difficult to read, but written in a way that is compelling and does nothing to glorify those acts.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my copy of Please See Us.