Title: Please See Us
Author: Caitlin Mullen
Length: 341 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Source: Personal collection
Content Warnings: statutory rape, underage drinking and drug use, physical abuse, murder, arson
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?
This slow burn mystery takes a harsh, gritty look at the unseen violence against women that happens everyday. The story was intricate and dark, but it just didn’t hold my attention. The plot developed very slowly, and the teenage prostitution was a lot to handle. I did enjoy the spooky, psychic visions, but I struggled to get through the story. I also didn’t love the way the ending turned out, but I understand that it reflects justice in the real world more than the ending I wanted.