Title: Find Me by J.S. Monroe
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A sighting of a woman who supposedly died years ago sparks a desperate search for the truth in this breakout suspense thriller, perfect for readers of The Good Girl and The Widow.
Sometimes we choose to see only what we want. Sometimes what we see changes the way we look at everything…
Jarlath “Jar” Costello’s girlfriend, Rosa, committed suicide when they were both students at Cambridge, and Jar has thought about her every day since. It’s been five years, yet Jar is still obsessed with the idea that Rosa, the one true love of his life, is alive. He’s tormented by disturbingly real sightings of her—experiences the psychologist treating him describes as “post-bereavement hallucinations.”
When Rosa’s aunt uncovers an encrypted file on her laptop that she believes is Rosa’s diary, she gives Jar the hard drive, sending him on a frantic quest to unlock the mysterious document and finally make sense of the suspicious circumstances surrounding Rosa’s suicide. But the deeper he digs, the more confused he becomes as he is pressed into a dark underworld where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. When a startling discovery convinces him more than ever that these are not just hallucinations—that Rosa really is alive—Jar is thrust into the heart of a larger intrigue that may finally shed some light on Rosa’s death…even as it dangerously threatens his own life.
With plenty of suspense and unexpected twists and turns, Find Me by J.S. Monroe is a spectacular yet chilling psychological thriller.
Jarlath “Jar” Costello lost his girlfriend, Rosa Sandhoe, to suicide five years earlier. However, due to the fact her body was never recovered, he is convinced she is still alive. His life has gone steadily downhill as he works a job that he hates, drinks to excess and ends up having meaningless one night stands. Jar is also continuing to experience “post-bereavement hallucination” where he sees Rosa in a variety of different locations and situations. After Rosa’s Aunt Amy stumbles onto a what is believed to be her niece’s computer diary, Jar discovers grows more convinced Rosa is still alive and he intensifies his search for her with the help of his friend, Carl.
Although their relationship had barely started when Rosa vanished, there is never any doubt she and Jar were deeply in love. It is not until Jar begins reading the diary entries that he realizes how deeply she was still grieving the death of her father but Jar still does not believe she was suicidal. With each diary entry he reads, Jar becomes aware there was a lot going on in Rosa’s life that she kept hidden from him. He is also more certain than before that she is still alive and in fact, some of this newly discovered information helps explain some of the odd events that have been happening to him recently. Although Jar learns valuable details about what might have happened to Rosa, he has no idea how he will find her.
Broken into two parts with chapters alternating between Jar’s perspective and a hodgepodge of diary entries, there is an incredible sense of urgency as Jar uncovers the truth about Rosa. The diary entries are non-sequential since they are decrypted in random order but each chapter is clearly marked with the correct date so they are easy to follow. Initially, Jar appears to an unreliable narrator who is seemingly paranoid since he certain that someone is following him. However, as part one comes to a close, there is little doubt that Jar is on the right track about Rosa.
The pacing of part two is even more frantic as Jar’s investigation intensifies and the diary entries are now written from two characters’ perspectives. The truth about Rosa’s disappearance is still a little murky, but the details that begin to emerge are completely horrifying. Jar makes an absolutely shocking discovery that he first finds impossible to believe. Will he find irrefutable proof to prove that his suspicions are, in fact, correct?
Find Me by J.S. Monroe is an utterly engrossing mystery that is part crime drama and part spy novel. With unspeakable acts of violence committed by a thoroughly sick and twisted individual, there is a high degree of suspense as Jar uncovers the grisly truth about what happened to Rosa. This high octane novel moves at breakneck speed and has no shortage of breathtaking twists, turns and stunning revelations. All in all, it is an incredibly well-written mystery with an original storyline that tackles some fascinating yet very dark subject matter.