When You Find Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

Gray Godfrey wakes up to find her husband Paul missing with no trace except for his abandoned car. The plot thickens when a mysterious caller named Annie claims to have had a relationship with Paul and has information about his disappearance. Told from the multiple perspectives of Gray and Nina, the police officer investigating the case, this takes readers on a windy road of deception. 

This was a fun, surprising read. I thought I had everything figured out but was completely thrown for a loop by the ending. I also liked the atmospheric descriptions of life in South Carolina and how easy it is to quickly fall from grace. 4 stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley, Crooked Lane Books and P. J. Vernon for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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This book sucked me in and left me gasping for air. Page turner. Very suspensful.  Great debut book. Will recommend
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This kept me up late! I couldn’t put it down. It was dark and twisty and kept me guessing until the end. I thought I knew, but Nope!  I can’t wait to read more. Thank you Netgalley for access to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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If you enjoy Southern Gothic chillers, P. J. Vernon’s When You Find Me is the debut for you. It’s Christmastime, and heiress Gray Godfrey (née King) and her husband, Paul, are en route to Elizabeth, South Carolina to celebrate with her mother. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s that she’s going to need more than a few drinks to get through it. After a strained visit to the Christmas Eve services, an old friend of Gray’s invites them to Ruby’s Tavern to celebrate. Obviously, it’s not the ideal place for an alcoholic like Gray, but she agrees. It’s a rolling disaster that only gets worse when she says yes to a dance with her old flame, Jacob.

He lifted my chin with his hand, pulling me close to kiss my mouth.

“No. Paul’s here—”

At least, I think I’d said “no.” I don’t know if I did or not, if it was aloud or only in my head. His lips cute me off, his ashtray flavored tongue inside my mouth.

Sinking into the swirling, sparkling dance floor, I closed my eyes and kissed Jacob back. It was deep. The sort of kiss that brought back a life I’d purposely forgotten.

Of course, Paul sees her and, of course, Paul confronts her. He has every right to be upset. But he sure doesn’t have any right to roughly grab her and pull her away like he owns her. Regardless, Gray doesn’t remember a bit of it the next day because she blacked out, and she doesn’t remember anything between the confrontation and waking up in her bed with a killer hangover and dirt under her fingernails. Paul is nowhere to be found, and as the day wears on, and Paul doesn’t show up or call, Gray begins to worry. She worries for his safety, but she also wonders to herself just how bad it would be if he didn’t come back. Readers will realize by now that theirs is not a happy marriage and that Gray’s alcoholism isn’t just an artifact of marital unhappiness. Certain expectations come with being the oldest daughter in a very prominent South Carolina family, and although she has an ally in her younger sister Charlotte (who recently went through a divorce and is the mother of young twin boys), Gray’s mother Joanna is very, very concerned with appearances. Then there’s Paul. Paul has congressional aspirations, and his disappearance, if it goes on too long, is sure to make waves.

When Paul’s rental is found on the side of the road, Detective Nina Palmer, whose aunt is dying from cancer and used to work for the Kings, waits a bit for the family to call. That move might come back to bite her, because when Paul doesn’t turn up, things start to look very fishy indeed. While the family waits and worries, poor Gray drinks and tries to cope. Then she gets a message from someone named Annie.

“Hi Gray,” she said in the recording. Almost stuttering. “I’m sorry for the late call. You don’t know me. My name’s Annie. I’m calling—” The woman—Annie—paused. “I need to talk to you about Paul. I’ll be back in touch so keep your phone close.”

I held my breath.

“Something else—” A second, longer hesitation. “There’s something going on here that you don’t know.”

Well, if Gray didn’t have visions of Paul having a mistress, she does now. But when evidence turns up that raises the possibility of foul play, Gray’s world officially beings to crumble.

Gray is an exceedingly sympathetic character. It’s evident from the start that she’s not happy, and she hasn’t been for a while. She talks of Paul’s “stinging comments” about any number of things, including her physicality, and says this:

I used to care about things. All sorts of things. Now everything was muted. Static-filled. I still walked amongst sharp blades and needle-like hazards, but their edges had been dulled. It was a broken way of seeing the world. A dangerous one.

Gray also drops hints at something terrible that happened while in the company of her cousin Michael (now a lawyer) in their childhood, and it will send chills down your spine. And of course, this wouldn’t be a proper Southern Gothic tale if it didn’t feature a crumbling, once stately house like Piper Point.

Piper Point was a white antebellum with a double wraparound porch. Six Corinthian columns supported a steep roof dotted with half as many dormers. The Christmas candles in each window did little to lessen its long shadow. They turned the home into a twisted jack-o’-lantern. Ready to swallow me whole.

Of course, like her family home, Gray’s life and the lives of her family have polished veneers, but the rot is starting to peek through. It’s a roller coaster ride to the end, and Vernon offers up plenty of surprises in an assured debut whose prose frequently approaches the poetic. Narratives that alternate between Gray, Nina, and the mysterious Annie will keep you on your toes. Carve out some time for this eerie, atmospheric read, and hold on tight.
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Loved the pacing, the twists, and oh that ending! Caught me by surprise. The only disappointment was that I wasn't made to care too terribly much about Paul Godfrey, the missing man in this novel. Otherwise, great read that kept me up late!
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I received a netgalley of When You Find Me by P. J. Vernon, in exchange for an honest review. This book is a  psychological suspense about marriage and madness in the south. While on a Visit to her  her family’s South Carolina estate, socialite Gray Godfrey wakes from a hazy night out to an empty bed. Her husband Paul is gone and she has no memory of what has ensued. The book is full of secrets and twists. A good edge of your seat thriller.
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Gray King Godfrey is an unreliable narrator; she’s perpetually drunk and cannot remember many details of her daily life. However, when her husband goes missing on Christmas Eve, it’s hard to feel anything but sympathy for her lack of memory. As the plot twists and turns through a series of narrators, you won’t be expecting the connections that are made all leading us back to Gray, and the childhood that made her what she is today.
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This book caught me by complete surprise! When You Find Me by PJ Vernon had been sitting in my queue for sometime. Forever reason I overlooked it but decided to pick it up today. And I am so glad! One of the best thrillers I have read in awhile. The pacing of it was perfect. I love how the author set the stage and connected me to the characters. And when the pace picked up.... wow! It did not stop, Sometimes when there are lots of elements in a story it doesn’t work well. But the author did an amazing job of connecting a lot of pieces. Can’t believe this is s debut. I’ll be looking for future releases from this author! And I won’t wait so long to read them! 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book!
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For Gillian Flynn Fans! 
Gray Godfrey may have taken her husbands name but she’ll always be socialite Gray King–especially, when visiting the family estate in South Carolina. Not only is she not thrilled about having her husband drag her back home for the holidays, he’s now monitoring her drinking and behavior. And there’s nothing she needs more at all times then a drink. When Gray wakes up alone with no memory of the previous night, she soon discovers that her husband is missing. And her mama is immediately controlling the situation as always. Making a difficult missing person’s case even more difficult is the assigned detective’s aunt being the housekeeper who took down Gray’s father’s election run years before. The Kings run everything in this town, Gray can’t stop drinking, her sister can only cover for her so much, and her mama seems to care more about appearances than finding Paul. Then a stranger leaves a message claiming to know where Paul is… A psychological suspense I inhaled in two sittings that left me looking forward to Vernon’s next work because that was a hell of a debut!
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This is my first book by P.J. Vernon and all I can say is what  a great psychological thriller.   You tried to lead me to a different outcome, but I finally figured it out. Well played!
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4.5 Stars
This was a hard to put down kind of a book. The one that you want to read in every free minute possible because it is so interesting and intriguing. It’s clear early on that Gray has an alcohol problem but Paul’s barbs and Gray’s behavior around him makes you suspect something sinister lurking. Maybe that’s just me after reading too many thrillers. Chapters 3 and 4 where we are introduced to Annie and Nina make you sit up and wonder where this book is going to take you. It does slow down a tad bit after that and some declarations make you wonder if this book is going to be as predictable as it seems, but keep at it, this one needs just a little patience so you can scratch the surface off and be dazzled by the plot. 
I find it hard to believe that this is a debut novel! It’s written very well indeed. The subterfuge is brilliant. Who is Annie, what’s Charlotte’s role, what did the Kings do...so many questions that you must find answers to! The story is told from Detective Nina, Annie and Gray’s perspectives and each one adds more meaning to the book. The words ‘dysfunctional family’ take on a new meaning with the Kings. The characters and their relationships are not far fetched. They are believable and relatable. The story forces you through a roller coaster of emotions and you find yourself feeling intense emotions for the characters. 
Mr. Vernon drives home the narrative by dealing with tough subjects around power, betrayal and survival. It is scary to read how a single detail can cause someone to unravel and spiral. It’s not the big events but instead a small detail within that event that can lead to pain, distrust and damage over the years. 
The secrets build up a tad slowly but as  the plot intensified it is very difficult to figure it all out. If you are the sort of the reader that quickly aligns to the person searching for answers in the plot, then in this case you’ll figure it out at the same time that Nina figures it out! I absolutely loved the epilogue. This is a book that you will enjoy right up to its last word. This book is a domestic psychological suspenseful thriller. 
This book is a true thriller and I’d highly recommend it to everyone who likes suspense. I knocked off half a star because it was a bit of slow start that made me feel like this was an obvious book, making me want to almost give up on it! Very glad that I did not give up because just a few chapters later I was glued to the book. 

Thank you Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
#NetGalley, #WhenYouFindMe

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Perfect psychological thriller!  It moved at a fast pace with twists and turns throughout!  I couldn’t put it down!  Highly recommend!
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This is a fabulous debut novel that begs the question "Do we ever truly know who we are married to?" 
I loved the subterfuge of the disappearance of a husband overnight, a wife left felt she is losing her mind over clues that don't make sense and a mysterious character who seems to know her husband better then the wife does.  Wow this was a amazing read and I look forward to further books by this author. Great book for those who love mysteries and thrillers together. 
Thank you for the ARC that does not influence my review. Very well written and enjoyable.
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When You Find Me by P.J.  Vernon was a wonderfully twisted read!  I found myself drawn into the story and reading each incident with anticipation.  I love reading thrillers that are not terribly gory, but keep you on edge as the storyline twists and turns. 

Gray Godfrey wakes up hungover on Christmas day.  She has no memory about what happened the evening before, but she knows her husband is not in bed with her.  As the day continues and he does not show up at all, she begins to believe that he is missing or dead.  Gray knows she needs to drink to get through each day.  She knows she has large amounts of time when she blacks out with no memory.  Grey knew her husband was hiding things, some she knew about and some she suspected.  When Paul did not reappear and when she began to get messages from Annie about Paul, then things began to twirl out of control.  On top of that, she has a .sister who is hiding the truth and a mother who is more concerned with her image than the truth.  

I love how facts leaked out slowly.  I enjoyed the various characters and their purpose within the story.  When You Find Me by P.J. Vernon was a good read.
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As a struggling alcoholic, Gray Godfrey is a very unreliable narrator, or is there far more to the story?  Built on a life of pushing anything unpleasant under the rug, the life of the King family looks idyllic on the outside, but when the past starts to come into the light, their perfectly placed world starts to unravel.  Is Paul just missing or did something more sinister take place?  AND WHO IS ANNIE??  Pages seem to turn themselves as the reader eagerly seeks the answers to these questions.  An engrossing read from the first word until the very creepy last sentence.
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I liked this one a lot. Full review to come on the blog, but I thought this was a slow burning thriller that had an AWSOME ending. It was a little on the slower side but I appreciated the character development and psychological element. Would definitely recommend!
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I would recommend this book to someone who likes thrillers, and wants a medium paced novel centered around family drama, secrets, and small towns. As a debut novel this is a solid read and the author is definitely worth checking out.
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Gray’s life has been spinning out of control for years. Her drinking is a feeble attempt to mask her pain. 
This year, she and her husband Paul have chosen to return to her hometown to celebrate the holidays.
What do they say about never being able to go back? Gray probably should’ve taken this sage advice. 

A night of tossing back drinks with friends rapidly degenerates into the beginning of a nightmare that Gray can’t wake from. Paul has vanished! Gray is left with both a massive hangover and some troublesome questions. Who did she really marry, and… has her entire life been one big lie? 

This book started slowly, but quickly ramped-up and I was all in! Once again, I thoroughly convinced myself that I had it completely figured out. Yup…knew exactly where this was going. I am humbled! Wow! What a shocker of an ending! Did not see that coming!!

P.J. Vernon has a deceptive way of completely holding your focus. So much so, that before you realize it, the hour is late and you’re the only one left awake in the house. Curled up in your chair, white-knuckling your kindle! 

A fabulously fun, entertaining buddy read with Susanne!🍁

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley and P.J. Vernon for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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Gray King Godfrey, age 29, and her husband, Paul, are heading to her Mamma’s house in South Carolina for Christmas.  They live in Washington, DC and Paul is considering a run for political office.  The family’s home is called Piper Point, home of the King family.  Since her father passed away some time ago, the house is starting to show wear, but her mother, Joanna King, is just as haughty as ever.  Gray and Paul are greeted by the new housekeeper, Cora.

Gray’s sister, Charlotte, has arrived from Raleigh with her 4-year-old two sons.  She has divorced her husband.  Both sisters have a trust fund left them from their father.

Gray has a drinking problem and Paul does not drink.  Gray had some wine on the flight from DC and her Mamma can smell it on her.  She scolds her for drinking.  Gray does not like being home because it brings back bad memories for her.

Nina Palmer is caring for her dying aunt, Tilda Palmer, who had worked for the King family for many years.  Nina is her only relative and is a Detective for the Elizabeth County Sheriff’s Office.  Today, Tilda has received a check for $1,000 from Joanna King marked for “severance.”

After Christmas Eve church service, Gray, Paul, and Charlotte join friends at the local bar.  Gray is just dying for a drink and manages to get several drinks in her behind Paul’s back.  An old boyfriend grabs Gray to dance which angers Paul.  When Gray wakes up the next morning with a raging hangover, she learns that Paul did not come home the night before.  Next, she learns that the rental car they were using was found abandoned on the highway.  Soon, the police are involved in trying to find out what happened.  As Paul is such a hot political figure, the media is blasting constant updates on television.

Soon, Gray starts getting texts from someone called Annie who says she knows what’s going on and all the secrets.  This terrifies Gray.  Who is this person and what does she want?

This book had me questioning a number of things, but there is an “ah-ha” moment right at the end where it all falls into place.  Good story and no peeking at the end first.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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We've all had that little downturn in a relationship, and maybe even a spat that leads to a cooling off night a part.  But when Gary's husband Paul goes missing, all the little things start to make Gray wonder just how much she should have noticed in their life.  A thriller with twists and secrets found in the headlines, substance abuse, family drama, and a gripping conclusion.
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