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Michael Kardos Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Three Day Affair (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Before He Finds Her (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bluff (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

One Last Good Time (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Art and Craft of Fiction (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Michael Kardos is an American author of short stories, mystery & thrillers and literature and fiction books. His books Before He Finds Her and Bluff have won Pushcart Prize, and Three-Day Affair was named as the Best Book of the Year by Esquire. Michael’s short story One Last Good Time won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Formerly a resident of Jersey Shore, Michael now lives in Starkville Mississippi and co-directs writing program at Mississippi State University.

Before He Finds Her

Award-winning writer Michael Kardos crime thriller novel Before He Finds Her is one of the most engaging and fast-paced crime thrillers of the year. There are twists and turns and lots of innovation where the prose is clear and a crisp tale of salvation and a lifetime of fear. It’s a standalone novel, and once you start reading it, you’ll be hooked to the story, but everything else aside until you’ve finished.

The story opens up in September 1991 when Ramsey Miller and his wife throw a Sunday night block party for all their neighbors in Silver Bay, New Jersey. The events of that night would echo for many years, and to some it would become a dark history that an old school journalist won’t ever forget even on his death bed. That Sunday night, Ramsey murdered his wife and daughter (Allie and Meg) vanished from Silver Bay to become a runaway whereabouts unknown. What nobody knows is that Ramsey’s daughter didn’t die that night but was taken away into protective custody and taken care by her Uncle Wayne in West Virginia.

Meg now lives under a new identity as Melanie, and for most of her life, she’s been homeschooled, and she’s almost eighteen and wants to know more about her life before she was taken into protective custody. She is an avid follower of a blog journalist who’s now retired and writes about the Silver Bay killings and the main suspect Ramsey Miller. Melanie also discovers that she’s pregnant and scared; she wants to learn more about her father so that he’s not a threat to her or her unborn child. She is tired of hiding and wants to live a life without fear and know the truth, but sometimes you’ve got to be careful what you wish for.

She travels to Silver Bay to find out the truth about her father and mother and what she discovers will shake her to the core. With surprising twists and turns, she learns about the life she once lived and about her parent before that fateful September night. As she confronts her past, can she procure a better future for her unborn baby? Before He Finds Her is a cleverly written thriller with plenty of surprise distributed across parts and the views of three characters, Melanie, her father, and her mother. We can vividly see parental relationship crumbling into pieces, and we can see it from different points of view. Michael Kardos adds enough surprise in the book that you get to learn something.

The author did a fantastic job of creating an engaging plot and integrated some nice twists and turns. The plot revolves around Melanie’s present and her past, a literary device that’s become common in the 21st century, alternating between the past and present. The story is narrated through dual timelines: one in the present, from Melanie’s point of view and the other in the past to the events leading to the murders. This narration provides a fascinating perspective because the reader not only gets to see Melanie’s investigations but also gets to witness in firsthand what truly happened.

The characterization is brilliantly done. The main character is Melanie; she’s a compelling character with flaws of course. Her life hasn’t been smooth and wants to find out the truth about her past so that she can create a better experience for herself and her child. These are all great qualities you can find in character. There are also other secondary and supporting characters beautifully woven and contribute to the overall story. Overall, Before He Finds Her is an excellent and engaging thriller that you will enjoy from the first page to the last.

The Three Day Affair

The Three Day Affair is Michael Kardos debut novel and the first book bearing the imprint of the re-launched Mysterious Press. We are introduced to Will the narrator of the story in the first chapter, and the hook is well-positioned in the last paragraph of the chapter.

Four college buddies reconnect every year for a weekend for some golfing and catch up. This year, they’ll be meeting in Will’s town. They make a stop at a convenience store for Jeffrey to grab a few items they need. Well, for sure he does grab something- but it’s the teenage clerk. When he brings her to the car and yells “Drive“- Will obeys. Will believes that the girl is hurt and is heading for the nearest hospital. But the truth is, she’s not- Jeffrey has just taken her, and now they are all involved.

As they confront each other on what to do next, the clock tick until it’s too late just to open the car door and let the girl out. Over the next couple of days, we are let in to witness long-held simmering tensions, resentments, desperation, and outright violence as they desperately try to figure out a way out from the unbelievable situation.

Kardos paints vivid pictures of the players, alternating back and forth in alternating chapters back from their college days and into their present. Through this alternating narration, we are able to know the characters better- or do we? Do the characters know each other, as well as they, think? As the story unfolds, we come to discover that nothing is as it seems, as the men’s past secrets, grudges, rivalries, and betrayals are slowly revealed in a series of twists and turns. They must first confront their past as each speed towards an uncertain future. The Three Day Affair is a story that explores the intricate nature of friendship, the consequences of youthful mistakes, and the lengths that some people are willing to undertake to settle past scores and for personal gain.

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