‘Melissa’s writing will have a long-lasting impact on Australian literary life.’ – Natasha Gilmour
If you want to know what readers think of Melissa’s books, you can read reviews on:
‘Write About Me’ is a stunning and provocative debut novel that will resonate and appeal to everyone, everywhere; a delightful piece of fiction that will make you laugh, cry and remember the transformational power of literature.
– Natasha Gilmour, Author of Being, Joy
Kind words for Write About Me
Wow… I couldn’t put this book down.
It’s powerful, fascinating, heartbreaking, insightful, compelling and every family’s worst nightmare. Write About Me is about a 16 year old girl who goes missing – inspired by the real life disappearance of Ursula Barwick (the author’s cousin).
Pouliot’s personal experience, knowledge and expertise in this field shines through making this story feel too real. I highly recommend this book. Warning: this book contains adult themes & harsh language.
– Fleur Ferris, Australian YA author of RISK & BLACK
Praise for Write About Me
An excellent read…with global implications. As an ex-professional who has worked on numerous cases of missing people, I found the story enthralling, emotionally and psychologically accurate with a wide range of implicit messages and support for those families and friends who have ever found themselves in such an awful position.
Advances in the development of social media; support in Australia with the introduction of the AFP National Missing Persons Co-ordination Centre, Crimestoppers, Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN), Australian Missing Persons Register and other such organisations, campaigns and technology – there is today, much more help available than in the 1980s.
This is an excellent read and I would like to personally give it my endorsement and support. Once started, I couldn’t put the book down. A tribute to the author.
– Child-Safe International founding chairman Chris Gould, retired UK Detective Chief Superintendent.
I read this ebook on a flight back to Brisbane from Hawaii. Started it 2 days before, but only got to page 1, the rest on that flight. I cried all the way through, as I too have a missing loved one in my circle, also from the Gosford area. It broke my heart reading this. So well written, so poignant, so REAL. Brilliantly written. A page-turner but you must have boxes of tissues handy.
Praise for FIND ME
Find Me is at first a thought provoking and disturbing story of missing people. The downward spiral of events which overwhelms each character into eventually leaving all that they love behind; their shame and their fears and their total loss of self, is starkly and brutally revealed. But Find Me is also much more than a story about missing people. We see how loss affects us all, whether through losing a person from our lives, losing aspects of ourselves, our dreams, our moral direction or our dignity and ideology.
Within her novel, Melissa artfully develops her protagonist. Rhiannon, through terrible circumstances, discovers her life purpose in helping the lost and those left behind. But in doing so, she must face losing the dream of her future life. Find Me is a fast paced, enthralling novel which will consume you from the first page. Nothing is what it seems as you are immersed in twists and turns of a spellbinding plot within the heat, dust and vast desolation of the Australian outback, where things can be lost and never seen again. Her writing will have a long-lasting impact on Australian literary life.
Ultimately, those who are left behind are as wounded and lost as those who have disappeared. You will not be able to put this book down and you will be left examining your own life and the part you play in others’ lives. – Natasha Gilmour, Author of Being, Joy
Praise for When You Find Me
When you find the right words
The characters were fully developed and alive and their stories real. If left me championing for them. But as in real life there were multiple outcomes. I will think of these folks and wonder about them like real life. – Shirley Townsend, Goodreads
Pouliot’s voice has become stronger and more refined with each book and the characters grow and develop naturally as if they could actually be real people in the real world, which is something that I have always marvelled at with Pouliot’s writing. When You Find Me follows on from Find Me with a return of not only main character Rhiannon and her family, friends and colleagues, but also a continuation of the stories of missing people, Keely and Toby, as well as some new cases encountered by Rhiannon along the way. In amongst the stories of the missing people and Rhiannon’s detective work in Kings Cross, When You Find Me sees much-loved couple, Rhiannon and Mac, experiencing some ups and downs. Anyone who has experienced a long distance relationship would know that ups and downs are a regular occurrence for most, and Rhiannon and Mac, although seemingly the perfect couple, are not exempt. Navigating the politics and corruption of the police force as well as the lives of those that end up missing, are all interwoven in Rhiannon’s story of love, loss, missing people and new beginnings. Once again I am left wanting more and I eagerly await the next chapter in the life of Rhiannon McVee. You need to read Pouliot’s first book Write About Me and her second book Find Me if you really want to grasp the characters and context within When You Find Me.
– Melissa-Jane Fogarty, Goodreads
Praise for You'll Never Find Me
EDWINA HALL, The Weekly Times
October 21, 2016
NUMBER one best-selling author of Write About Me Melissa Pouliot has pieced together another detective novel, inspired by a true missing person tragedy. You’ll Never Find Me continues to centre on Pouliot’s main character, detective Rhiannon McVee, whose friends and cases make up a thriller plot as she explores both the detective work and the emotional strain endured by people whose loved ones are missing.
Pouliot explores the fate of those left behind well, which could be due to her lived experience of the disappearance of her first cousin, Ursula Dianne Barwick, in 1987, a case detectives are still investigating.
You’ll Never Find Me follows McVee from country to city as this gritty detective follows the leads of a handful of missing people. It makes for an interesting read as the book darts from one character to the next and reveals piece by piece McVee’s detective work. All the while McVee is managing a long-distance relationship with cowboy Mac, a welcome balance to the sadness of the novel’s main theme.
Having not read the previous novels it did not take me long to get hooked and realise You’ll Never Find Me is just as good as a stand-alone book. The characters are everyday, relatable people. Among them is Sarah-Jayne Heart, who goes for an afternoon walk in Bourke and never returns, and a Sydney teenager who gets mixed up in the wrong crowd and sees too much.
In Pouliot’s own words, her writing is “a desire to help the broader community understand what it’s like when someone you love goes missing”. One thing that stays with you after reading this book is that families of missing persons rarely get closure. There will always be a gap that a missing loved one once filled.
- Review published online at The Weekly Times HERE
Praise for Found
Every now and then a writer comes along whose words raise the hair on the back of your neck, not because they’re scary but because the words so perfectly describe the scene, you’re inescapably right in there seeing what the characters are seeing and feeling exactly what they’re feeling.
So it is with Melissa Pouliot’s FOUND. Right from the first words of dialogue, I was hooked and curious to find out just who Annabelle Brown was and what possessed her to leave home. Then when I met Christine, the very trendy, upmarket jeweller who is catapulted back into their shared street life by the brief glimpse of a man on a train, FOUND became irresistible. Despite promising myself I’d stop reading at the end of every next chapter, I read the whole book in one sitting.
Melissa Pouliot has personal experience of the heartbreak and despair that accompanies the disappearance of a loved one so she gets the emotions and the interactions that underpin that particular scenario.
Her real talent lies in her capacity to translate that experience into the lives of the characters who populate Annabelle’s life; her mother Lee who continues to survive her very ordinary life in suspended animation while still waiting to hear news of Annabelle thirty long years after her disappearance; her friend Sara who determinedly negotiates her own life believing Annabelle is alive despite the news of any discovered bone steadily chipping away at her defences; her street pal Christine who’d met Annabelle in the darkest alleys of Kings Cross and lost her in a drugged induced haze out in the Blue Mountains. And then there’s Christine’s drug dealing boyfriend Ant…
Stricken by guilt after Annabelle disappears, Christine turns her life around so dramatically, no-one in it could possible imagine her past, least of all her screen-writer partner Danny. But both their lives unravel when Christine glimpses Ant on the train and her past rushes in to consume them.
Moving purposefully through the excellent narrative, Louise Whadary is a determined young detective on a mission to find out what really happened to Annabelle Brown.
FOUND is un-put-downable and absolutely the most compelling book I read in 2017.
Annabelle Brayley, author of Bush Doctors & Vietnam Nurses
MORE KIND WORDS
‘Have just finished your second book, onto the third! What an author you are! Keep up the great work, I’m looking forward to your next book! Eight hours later: Whoa, When You Find Me, absolutely enthralling!’ – Debbie Goulding
‘I purchased your first book, second and several weeks ago have finished reading your third. All three a fantastic read and once you start very hard to put down. Would love to one day catch up one day for a Montague Coffee when dropping into Narooma. We are very lucky to have you in our part of the world!!’ – Gabriele Eichler
‘I’m up in Darwin for a conference and I brought your 2nd novel FIND ME with me to read… Except that I finished it before I even got off the flight!! I couldn’t put it down! I love Rhiannon… Even had to hide the tears on the plane in some bits. I loved it, soooo good. Can’t wait to read the next one now (except I left it at home!)’ – Natalie Godward
‘Melissa, I hope book number 4 is coming along well…… I was finally able to finish When You Find Me last night and can’t wait to find out what happens next!!!!! There are times where I feel so frustrated with the unanswered questions, but then realise, I guess this is what the family & friends of missing persons are constantly feeling!!!’ – Leanne Evans
‘As a new resident of Australia, I decided to read this book to learn more about the culture from a modern perspective. (I was getting a bit tired of dated historical fiction books.) The author absolutely delivered through vernacular, descriptions of characters in various regions and especially the vivid descriptions of life in Sydney, specifically Kings Cross in the 80s. Write About Me is fiction, however it is based on actual events. The book revolves around a troubled teenager from Queensland who runs away from home. It is at once fast-paced and compelling, but heart-wrenching and ultimately tragic. There is inspiration and hope in this story too. It is impossible not to admire this family for believing, hoping and loving someone for such a very long time after she disappeared. The author also includes information about the actual case that has come to light since she wrote this book and talks about the amazing things that friends and family have done to continue the search with new tools and communication channels. I was a bit surprised that I could give a book on the subject of a missing teenager a 4-star review, but I couldn’t put it down. I loved the writing style — short sentences, quickly making the point, but with plenty of details to create an atmosphere of the place and time. The short chapters and change of perspectives between different characters gave depth to the story. Just when I wondered about an action (or non-action) from a character, the following chapters would fill in the blanks. The author handles a difficult topic expertly. The characters are memorable–flawed, real, unpolished. Australia in the 80s is a fascinating setting in itself. Recommended!’ – Stephanie Ward