Still Missing and Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

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For fans of mysteries and thrillers - or those who just want to give the genre a try - Chevy Stevens is an intriguing new author with a remarkable talent for suspense.

In Steven's debut novel, Still Missing, Annie O'Sullivan is a real estate agent whose primary concerns that day are what she is going to cook for dinner and if she will get the upcoming promotion at work. Then, that evening, after a particularly slow open house, Annie is abducted, stolen away to a remote cabin by a man who knows an alarming amount about her. She is repeatedly told by her abductor, whom she refers to as "The Freak," that she has been redeemed and now has a chance to live the good life - according to his strict rules. She is forced into the Freak's image of the perfect marriage, in which she is tirelessly obedient and passive, and punished when she fails in her role. Annie - who is telling the story of her abduction back home after her return - is clearly changed and traumatized, but the true extent of the horror of her abduction becomes shockingly clear as she reveals more and more details about the experience, and learns more about why and how it happened.

Stevens has matched the intensity and thrills in her newest novel, Never Knowing, with the story of Sara Gallagher. Adopted as a child by parents who later had biological children, Sara always felt like an outsider, even in her own family. Now, engaged to be married and a mother herself, Sara finally gives in to the desire to find out more about her biological parents. But when Sara finds her birth mother, the fear she sees in her face is enough to tell her that all is not right. Before long, the truth comes out: Sara's biological father is the Campsite Killer, a serial killer who had been terrorizing campers for years, and her mother was his only surviving victim. Worse still, when the Campsite Killer learns of her identity, he decides he wants a relationship with her, striking in Sara a fear that slowly begins to take over her life.

In both books, the story is told as a series of meetings between the main character and her psychiatrist. The psychiatrist never speaks, so you hear the story unfold entirely from Annie and Sara's perspectives. This style of narration makes for a more intriguing story, because you get the character's hindsight view of what happened, but without her knowing how it will end, giving a very interesting point of view. The psychiatrist, Nadine, is the same in both books; Stevens has already said that her next book, Always Watching, will come from Nadine's perspective.

I highly recommend both of these books for their style, gripping pace, and intriguing takes on the question: are some things really better left unknown? But I warn you, once you start, you're not going to want to put either down until you've read every last page.

Submitted by Megan @ King

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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on December 21, 2011 8:25 AM.

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