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Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Broken down into sessions with a therapist and told in first person point of view, Still Missing by Chevy Stevens provides just the right amount of mystery and tension as Annie’s ordeal is revealed.  Readers should be prepared for a severely broken character from page one, which becomes apparent from the first word she utters to her therapist.  Annie is angry and still scared, and she struggles to tell her story.  The only comfort she has with her therapist is that she’s set the ground rules, and in this way, she has become similar to her abductor.

The jarring narrative style is perfect for the mystery and terror of this story, and Stevens has deftly created an angry and disillusioned character who feels abandonment down to her core.  Cracking her tough exterior is a slow process for the therapy sessions, and there are moments where readers will want the pace to pick up, but Stevens has set the pace appropriately to lead up to the twist at the end.

“Worse, I’ve become one of them–the whiny, depressing people who have no problem telling you exactly how shitty their end of the stick is.  All delivered in a tone of voice that makes it clear they not only got the wrong end, you got the one that was supposed to be theirs.” (page 29 of ARC)

During a couple of moments in the novel, Annie contends she’s watched enough crime dramas and read enough books to know about the criminal mind — at least in part — but then proceeds to “appease” her abductor as he tries to force himself upon her to protect her friend from him, even though from the beginning it has been obvious that he prefers her to express fear because it arouses him.  This may be a bit nit-picky, but given the set up, readers may find it inconsistent with Annie’s earlier characterization of herself.

Stevens successfully creates a character who is tough to love or even sympathize with as she pushes away everyone in her life, including her devoted boyfriend, especially when all readers see of her relationships are from her point of view.  Why does Luke remain devoted while she’s gone, why does her mother take her in if she’s so callous and drunk all the time, etc.?  The mystery of her kidnapping is revealed slowly throughout the therapy sessions, which move through “present” events more rapidly near the end of the book.  Readers may see the ending coming before it gets there if they’re intuitive and looking for clues along the way, and the final line of the book is very trite.  However, the action and suspense created by Stevens’ narrative style make the journey worthwhile.

Annie in many ways is still missing even after she’s returned home, and she was even partially missing before she was abducted.  Still Missing will provide readers and book clubs with a great deal to discuss about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), abduction, rape, and other horrifying events.

About the Today’s Exclusive Online Event:

The paperback release of Still Missing hits stores today, and in honor of that event, BookTrib is holding an online chat and giveaway with the author Chevy Stevens at 3 PM.  In addition to the online chat, the event will include exclusive video from the author and 10 gift bags for the giveaway.  Don’t miss out!

About the Author:

Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. For most of her adult life she worked in sales, first as a rep for a giftware company and then as a Realtor. At open houses, waiting between potential buyers, she spent hours scaring herself with thoughts of horrible things that could happen to her. Her most terrifying scenario, which began with being abducted, was the inspiration for STILL MISSING. After six months Chevy sold her house and left real estate so she could finish the book.

Chevy enjoys writing thrillers that allow her to blend her interest in family dynamics with her love of the west coast lifestyle. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s hiking with her husband and dog in the local mountains.  Please also check out her blog, follow her on Twitter, and on Facebook.

 

This is my 21st book for the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge.

 

 

This is my 12th book for the 2011 Wish I’d Read That Challenge.  I’ve wanted to read this since I received a copy from Shelf Awareness.

  • Absolutely loved this book. I thought it was a phenomenal debut by the author and I can’t wait to read her newest book.

  • I’ve had this book on my shelf since winning it from Anna. I really need to make some time to read it!

    • You should read it. Won’t take much time, it’s a quick read.

  • This is not my usual type of read but I loved it. I really like the twist at the end. I seem to be reading and liking many books out of my comfort zone lately. I look forward to Chevy Stevens next book, Never Knowing.
    Beth(bookaholicmom)´s last blog post ..The Hunger Games

    • Its good when you find books out of the comfort zone to enjoy. I’d like to read the next book she puts out as well.

  • Ti

    Another blogger was kind enough to send me her copy so I’ll be reading this one soon.

    It’s not normally my cup of tea, but once in awhile I enjoy a good page turner.
    Ti´s last blog post ..Review- Anthem

    • I hope you enjoy it. I need a good page turner when I have very few snippets of time to read.

  • I had a hard time sympathizing with the character even though I knew that her ordeal is what made her so unlikable. And the writing was kind of iffy at times, but overall, I thought it was pretty good. The twist at the end made it work for me.
    Anna´s last blog post ..20 Questions About Reading

  • Every time I see a review of this, I have to smack myself in the head. I have it sitting on my shelf! I just can’t seem to make room for it in the queue. Thanks for the reminder!!!
    Sandy´s last blog post ..Monday Movie Meme – Author- Author

  • This was a book which really emphasised the need for survival despite overwhelming odds. I liked the book so very much.
    Mystica´s last blog post ..Review – Sarah Winmans WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT