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Always Watching by Chevy Stevens

Source: Novel Books
Paperback, 352 pages
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Always Watching by Chevy Stevens is well-paced, building the suspense and tension to a boil at the same time that it builds the characters, creating three-dimensional people — who in some cases are utterly terrifying.  Dr. Nadine Lavoie, whose appeared in Stevens’ Still Missing and Never Knowning as a therapist, is the protagonist, and as she searches the streets of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for her drug-addicted daughter, finds memories of her childhood are even more frightening than she first thought.  For those who have read the previous books and were intrigued by the therapist, this has been a long-awaited novel.  In true form, Stevens has built a believable world from which the current Dr. Nadine Lavoie has come, and although she cannot remember her most defining moments from childhood, it is clear they have helped shaped her into the woman and doctor she is.

“At first, the pain of the cold and the humiliation is excruciating.  I think I’m going to scream from it, but then I focus on the sound of the river, a bead of rain dripping off a leaf, chanting my mantra in my mind, until I’m able to separate from the pain, aware of it, but distantly.” (page 231 ARC)

Heather Simeon, Lavoie’s suicidal patient at the hospital, is not just depressed about being unable to make her parents proud, but she’s also devastated by the loss of her miscarriage and terrified by the commune people who are harassing her and her husband, Daniel, and who always seem to be watching.  Her interactions with the good doctor stir up something in Lavoie that she’s suppressed for most of her adult life — a childhood spent in a 1960s commune with her mother and brother.  As the memories resurface, she has little choice but to seek out former members to confirm events and look for clues about her past.  But what she stirs up is a relative hornet’s nest that not only swarms her and her family, but also those around her.

Stevens’ novel is finely crafted, full of twists and turns.  And while there is some predictability in what happens, she maintains her focus on the psychological impact of those events, detailing gripping breakdowns and triumphant rebounds of strength.  Always Watching is a book that’s hard to put down, and what happens in those pages will not stay there — the events will likely haunt readers for some time afterward.

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 camping and canoeing with her husband and daughter in the local mountains.  Photo Credit: Poppy Photography

  • This sounds right up my alley!

    • You should try it out.

  • I read Still Missing and thought it was okay, but I haven’t read any of her other books yet. Sounds like they keep getting better.
    Anna´s last blog post ..Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

  • I’ve read her other ones, and have this one loaded on my iPod. She has great audios, and I’m really looking forward to it!
    Sandy´s last blog post ..Sunday Salon: (Semi) Easy Street

    • This was the one I’d been wanting her to write. I was always interested in the therapist, Nadine. I’m glad it lived up to my expectations.