Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
St. Martins Press; July 2010
Wow.... just wow!
It is hard to sit here and wrap my head around the fact that this is a debut novel. Chevy Stevens has done a remarkable job with this book!
The book is broken down into "sessions" with a therapist. I felt like I was actually reading a dictated copy of the main characters chart.
Annie is a realtor who is abducted during an open house. She spends a year being tormented physically and emotionally by her abductor who she calls "The Freak" and I can't think of a better description of him.
The book is broken down into "sessions" with a therapist. I felt like I was actually reading a dictated copy of Annie's chart. The book starts out with her first session with the therapist after she returns home. That's not a spoiler, but as you continue to read through each session you learn more about who she was before the abduction and who she is afterwards. The two couldn't be more different.
The story of the abduction isn't scary...it could happen to any person any day. The year spent in captivity was at times horrific. One part of it Annie was talking to her psychiatrist:
"I've watched shows about women who stay married for years to guys who keep beating the crap out of them-worse, they don't just stay, they try desperately to make the guy happy, which of course never works- and I'd want to be sympathetic, want to understand, but I just never got it, Doc. Seemed pretty simple to me. Pack your shit and tell the jerk goodbye, preferably with a boot to his ass. Oh, yeah, I thought I was one tough cookie. Well, all it took me was five days of being left alone for this cookie to crumble. Five stinking days, and I was ready to do whatever he wanted."
If you haven't been in a violent relationship, it's easy to say "just leave". The story that unfolds for Annie shows that the scars that are left are more than skin deep. I lost a close friend to domestic violence... at the hands of someone who supposedly loved her. Annie was held by a complete stranger, she didn't mean anything to him...that's what made her captivity even scarier for me.
The story is fast paced, edge of your seat, non stop suspense. It was one hell of a roller coaster. Just when you think you figured something out, Stevens throws a curve ball at you and you are asking yourself "what the hell just happened?!".
If you love psychological suspense that will keep you turning pages you have to read this book. I was lucky enough to have received Stevens second book Never Knowing from the publisher. I can't wait to read it!