Title: Still Missing
Author: Chevy Stevens
Pages: 340 (I have an ARC, so page numbers in the final version might be different)
Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge
First Sentence: "You know, Doc, you're not the first shrink I've seen since I got back."
Summary (From back of book):
On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old realtor, has three goals -- sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Through sessions with her psychiatrist, Annie retells the terrifying story of the year she spent captive in a remote mountain cabin. Interwoven is a second narrative recounting the aftermath of her escape and her struggle to piece her life back together.
My Two Cents:
This book came totally out of nowhere and surprised me with how much I liked it. I started the book unsure of how I would feel about it, mostly put off by the obvious attitude of the narrator (The entire book is told in first-person narrations during Annie's sessions with her psychiatrist). But, the story quickly drew me in and I finished the book in less than a day.
Stevens weaves an amazingly tense story with so many twists and turns you never know who to trust. Just when you think you have one person pegged as the bad guy, something else happens to make you look at someone else in a different light. And, when the final revelation comes, it just hits like a ton of bricks. I couldn't put this book down because I just had to find out what happened.
Annie is, not just because of the plight in which she finds herself after being kidnapped, one of those characters you root for. You want to see good things happen to Annie because, despite her rough edges, she's a likable person. I kept my fingers crossed the whole time, hoping that Annie would get a happy ending. In a way, she did, but it's definitely not a storybook ending by any means.
At times, Stevens' writing seems a little rough, but I just chalked that up to the type of narrator she had created. It wasn't distracting to the point of drawing me out of the story, but there were times when I had to re-read some sentences to get what was being said because of the way they were constructed.
This is a fabulous book that you won't believe is the author's debut. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a thrill ride or who wants a book exploring the darker side of the human condition. I will warn you, though: This book is intense in every sense of the word. There's rough language, scenes of horrible abuse and violence, and just bad situations all around. If you're at all sensitive to this type of thing, you may want to steer clear of this book.