Friday, April 16, 2010

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Annie O'Sullivan is a realtor in a small town on Vancouver Island in Canada. One lovely summer afternoon, as she's about to wrap up an open house, she's abducted. Her abductor, a bland and mildly charming man posing as a client, takes her to a fortified cabin on a mountain somewhere, and spends the next year--until her spectacular escape-- beating and raping her. But--as the breathless back-of-the-book copy tells us--her escape is just the beginning of the story.  
Still Missing is a monolog, narrated by Annie to her therapist in a series of twenty-six sessions. She tells the story of her abduction and captivity, of the daughter she bore and lost while on the mountain, of her harrowing escape, and of her difficulty readjusting to a normal life. As her story unfolds she learns that, inconceivable as it may seem, there's more horror in store for her...just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean there aren't people out to get you.
Chevy Stevens is a first-time novelist with big creativity, okay writing ability, and the luck to get some very big names in the business (Lisa Gardner, Gillian Flynn, and Kathy Reichs, among others) blurbing for her. Still Missing is an exciting debut which, while it falls short in the writing department still shows promise, particularly if she keeps reading in her selected genre and learns from all the ladies who wrote blurbs for her.
Definitely check out the work of the authors who wrote blurbs for Chevy Stevens (her publishers did an excellent job of choosing where those galleys went). Chelsea Cain's Gretchen Lowell series, about a rare female serial killer and the cop who pursues her, starts with Heartsick. These books are nasty and dirty and sick, and you can't put them down. Definitely start with the first book. Gillian Flynn is a rather more elegant writer; her Dark Places is lyrical and moody. And Lisa Gardner, who writes both series and stand-alone thrillers, is just a terrific, mainstream genre writer. I've liked every one of her books that I've read, but found Say Goodbye to be particularly delicious.

Disclosure: In accordance with new FTC guidelines for bloggers I must let you know that I received a free review copy of this title.  My reviews are just that: reviews.  They are not endorsements, nor am I ever compensated for posting my opinion.

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